IY.jpgItai Yanai, PI
Director, Institute for Computational Medicine
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
New York University, School of Medicine

2016-: Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine
2014-2015: Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
2008-2016: Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, Technion Israel Institute of Technology
2004-2008: Postdoctoral fellow, Molecular and Cellular Biology Department, Harvard University
2002-2004: Koshland Scholar, Molecular Genetics Department, Weizmann Institute of Science
2002: PhD in Bioinformatics, Boston University
1997: Bachelor of Sciences (Computer Engineering) and Arts (Philosophy of Science), Boston University


Dr. Marta Chiodin, Research Scientist

I am a molecular biologist, I obtained a M.Sc from the University of Padua and a Ph.D from the University of Barcelona. During my scientific career I have been studying the developmental processes that underlie the evolution of animals. At the Institute of Molecular Medicine, in addition to managing Dr. Yanai’s lab, I will apply evolutionary thinking to study disease.


Dr. Gustavo S. França, Postdoctoral Fellow
I joined Dr. Yanai’s lab in the summer of 2016. I did my undergraduate studies in Biology and obtained M.Sc and PhD degrees in Molecular Biology from the University of Sao Paulo – Brazil. I have been using bioinformatics approaches to understand the transcriptome complexity under evolutionary perspectives.



portrait_smallDr. Florian Wagner, Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a computational biologist with a PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from Duke University, and a Master in Biology from the Technion in Haifa, Israel. Itai first introduced me to computational biology as my master’s thesis advisor, and has been a mentor to me ever since. As a master’s student, I was involved in the development of the CEL-Seq protocol for performing single-cell RNA-Seq. As part of my PhD dissertation work, I developed GO-PCA, a versatile and powerful method for exploratory gene expression analysis using prior knowledge. My main research interest lies in the development and application of computational and statistical tools to help improve our understanding of gene regulatory processes. My current research focuses on elucidating the molecular underpinnings of cancer patients’ responses to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies using single-cell RNA-Seq.


unnamedGal Avital, PhD student

I am a PhD student in Dr. Itai Yanai’s lab, studying non-coding RNA during embryonic development. I received my B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Ben Gurion University in 2010. In my M.Sc I investigated mitochondrial genetics at Prof. Dan Mishmar’s lab in Life Sciences at the Ben Gurion University.


HZHarel Zalts, PhD student
I did my B.Sc and M.Sc in Tel-aviv university. I am mostly interested in molecular biology, particularly evolution and development, gene networking and the role of non-coding RNA in cellular processes.


MBMaayan Baron, PhD student

I’m a PhD student studying cancer evolution in Zebrafish at a single-cell resolution. I’m interested in creating a gene expression time-course for tumor progression. I received my B.Sc and M.Sc in Biotechnology engineering from Ben-Gurion University investigating bacteriophage-bacteria interactions and co-evolution.


Bo Xia, PhD studentPicture1.jpg

I did my undergraduate studies of biological sciences in China Agricultural University. Before joining the graduate program of Sackler Institute at NYU School of Medicine in 2015, I spent nearly three years in Dr. Chengqi Yi’s lab in Peking University, working on developing chemical tools for genome-wide analysis of DNA epigenetic modifications. I joined Dr. Itai Yanai’s lab in the summer of 2016, soon after he moved to NYU, and I will be co-advised by Dr. Jef Boeke. I’m interested in developing and using novel high-throughput tools to study the fascinating nature of genome and transcriptome. In Dr. Yanai’s lab, I will work on exploring the regulatory roles of chromatin-associated non-coding RNAs across developmental stages.


Tobias Schraink, PhD student schraink-tobias-yearbook-picture-20152

I got my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 2015 from Jacobs University Bremen and have since been learning to program. In the Yanai lab I would like to integrate both computational and experimental approaches to study pathogen-pathogen-host interactions in infection competition scenarios as well as potential benefits from latent infections.


Reuben Moncada, PhD studentReubenPhoto
Before joining the Yanai lab as a PhD student in the Summer of 2017, I received my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Vassar College. In the Yanai lab, I am interested in applying spatially resolved transcriptomic methods to understand the diseased state in different tissues.


feliciaFelicia Kuperwaser, PhD student
I’m a graduate student in the Yanai lab interested in temporal dynamics of the immune response in inflammatory disease and infection. I graduated from Brandeis University with a BSc in neuroscience in 2013. Before starting grad school, I worked for three years in Dr. Andrew Lichtman’s lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital investigating T lymphocyte responses in cardiovascular disease.


picAngelina Volkova, PhD student
I am a PhD student mainly interested in human microbiome. I received my undergraduate degree in Chemistry with Bioinformatics concentration from Hunter College, CUNY in 2016. I hope to use my computational skills to develop new methods and tools for microbiome data analysis, as well as to investigate how microbiome impacts health and disease.


yun-yanYun Yan, Computational research associate

In 2013 I got my Master degree in molecular biology studying RNA alternative splicing under supervision of Prof. Xiang-dong Fu at Wuhan University, China. As a Master student majoring in computer science at NYU Tandon School of Engineering since 2015, I am excited to explore unprecedentedly high-dimensional dataset generated by single-cell sequencing.


Dr. Tamar Hashimshony, Lab Manager
Tamar served as our amazing lab manager at the Technion. She graduated from the Technion’s Biology Faculty in 1996 and later received her MSc and PhD degrees from the Hebrew University’s medical school under the guidance of Prof. Howard Cedar. Her post-doctoral work as a HFSP fellow was done in the lab of Prof. Harinder Singh at the University of Chicago.

PhD students: 

Vladislav Grishkevich
Michal Levin

Masters students:
Shay Ben-Elazar
Florian Wagner
Avital Polsky
Leon Anavy
Sally Khair
Natalya Mostov
Martin Feder
Naftalie Senderovich

Project students:
Rachelly Normand
Katya Kovalev
Dafna Yaron Gurevich
David Silver
Ronny Beer

Postdocs and Research Associates:
Dr. Alison G. Cole
Dr. Noa Sher
Dr. Itai Sharon
Dr. Eitan Winter
Dr. Dov Hershkovitz

Images of members of the Yanai Lab at the Technion

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