Professor Ashraf Brik was born in 1973 in Israel. In 1996, he completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Professor Brik attended the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for his M.Sc. and became interested in organic synthesis. He worked with Dr. Nizar Haddad on the total synthesis of Borrelidin, a natural antibiotic macrolide. After completing his M.Sc. in 1998, he moved to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) where he worked with Professor Ehud Keinan and Professor Philip Dawson on a joint program between the Technion and TSRI. During his Ph.D. (1998-2001), he developed the Solid Phase Chemical Ligation method to facilitate the chemical synthesis of proteins. He used the developed tools to study the mechanism of the 4-Oxalocrotonate tautomerase and to alter its activity from tautomerase to decarboxylase through chemical point mutations. He completed his Ph.D. in 2001.
In 2002, he started a postdoctoral position with Professor Chi-Huey Wong at TSRI. He worked in the drug discovery area where he developed a high throughput approach named microtiter plate based chemistry and in situ screening for the discovery of potent inhibitors against HIV protease, beta-aryl sulfotransferase, and SARS human corona virus protease. In 2004, he was promoted to a Sr. Research Associate. He was also involved in the glycopeptide and glycoprotein synthesis where he developed the Sugar-Assisted Ligation method applying his knowledge and skill in peptide and protein synthesis.
In 2007, Professor Brik returned to his Alma Mater as a Sr. Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Chemistry Department at BGU and was promoted to Associate Professor four years later. His current research involves the development of novel chemistries for selective modification of proteins and to prepare posttranslationally modified proteins e.g. ubiquitination for biological studies. His group is also interested in the design and synthesis of peptidomimetics as anti-infective agents.