Galit Lahav
Tumor biology


My lab combines experimental and theoretical approaches to study the dynamics of signaling networks in human cells. We expect that our studies will shed light on the subcellular decision-making processes of healthy and cancerous cells alike, and help explain why cells vary so dramatically in their response to identical drugs.

Our lab investigates how individual cells translate internal and external signals into decisions such as growth, death, movement or differentiation. We quantitatively measure the changes in level, activity, or localization of proteins in single cells at high temporal resolution and correlate these behaviors with specific cellular fates, with a focus on the p53 signaling pathway. The p53 protein is very frequently inactivated in human cancer, and the regulatory circuit in which it is involved is functionally inactivated in almost all cancers. We use a live single-cell imaging system and fluorescently labeled reporter proteins to determine how p53’s dynamic behavior is controlled, why different cells show different dynamic behaviors and the consequences of these behaviors on cell survival. We apply the same approaches to study additional networks in human cells such as the networks controlling DNA repair and cell growth.

I received my Ph.D. in 2001 from the Department of Biology in the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and completed my postdoctoral fellowship in 2003 at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. I then spent a year at Harvard’s Bauer Center for Genomics Research and, in the fall of 2004, joined the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, where I am today a Professor.


Ludwig Center at Harvard
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. 02215

T 617 632 3985
F 617 632 3408


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