Dr. Tzachi Hagai is a senior lecturer in the School of Molecular Cell Biology & Biotechnology since 2019.
During his PhD he has used computational tools in bioinformatics and modelling to study the regulation and evolution of protein ubiquitination. In his postdoctoral studies, he has focused on host-pathogen co-evolution.
In the first part of his postdoc, he has studied the pathogen side, asking how viruses evolved to interact with host proteins, using virological replication assays and protein network analysis. In the second part of his postdoctoral work, he has focused on the evolution of host immune response in mammals, using comparative genomics, single-cell transcriptomics and in vitro immune stimulation assays.
Evolutionary genomics of host-pathogen interactions
Our goal is to understand how the evolutionary arms race between pathogens and their hosts has shaped the immune system and influenced human susceptibility to infectious diseases. We use comparative genomics, host–virus protein–protein interaction analysis and in vitro immunological stimulation studies to understand:
- How do humans differ from other species (and from one another) in their response to infection?
- What happens when a virus jumps into a new host species?
- How viruses evolved to manipulate the host immune system, to enable a successful replication?