Nir's Research Lab

Anat Galis Vivante, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Anat Galis Vivante

I am a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Guy Nir’s lab (Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology). My research, in collaboration with the labs of Prof. Michael Sheetz and Prof. Erez Lieberman Aiden, explores the effect of the matrix rigidity sensor on genome organization and gene expression, from ensemble-level to single cells.

I have conducted my Ph.D. research in biophysics under Prof. Yuval Garini at the physics department and Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Institute, Bar Ilan University (BIU), Israel. My Ph.D. research focused on genome organization in the eukaryotic cell nucleus. Specifically, I studied the effect of nuclear structural proteins on chromatin dynamics. I employed live imaging methods to characterize chromatin’s dynamic and elastic properties and organization in living cells. More specifically, I developed and used advanced optical microscopy and biophysical methods and required the use of physical models for interpreting the data. These methods include single particle tracking (SPT) of different genomic sites, continuous photobleaching (CP), and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). They provide crucial and comprehensive information on the mobility and binding properties of the proteins and their effect on the nucleus structure and function.

Together with a thorough diffusion analysis of our observations and a theoretical analysis of the viscoelastic modeling, I compared the effect of nuclear structural proteins on chromatin dynamics, gathered crucial information about a cell’s nuclear organization, and proposed a model for nucleus organization in which chromosome cross-links are formed by lamin A and other proteins. I also combined high-throughput flow cytometry measurements with single-cell imaging to shed light on the dynamics and mechanisms of lamin A during the cell cycle. Outside the lab, I love painting, dancing, traveling with my family, exploring the Lone Star State, and learning more about American culture.