Itai Yanai

Itai Yanai



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PhD: Bioinformatics, Boston University, 2002

BSc: Computer Engineering, Boston University, 1997

BA: Philosophy of Science, Boston University, 1997

Nano Main Field: An animal's ability to build itself from a single cell is among the most amazing processes of the living world. Our research focuses on the gene regulatory networksthat underpin this embryonic development.  

We study the evolution of the genome and its regulation to reveal the principles of reprogramming in developmental systems.

Nano Related Position at the Technion: Academic Director of the Technion’s HT-Seq Unit

Research Interests:

Systems biology in C. elegans development

1     How do developmental gene expression programs evolve? We are using high-throughput methods to compare the gene expression programs across different nematode species in order to identify the modes of evolution of different developmental strategies.

2     How do genomic changes alter the programs of development? Using bioinformatics analyses of completely sequenced genomes we are examining the functional diversification of gene duplicates, and the gene expression changes following rearrangements to genomic regulatory motifs.

3     How does a gene regulatory network specify a cell’s fate? We apply an inter-disciplinary approach integrating embryological methods to isolate individual cells in the developing embryo, high-throughput methods to provide a global snapshot of gene regulation, and computational methods to model the process. 

4     Our methods throughout involve:

a.     Computational methods using bioinformatics, modeling and data analysis,

b.     High-throughput methods: DNA microarrays for expression analysis and next-generation sequencing for genomic sequencing, RNA-seq, and ChIP-seq,

c.     Developmental genetics methods: transgenic strains, RNA interference, and GFP reporters, and

d.     Embryological methods: live imaging of embryos, RNA FISH, blastomere isolation and culture.