November 2021: New Edmond J. Safra affiliate: Dr. Aldema Sas-Chen
Dr. Aldema Sas-Chen is a new faculty member at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, and is joining the Edmond J. Safra Center as an affiliate.
Dr. Aldema Sas-Chen is a new faculty member at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, and is joining the Edmond J. Safra Center as an affiliate.
Dr. Sas-Chen completed her PhD at Prof. Y. Yarden's lab in the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), studying the role of non-coding RNA in regulation of signal transduction networks and cancer progression. During her postdoc with Profs S. Schwartz (WIS) and M. Minczuk (Cambridge, UK), she studied the epitranscriptome, which describes the landscape of >150 post-transcriptional modifications of RNA. Combining experimental and computational biology she focused on deciphering the role of RNA modifications in human diseases and evolution. She developed cutting-edge methods to detect a variety of RNA modifications, facilitating the mapping of the modification landscape at an unprecedented single base resolution and high sensitivity. She explored the evolutionary conservation of RNA acetylation and uncovered its effects on RNA thermostabilty and on cellular viability. She also studied the role of other modifications in the context of human disease, including mitochondria-related pathologies, and revealed the importance of such modifications to proper processing of mitochondrial RNA.
Dr. Sas-Chen’s research at TAU focuses on the involvement of RNA-based mechanisms of gene regulation in health and disease and across evolution (see her lab website here). She plans to characterize patterns of dynamic changes in RNA modifications and their molecular and cellular functions in response to varying environmental cues. By combining models at the molecular, cellular and organism level, with cutting-edge experimental and computational methodologies, she examines the roles of RNA modifications in cancer progression and in other human diseases. She aims to decipher the roles of RNA molecules and their various modifications in regulating gene expression, and to uncover mechanisms that will facilitate diagnosis and treatment of human patients.