Reuven Agami - Biography#

Reuven Agami performed his PhD research (Thesis: Cell cycle and apoptosis control induced by the tyrosine kinase c-Abl) at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. During his research he identified a novel DNA damage-induced apoptosis pathway that requires the activation of c-Abl kinase and tyrosine phosphorylation of the p53 homologue- p73a (e.g. first author Nature 1999). As a post-doc he identified molecular events that initiate p53-independent DNA damage response (e.g. first author Cell 2000). In September 2001 he started his own group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (AvL/NKI), which consists now of six postdocs, three PhD students and one technician.

Focusing on RNA biology, in the past 14 years Agami generated novel tools to stably knockdown gene expression in mammalian cells, novel tools to study microRNA and RNA-binding protein functions, and novel tools to study the regulation of 3’end formation of mRNAs, and enhancers (e.g. corresponding author on Science 2002; Cell, 2005, 2006, 2007;2012; several Cancer Cell Nature Cell Biology, Nature Communications, Molecular Cell, Oncogene, and Nature Biotechnology). All these tools were made available to researchers worldwide. Agami used these tools to perform functional genetic screens to identify and characterize human cancer genes, and genes involved in other human genetic diseases.

Additionally, the Agami lab has recently initiated studies to investigate protein translation in cancer using ribosome profiling - a genome wide technique. Their results shaded light on cancer development (p53 and Myc genes) and mitochondria-related diseases (corresponding author Genome Biology; Nature Communications; EMBOreports). Recently, in a Nature 2016 publication they describe how ribosome profiling can be utilized to identify cancer vulnerabilities for novel therapeutics applications.

Reuven Agami is a member of the editorial boards of the journals: EMBO, EMBOreports, and Oncogene. He acts as frequent reviewer to Nature, Cell and Science journals. His work was recognized internationally and he won several prestigious prizes: The Joseph Steiner award; ESCI award, and the NKI/AvL prize.

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