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Welcome to the Maruvka Lab website

The Cancer Evolution Lab

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Research

We are developing new tools to analyze cancer evolution and are applying our findings in a clinical setting.

Recent technological developments in generating biological data, such as next-generation DNA/RNA sequencing, has led to an exponential growth of biological data. This is particularly true of cancer data, as DNA sequencing is a routine procedure at many medical centers. The main bottleneck for research is therefore not in data generation but rather in interpreting this wealth of data. In our lab, we develop new algorithms and computational tools for analyzing cancer data, and apply them to the abundance of newly available data, with the goal of generating new biological insights and medical diagnostic tools.
While our interest spans all aspects of cancer bioinformatics, our current main focus is on the genomics of tumors that develop due to a deficiency in one of the DNA repair pathways.

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As examples, two of the lab's current projects include:

  • 1. Cancer early detection using cell-free DNA: We are developing computational methods to analyze cell-free DNA in the blood in order to be able to detect traces of cancerous DNA from the blood. This may be useful both for early detection of cancer and for monitoring the relapse of previous tumors.
  • 2. Preventative vaccine for colon cancer for Lynch Syndrome patients: A familial syndrome with a predisposition to colon cancer called Lynch Syndrome is characterized by highly frequent mutations. We are analyzing samples from an early cancerous lesion, and predicting which of these mutations are likely to lead to an immune response, and therefore can be used for a preventive vaccine against tumor development.
image of Yosef Maruvka

Yosef Maruvka

Principal Investigator

To read about my research see Research section

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Dr. Amir B. Cohanim (Research associate)

About my research

I am a computational biologist. Chromatin structure and Epigenetics were my main fields of research during my doctoral- and postdoctoral- studies, at the Technion, and ENS - Paris. Currently I am working in Dr. Yosef Maruvka Lab on Microsatellite Instability (MSI).

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Hagay Ladany (PhD student)

About my research

My research is based on the assumption that random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, non-cancerous stem cells may contribute to cancer development. Therefore, estimating the mutation-rate in which an individual accumulates mutations can help to predict cancer development for each individual, as well as predict characteristics of the emergence of drug resistance for each individual and each drug.

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Shany Derhy (PhD student)

Hi,

The subject of my research is Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) for predicting the risk of colon cancer. What is PRS? Until today, the world of medicine could divide people into different risk groups using screening tests outcomes and using classic risk factors, such as age, smoking status, and family history. With the development of genetic knowledge and techniques, we might add personal genetic data to this risk calculation. Using a simple blood test, we can learn about the genetic code of a person. Our mission is to predict cancer risk using a unique score called PRS. PRS means Polygenic Risk Scores, and it is comprised of classic risk factors and genetic data as well. PRS prediction would be executed using bioinformatics methods.

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Daniel Gurevich (M.sc. student)


- B.Sc. in Biotechnology and Food Engineering from the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology (2020).

- Joined the team on March 2020.

Research topic

Characterization of cancer by using ensemble learning algorithms.

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Gaia Frant (MSc student)

I have received my B.Sc in Biotechnology and Food Engineering from the Technion.
My research is currently focused on better characterizing the MMR system through the analysis of different cancer types.

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Guy Shani (MSc student)

Hi!

I have just received my B.Sc in material engineering and physics.
I am developing computational tools that can detect cancerous DNA in the cell free DNA. These tools can be used for early detection.

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Avraham Kahan (Research assistant)

Hi!

I am interested in the development of efficient algorithms and heuristics to model and analyze biological systems.
Currently, my research is focused on developing computational tools to deduce molecular characteristics of tumors from imaging and sequencing data

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Gavriel Kahan (Research assistant)

Hi,

The aim of my research is to analyze the mutational pattern of 126 mammalian species, study the mutational events that shaped the evolution of those species, and compare the results with the data we have on humans.

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Jorge Cano Nistal (PhD student)

Born in LeΓ³n, Spain. B.Sc. in Biology, M.Sc. in Innovation in Biomedicine & Health Science (University of LeΓ³n) and passionate about Mathematics, Physics and Scientific Communication as well.
My passion for science started at an early age and grew over the years.
Now, as a PhD Student at Maruvka Lab, I am willing to help people by researching in the amazing field of Cancer Bioinformatics.
As one of the greatest scientists of all times said once: β€œIf I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulder of giants”.

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Sahar (Haozhen Hong)

Hi!
I am Haozhen Hong from China. My Hebrew name is Sahar.
I got the B.Sc degree from GTIIT – Guangdong Technion in China and then joined the lab in October 2021.
Currently, my general research direction is to analyse AML cancer by nanopore sequencing.

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Ofek (MSc student)

I am Yu LIN, also known as Ofek, from China.
I graduated with a BSc degree in Biotechnology and Food Engineering from Guangdong Technion in 2021.
I joined Maruvka Lab as a Master's student in summer 2021.
I will take part in the laboratory and computational side of oncology research.

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Betzalel Evans (International intern)

Hi,

I am a 2nd year Chemical Engineering Student at the Cooper Union in New York City.
I will be working in the lab under the title of "International summer intern" (summer 2021).

Our Team

The lab is multidisciplinary and candidates backgrounds can range from medical
studies or basic biology to computer science and applied mathematics or the like.

Yosef Maruvka

Principal Investigator

Dr. Amir B. Cohanim

Research associate

Hagay Ladany

PhD student

Shany Derhy

PhD student

Jorge Cano Nistal

PhD student

Daniel Gorvich

MSc student

Gaia Frant

MSc student

Guy Shani

MSc student

Avraham Kahan

Research assistant

Sahar (Haozhen Hong)

MSc student

Gavriel Hannuna

Research assistant

Ofek (Yu LIN)

MSc student

Lab Alumni

Betzalel Evans

Summer intern

Open positions

We have a few open positions for postdoc and Ph.D. and masters students in the wide field of cancer bioinformatics. Curious and motivated people can apply for these positions.
All relevant backgrounds are welcome, which can range from mathematics and computer science to biology and medicine, including also physics and engineering or any other relevant training. The most important quality we are looking for is an eagerness to learn new fields and to dive into new topics.
Please contact us at [email protected]

collaborators


Our lab collaborates with a startup company Foresee Genomics in developing inexpensive and easy-to-use sequencing protocols based on Nanopore sequencing technology. Foresee Genomics develops a combined system of molecular biology and bioinformatics. An enabling technology with the purpose to increase the accuracy of the currently error-prone nanopore-based 4th generation DNA sequencing technology, transforming it into a technology that would be suitable for sensitive diagnostics. The nanopore sequencing platform is significantly inexpensive in comparison to all other NGS platforms. The combined system of Foresee Genomic and the nanopore sequencer is an end-to-end solution for genomic diagnostics which is accurate and affordable. We give labs the capability to do comprehensive molecular testing at an unprecedented price.

In Memoriam

Due to the loss of two dear and beloved people, my research shifted from a theoretical focus to a more applied cancer focus.
image of abraham Colton

My father-in-law, Abraham Colton,
passed away at age 77 from Lymphoma cancer

image of dov Eisenbach

My cousin, Dov (Irad) Eisenbach,
passed away at age 33 from tongue cancer.

Contact

Maruvka lab

Applications and CVs can be sent to our email.
For any questions or concerns please contact us by email or phone.

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Haifa, 3200, Emerson Building 3-4

[email protected]

Yosi: +972-4-829-1275

Lab: +972-77-8871902


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