Scholars 2013

2013 Future - Preventive Medicine


 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Genetics

"Genomic Stability and Tumorigenicity of Pluripotent Stem Cells" 


Uri Ben-David received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His graduate studies, for which he was awarded the 2013 Dan David Scholar Award, focused on the genomic instability and tumorigenicity of human stem cells. During his Ph.D., he developed a method to infer aneuploidy from genome-wide gene expression data, characterized chromosomal instability in stem cell cultures, and identified aneuploidy-dependent vulnerabilities of pluripotent cells. A major contribution of his Ph.D. dissertation was the identification of pluripotent-specific dependencies, and the demonstration that these dependencies could be harnessed to selectively eliminate undifferentiated tumorigenic cells, thus addressing one of the greatest risks of stem cell-based therapeutics.

Dr. Ben-David currently works at the Cancer Program, Golub Lab, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he does cancer Genetics and Cancer Cell Biology Research. His research focuses on understanding the cellular origins, functional consequences and potential vulnerabilities of aneuploidy and chromosomal instability in cancer. Specifically, by characterizing the landscapes of chromosomal aberrations in cancer models and comparing them to those observed in human tumors, his work aims to identify context-specific recurrent aneuploidies, the driving genes that underlie them, and dependencies that may be associated with them.

Uri has so far authored 27 peer-reviewed publications, which have received over 1,700 citations in the literature (according to Google Scholar). His publications can be found on his ResearchGate profile page: