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Anchor 2



Dr. David Gokhman

Principal investigator


Uncovering what makes us human. Particularly interested in the gene regulatory changes that underlie human-specific traits and diseases. My focus is on our closest extinct (Neanderthal and Denisovan) and extant (chimp and bonobo) relatives. 

Can never resist an opportunity to swim or kayak with whales. Love hiking, snorkeling, woodworking, gardening and cat/dog-raising.

Dr. Simon Fishilevich

Senior bioinformatician


I am fascinated with the human genome, specifically with discovering functional aspects of its non-coding regulatory parts, such as promoters and enhancers. I enjoy integrating and analyzing biomedical data to drive discovery in the fields of human genetics, evolution and gene regulation.

Proud and tired parent of two cute monsters, shower philosopher & Netflix fan. Love to travel and hang out with my family.

Dr. Amit Mary Philosoph

Research Assistant


I have always been excited by genetics, especially the role of genetic variation in human disease. I enjoy combining experimental approaches with bioinformatics, to study the genetic changes that are associated with human-specific phenotypes and diseases.

I am a proud mother of two precious kids, enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Traveling, reading and furniture design are my favorite hobbies, and the rumor is that I am a good cook :)

Ryder Easterlin

Graduate student


Studying the role of non-coding variation in archaic and modern human evolution, specifically regarding phenotypic divergence between the lineages. Co-advised by Prof. Nadav Ahituv (UCSF).

Some of my favorite things to do outside of the lab are climbing, sailing on San Francisco Bay, and playing strategy boardgames and videogames. Always looking for new passions/hobbies as well!

Yarden Weiss

MSc student


I am interested in the effect of regulatory elements on gene expression and phenotypes. Studying this subject in relation to modern human derived phenotypes is fascinating to me.

Love traveling, cooking, horseback riding and reading books by the sea. Would like to learn gardening so I will know how to take care of all the plants I’m trying to grow.

Katharina Lange

MSc student


I am interested in the regulatory aspects of gene expression and how changes in gene regulation have shaped human evolution. Excited to combine computational and experimental approaches.

Love being in nature, whether it is hiking in the desert or surfing in the Mediterranean Sea. Passionate about food, especially when shared with friends.

Dafna Barkan

Research assistant


I am interested in the evolutionary relationships between genomic variation and phenotypic expression. Particularly, I enjoy exploring phenotypic differences between humans and chimpanzees, and the genomic changes that shaped them.

I love practicing yoga and taking care of my plants. Always happy to spend time with my family and friends and play with my dog, Jessie.

Natan Ariani

Research assistant


My research interests center around the intersection of evolution, genetics, and medicine. Specifically, I am interested in how genetic variation contributes to the development of human diseases and how studying the evolutionary history of these variations can inform medical treatments.

Outside of the lab, I study medicine. I enjoy exploring new places and cultures through travel. I am also passionate about music and enjoy playing basketball in my free time.

Tal Sharon



I'm passionate about the intersection of programming and biology, with a particular interest in genetic variations across animals and humans.

In my free time, I enjoy scuba diving, programming for fun, and taking care of my dog and cat. I also love to travel and explore new places.

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