Current CV - Faculty members Homepages

moredwarfBiotechnology

Oct 1, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

84 views

May

201
1

CV


Name: Unger Ron


Date of birth: 30
th

Nov. 1958


The Mina & Everard Goodman
Faculty of Life Science,


Bar
-
Ilan University, Ramat
-
Gan,52900 Israel


Email:
ron@biom
odel.os.
biu.ac.il


Tel: 972
-
3
-
5318124


Fax: 972
-
3
-
7384058






Education,

From
-
To

Institute

Area of Speciality

Degree

1981
-
1984

The Technion, The Israel Institute of
Technology, Haifa

Extended program in Computer
Science

B.Sc.,
Cum Laude

1984
-
1986

Faculty of Mathematics and
Computer Science, The Weizmann
Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Computational Biology

M.Sc.

1986
-
1990

Faculty of Mathematics and
Computer Science, The Weizmann
Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Comp
utational Biology

Ph.D.

Doctoral Thesis:

Enriched Analysis of Biological Sequences

Supervisor
:

Prof. Joel L. Sussman and Prof. David Harel


mployment
E



From
-
To

Institute

Research Area

Title

2005
-
P
resent

Faculty of Life Sciences,

Bar
-
Ilan Universi
ty, Israel

Computational Biology

Associate Professor

2003
-
2007

Open University
, Israel

Bioinformatics Program

Consult
ant

1998
-
P
resent

Faculty of Life Sciences,

Bar
-
Ilan University, Israel

Bioinformatics
Undergraduate Program

Head

2001
-
2002

Center for A
dvanced Research in
Biotechnology (CARB), University of
Maryland

Nano
-
B
iotechnology

Sabbatical: Visiting
Professor

1995
-
2005

Faculty of Life Sciences,

Bar
-
Ilan University, Israel

Computational Biology

Senior Lecturer

1990
-
1994

A joint appointment with
the Center
of Advanced Research in
Biotechnology (CARB)
-

and Institute
for Advanced Computer Studies
(UMIACS)
-
University of Maryland

Computational Biology

Postdoctoral

Research Scientist





Public Scientific Activities

From
-
To

Type of Activity or Appoin
tment

2009

Recipient of the Teva Founders


Prize

2006
-
2009

President of the Israel
i

Society of Bioinformatics and Computational biology (ISBCB)

2006

Organizer and Co
-
Chairman of the Ninth Israeli Bioinformatics Conference

2006

Member of the organizin
g committee of ECCB 2006, the sixth European Conference for
Computational Biology

2005

Board member and President Elect of ISBCB (Israel Society of Bioinformatics and
Computational biology)

2003

Member of organizing committee of the 7
th

Israeli Bioinfor
matics Conference

1996
-
2000

Steering Committee: INN 2000
-

National Center for Bioinformatics

1999

Organizer and Chairman of

the
Third Israeli Bioinformatics Conference





Funding Sources Last three years

From
-
To

Funding Agency

Title of Projec
t

Amount

2008
-
2012

BSF

RNomics in
Trypanosoma brucei

(Together with Shula Michaeli)

$160,000

2008
-
2011

ISF

Long range coupling in proteins

$105,000

2006
-
2008

Israel Ministry of Science

Studying ncRNA

$80,000

Students

Year

MSc

PhD

Post Doc

2010

2 +
2 Joints

2 + 1 Joint


2009

5 + 1 Joint

2 + 1 Joint

1

2008

3

3 + 1 Joint







RESEARCH INTERESTS


My main research interest is the interface between Computer Science and Biochemical
Sciences, towards better understanding of the sequence and structure o
f proteins

and RNA
molecules both in terms of basic research and practical applications.
Current research
projects are:



Using simple models to understand protein folding

In recent years it became evident that numerous human diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s,
Par
kinson,
Creutzfeldt
-
Jakob disease
) are due to defects in the folding process of the
implicated proteins. One of the research subject
s

we study in this context is
understanding, using simple lattice model, the interactions between proteins and the
chaperon
systems which are involved in

in
-
vivo

folding. This work is done in
Collaboration with Prof. Amnon Horovitz from the Weizmann Institute.



Studying ORFan proteins in Prokaryotic Organisms

S
equence analysis of
a growing number of
genomes
has consistently
rev
eal
ed

that a
surprisingly
large number of genes are unique to each organism
, or exist only in very
closely related species. These genes were termed ORFan genes and the resulting proteins
are known as ORFan proteins. There is strong evidence that these uniq
ue proteins are
real, and are not the result of mis
-
annotation or sparse sampling. We found that about 7%
of annotated prokaryotic proteins are not homologous to any other proteins. We are
studying the properties of these proteins, and in this context we w
ill study their
pathogenic properties.




Computational characterization of non
-
coding RNA molecules and their targets

Trypanosomes are infectious parasites that have heavy burden on human health and farm
animals especially in developing countries. Trypanos
omes have unique RNA editing and
manipulation processes which offer therapeutic targets. Together with the experimental
lab of Prof. Shula Michaeli we are studying the repertoire of nom
-
coding RNA (ncRNA)
in these organisms. The bioinformatics of ncRNA mol
ecules in prokaryotic and simple
eukaryotic (like parasites) is different from the more studied higher eukaryotic
organisms. Thus, in the last few years we devoted a significant effort to develop
computational tools suitable to study ncRNA molecules in the
se organisms.



Understanding biological robustness using systems biology analysis

G
enome wide association studies identifi
ed
many loci where the presence of particular
personal variation (
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
,
SNP) is linked to increased risk
for

common human disease
s

like high blood pressure or type2 diabetes.
T
he key
characteristic of complex trait disease
-

increasing risk of disease with number of affected
loci
-

implies robustness properties of these networks unlike any found in designed
syst
ems. Our hypothesis is that the organizational principles and features of human
robustness to mutations are a consequence of underlying evolutionary processes.

Thus,
the key to successful exploitation of the genomic data is the application of evolutionary
principles to network analysis.
This work is done in collaboration with Prof. John Moult
from the University of Maryland.



Medical data mining

Israel has an advanced healthcare system and centralized, well maintained medical
databases. It is also a hub of
bioinformatics and computer science. This combination
allows us to bring these disciplines together to improve human health

by utilizing
Machine Learning algorithms which are capable of extracting hidden correlations and
relationships with the data. This r
esearch is done in collaboration with Dr. Yanay Ofran
and physicians from Kopat Holim Maccabi and Kaplan Medical Center.