The Molecular Medicine laboratory that Prof. Skorecki directs together with Dr. Sara Selig and Dr. Maty Tzukerman conducts research in varied areas of human molecular genetics and biology. These range from large-scale population genetics projects to the use of the human embryonic stem cells in cancer research. We have recently been engaged in research projects to address the following questions which exemplify the focus and scope of our work:
- What are the molecular mechanisms that relate replication timing, chromatin state, and the methylation status at subtelomeric regions to the regulation of telomere length and telomeric transcripts in normal and disease (e.g. ICF syndrome, cancer)?
- Using a human embryonic stem cell-derived experimental platform, can we identify those factors which confer observed niche dependency on human cancer stem cells, and how can we use this information to design novel anti-cancer therapy paradigms?
- What is the causative mutation and molecular mechanism of disease pathogenesis,whereby the APOL1 gene (recently identified by admixture disequilibrium mapping in African Americans) confers very high genetic risk for non-diabetic end stage kidney disease in populations of West and South African ancestry, and why are Ethiopian Jews relatively protected from kidney disease?
- How can the special population architecture of northern Israel, together with advanced genomic technologies and functional assays, be leveraged to identify novel heritable disease-causing pathways as targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions.
These multidisciplinary research projects involve a dedicated research team and extensive inter-institutional collaboration with other centers in Israel and around the world.