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.
About my research
My research is based on the assumption that random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, noncancerous 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. Currently, my research is focused on locating common genetic variations that contribute to the development of colon cancer.
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.
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.
The lab is multidisciplinary and candidates’ backgrounds can range from medical
studies or basic biology to computer science and applied mathematics or the like.
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]
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