At The Deep Genomic Lab, we analyze thousands of genomes (from human to yeast) to understand the evolution and the genetic bases of human diseases and species super traits. By integrating comparative genomics, multi-omics and experimental platforms we aim to annotate every amino acid (AA), gene, and network across evolution and predict their function and association with traits.
What is the genetic basis of “super traits” across nature (e.g. resistance to cancer, heat, cold, radiation, regeneration ability, extreme muscle power), and how to use genetic biomimicry to improve human health.
* Genetic biomimicry – the principle of learning genetic mechanisms of unique traits in order to apply similar mechanisms to improve health, and developing new technologies inspired by nature’s solutions
How stretches of tandem repeats transcribed into RNA (e.g. CUGCUGCUG...) become toxic and the epigenetic mechanisms by which they cause devastating diseases when inherited maternally
THE GENETIC BASIS
OF ORPHAN DISEASES
What are the disease causing genes in hereditary syndromes and through which pathway do they cause the phenotype?
THE DARK SIDE
OF THE GENOME
What is the function of thousands of unannotated genes? How do they assemble to unknown pathways and what is their unsolved role in human diseases?
How can we take advantage of drugs which are already in use to cure diseases without treatment?
The Dark Side of The Genome
There are tens of thousands of diseases which we don’t understand. At the same time, only 25% of human genes can be linked to diseases or any phenotypic effects. For thousands of genes and the vast majority of genomes, their function is completely unknown. Understanding the function of these genes and genomic regions (e.g. the effect of amino acids) is critical to elucidating the basis of genetic diseases. This is fundamental for diagnostic and prognostic treatment, including targeted drugs and Precision Medicine.
The Deep Genomic Revolution is The Answer
Through endless struggles for survival, over millions of years, organisms have evolved extraordinary traits. These have resulted in organisms that are resistant to radiation, can survive in extreme conditions, don’t get cancer, have an extreme lifespan, can regenerate, hibernate and more. In the coming years, following the genomic revolution, we will have access to the blueprints of all these organisms to uncover the genetic bases of these “super-traits”. Similarly, by analyzing thousands of organisms we can predict genes’ function based on their evolutionary patterns. In the Deep Genomic Lab, we aim to harness this enormous amount of data using cutting-edge tools, and associating genotype to phenotype across all genomic scales.
Our Research Scope
The ongoing genomics revolution resulted in an exponential growth in genomic data. This is expected to summit in a full sequencing of 1.5 million species in the coming years. This development makes it possible to understand the evolution of every gene, and to improve our understanding of the molecular basis of diseases.
Our research focuses on cancer and genetic diseases, aiming at identifying disease causing genes and their interaction networks. We study the evolution of super traits, to identify the genetic basis of unique characteristics of species such as resistance to cancer, to eventually progress the understanding of biological processes.
Finally, we develop tools to decipher the hidden information in the huge amounts of data available today in genomics and omics, to tackle the questions of evolution of super traits and the genetic basis of diseases.
Using Thousands of Genomes, We Have Reached Significant AchievementsDiscover
Used our phylogenetic profiling system to reposition existing drugs for use in novel therapies.
Helped in understating the open question of missing heredity in breast cancer to improve diagnostics, prognostics and treatment.
Developed machine learning and comparative genomics tools to help predict the function of thousands of unannotated genes associating them with genetic diseases and cancers.
Increased the understanding of the mechanisms of RNA toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases.
Our Research Scope
WE ARE WORKING ON UNDERSTANDING
The evolutionary process, phylogenetic profiling, ageing, incomplete penetrance, nature’s superpowers, synthetic biology.
TOOLS AND ORGANISMS WE USE
Bioinformatics, machine learning, comparative genomics, C. elegans, cell cultures, plants, optimism!.
RETT syndrome, hereditary breast cancer as well as general cancers, myotonic dystrophy, rare (orphan) diseases.
The Expected Impact - Precision Medicine
Our research aims at understanding the genetic basis of disease, elucidating gene function, and identifying gene targets for drug repositioning. Currently we only understand a small fraction of the gene’s functions or the genetic cause for diseases. In addition, we only have adequate drugs for to small number of diseases.