top of page


Meet our team


Uri Gophna

Principal Investigator

I am an evolutionary microbiologist, focused on horizontal gene transfer in archaea and bacteria, and mechanisms that restrict it. I am fascinated with how mobile elements end up shaping the evolutionary fate of microbial lineages, and although inherently selfish, sometimes contribute greatly to adaptive processes within ecosystems. 

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Israela Turgeman-Grott

CRISPR-Cas systems provide acquired heritable immunity to bacteria and archaea against invasion by selfish DNA elements. I observed that many halophilic archaea have spacers that target chromosomal replication genes, implying a potential role for CRISPR-Cas in interspecies antagonism and genetic conflicts in archaea. Currently, I am finding out how such spacers are acquired, and their affects on lateral gene transfer in these organisms


Leah Reshef

Postdoctoral Research Associate

When I first entered the field after a thesis in classical microbiology, Uri promised me I would never get bored. Five years later. that still holds true. I direct and advise all microbiome analysis going on in the lab, which can span a broad spectrum from oysters to humans. As the entire field is moving forward at breakneck pace, this sometimes feels like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle while riding a roller-coaster, but, it's an exhilarating ride all the way.

Doron Naki

Ph.D Student

I am studying viruses and CRISPR in archaea and how they interact.

Deepak Choudhary

Ph.D. Student

My thesis work is focused on addressing the functions of CRISPR-Cas system beyond defense mechanism, which includes the role of CRISPR-Cas in gene exchange across different species and its impact on microbial speciation, primarily in halophilic archaea.

WhatsApp Image 2021-06-12 at 10.59_edited.jpg
Neta Altman

Postdoctoral Research Associate

I am using a wide array of genetic approaches to study the roles of CRISPR-Cas and homologous recombination in the evolution of halophilic archaea.

bottom of page