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Uri Ben-David, PhD

Uri Ben-David, PhD

Grant Status

Tel Aviv University

Grant Type
Project Grant

Project Title
Mapping the genomic landscape and functional consequence of chromothripsis in human cancer.

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Cancer Biology

About the Investigator:

Dr. Ben-David is an Assistant Professor of Cancer Genetics at Tel Aviv University. He obtained his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his postdoctoral training at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The Ben-David lab focuses on a fundamental trait of cancer – changes in the number and structure of chromosomes in cancer cells. Ultimately, his research aspires to expand the understanding of the genetic basis of cancer and to open new avenues for personalized cancer treatments. Dr. Ben-David is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including the 2020 AACR ‘Next Generation Star Award, the 2020 ‘ERC Starting Grant,’ and the 2021 ‘Cells Young Investigator Award.’ Since 2022, Dr. Ben-David has been an EMBO Young Investigator Member.

About the Research:

The regular cells of our bodies contain two sets of 23 chromosomes, one inherited from each of our parents. When cells divide, their chromosomes are segregated into daughter cells – one copy of each chromosome goes to each daughter cell. However, errors can occur in this process, leading to changes in the number and the structure of chromosomes in cancer cells. Cancer cells can not only tolerate these changes, but some are beneficial for their survival and proliferation. Chromosomal changes are so common in cancer that they are considered a “hallmark” of the disease.

In this project, Dr. Ben-David aims to study a phenomenon called ‘chromothripsis’ – the shattering and re-stitching of a chromosome, which occurs in approximately 50% of tumors. He seeks to develop a novel tool to detect chromothripsis in cancer cells, map the landscape of chromothripsis across cancer types, and identify cellular vulnerabilities associated with this phenomenon.

Doing so will shed light on the functional consequences of chromothripsis and promote disease-relevant modeling of this hallmark of cancer. Ultimately, this will pave the way for the therapeutic exploitation of this phenomenon for improved treatment of cancer patients.

Photo Credit: Sharon Gabay, ICRF Israel


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