My father-in-law, Abraham Colton,
passed away at age 77 from Lymphoma cancer
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.
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.
To read about my research see Research section
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).
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.
Shany Derhy (PhD student)
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.
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.
Characterization of cancer by using ensemble learning algorithms.
Gaia Frant (Research assistant)
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.
Guy Shani (MSc student)
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.
Avraham Kahan (Research assistant)
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
Gavriel Kahan (Research assistant)
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.
Betzalel Evans (International intern)
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" this summer (2021).
The lab is multidisciplinary and candidates backgrounds can range from medical
studies or basic biology to computer science and applied mathematics or the like.
Dr. Amir B. Cohanim
Foreign summer intern
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]
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.
Due to the loss of two dear and beloved people, my research shifted from a theoretical focus to a more applied cancer focus.
My father-in-law, Abraham Colton,
My cousin, Dov (Irad) Eisenbach,
passed away at age 33 from tongue cancer.
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
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