For his PhD research in genetics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Ido Sagi generated, for the first time, haploid human embryonic stem cells. This discovery, widely covered in popular and scientific journals, provides new ways to study human functional genomics and development. Useful for genetic screening, it could help uncover genetic pathways involved in cancer and developmental diseases.
Dr. Sagi’s postdoc is at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA, a world-renowned hub for biomedical research affiliated with MIT. His interdisciplinary work combines concepts and tools from molecular, developmental, and computational biology, as well as from microscopy and single-cell genomics. Collaborating with scientists from his lab as well as from other labs and fields, he investigates how transitions in cell identity occur in the developing embryo, specifically by studying phase-separation and transcriptional regulation in early embryonic cell-fate decisions. Dr. Sagi hopes to reveal new insights into dynamic gene regulation in health and disease.
Dr. Sagi was an Arabic translator and language researcher in the Intelligence Corps of the Israeli Defense Forces. He believes that importing knowledge and expertise from the US to Israel and sustaining a collaborative relationship between the countries—especially in frontier fields of biology—is key for maintaining the remarkably high level of Israeli science.