Prof Uri Gophna
Full Professor at Tel Aviv University
- Lateral gene transfer and inter-species recombination
- Natural CRISPR-Cas systems in archaea
- The human microbiome in health and disease
FEMS Expert: Prof Uri Gophna
Prof Uri Gophna’s research is focused on understanding the evolutionary processes behind microbial adaptation that has contributed to both the medical community and to evolutionary theory. His research group’s interests revolve around two related topics: the role of lateral gene transfer (LGT) and selfish DNA in the evolution of microorganisms and the study of host-microbe interactions, with particular focus on the human gut microbiome in health and disease.
Their work spans the whole spectrum of evolutionary biology from environmental and comparative population genomics all the way to the testing of specific hypothesis by engineering strains and performing competition experiments under ecologically relevant conditions. Genetic manipulation allows the dissection of the contribution of specific genetic components, such as defense systems (CRISPR-Cas and additional recently discovered systems), the recombination machinery, and selfish mobile DNA, to genome diversity within microbial populations.