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Yitzhak Reizel, PhD

Yitzhak Reizel, PhD

Grant Status

Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Grant Type
Research Career Development Award

Project Title
Exploring the role of FoxA1 pioneer factor in determining DNA methylation patterns in cancer

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Genetics and Genomics

About the Investigator:

Dr. Yitzhak Reizel’s research is focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression in cancer. He received his BSc degree in Biology from the Hebrew University and his MSc and PhD in Molecular Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. During his postdoctoral training, he studied molecular mechanisms controlling differentiation and homeostasis, first at the Hebrew University, and then at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Reizel is now an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.

About the Research:

The mammalian genome is highly compact, and the regions responsible for gene activity are subject to tight regulation. During the development of an organism, each organ or cell type undergoes a specific program that enhances the accessibility of certain regions in the genome, which in turn regulate expression of genes required for the maintenance and development of tissue. A special set of factors, called pioneer factors, enhance accessibility to these genomic regulatory regions. Pioneer factors are required to trigger the developmental program of organ-specific genomic organization, although not to maintain it.

The goal of Dr. Reizel’s research is to determine whether the principles underlying normal organogenesis apply during initiation and progression of cancer, by focusing on the pioneer factor FoxA1, which activates both normal development and tumorigenesis. He will compare FoxA1-mediated genomic access in normal and cancer cells, and ask whether the absence of, or mutations in, FoxA1 affects the stability of the cancer program. This research will identify new principles that regulate gene expression in cancer cells and may lead to the development of new methods for therapeutics and diagnosis.


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