Itai Yanai

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Itai Yanai is a Professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where his team studies dynamic biological processes through the lens of gene regulation and systems biology. His work has led to many contributions in the fields studying the evolution of developmental gene expression programs, spatial and single-cell transcriptomics, cancer cell states & tumor heterogeneity, and genome evolution and the genetic basis of genotype-environment interactions.

Along with Dr. Martin Lercher, Dr. Yanai co-authored the popular science book The Society of Genes, which discusses how genes compete and cooperate in our genome. Also in collaboration with Dr. Lercher, Dr. Yanai discusses the exciting and significant parts of scientific research that occur behind the scenes, called “night science” and explores the creative side of scientific thinking in a collection of editorials in Genome Biology and associated podcasts. 

Dr. Yanai earned PhD in Bioinformatics from Boston University and pursued postdoctoral training at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and Harvard University. He served as Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology at Technion -Israel Institute of Technology between 2008-2016. In 2016, he joined NYU Langone Health. 

"We typically present the results of our research, without describing our crucial creative process that led to them. Indeed, while from the outside research may seem as a logical, step-wise process, in this session I want to describe how the generation of a new question is the result of an unpredictable and wandering process, which paves our way towards a discovery, effectively changing our perception of reality. I'm very much looking forward to this session with GradFUTURES!"