No one is immune to the effects of the world’s most pressing medical challenges. And none of these challenges are immune to the brilliance and dedication of IMRIC’s researchers. Get to know them a little better by checking out their bios.
I have always been interested in exploring new and unknown fields. I have always found the study of modern biology to be the most fascinating field. During my PhD I used molecular biology techniques to study gene regulation. Afterwards, upon completing my studies at the Hebrew University, I relocated to the Whitehead Institute for my post-doctorate, where I learned how to use genomic techniques for exploring transcription regulation on a system-wide level.
This new type of research captivated me, since it provided a broad picture of cellular processes, and allowed me to explore the entire cellular system rather than focusing on a single process. With the recent advances in sequencing techniques the collection of high quality genomic data became relatively simple and the challenge became the analyses of the data and its integration with our existing knowledge of biology.
My team at IMRIC combines molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics in order to study basic cellular processes such as cell cycle, DNA replication and transcription regulation in various organisms.
My goal is to understand how the brain functions in cognition and behavior. At IMRIC, I investigate diseases of the aging human brain.
Studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration provides evidences to the harmful events occurring inside the aged brain. Importantly, it also provides clues relevant to the normal function of the brain in mechanisms of learning and memory. At IMRIC, we are learning what is the initial trigger that affects neuronal function and leads to neuronal loss, in particular in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
I have always been fascinated by the fact that simple biophysical principles underlie the astonishing complexity of life, and I have been wondering, and still am curious to understand, how this is achieved. How are these molecules organized to perform very complex processes? What are the constraints that evolution has been dealing with in the development of these processes?
Today, my research focuses on how proteins interact and how this allows a cell to function and to perform a multitude of very complicated tasks. Proteins are fascinating as they mediate between chemistry and life. We use computational structural biology and bioinformatics approach to model interactions, and collaborate with experimentalists to test and extend our models.
Peptide-mediated interactions that involve short linear motifs are of particular interest to us, as they are weak, transient and easily regulated by the environment in the cell.
I have recently been awarded the prestigious ERC starting grant, and I am now setting up my own wet lab in which we hope to investigate complex interplay between such interactions, to elucidate the way a number of such interactions are converted into a regulatory response.
Our research is a good starting point for the identification and accurate characterization of critical interactions. Our structural models of these interactions allow us to design molecules that will modulate those interactions.