A/Prof Chen Davidovich is an EMBL-Australia Group Leader at Monash University, since October 2015. His lab focused on structure-function studies of transcriptional repression.
On 2010 he obtained his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, where he identified mechanisms for resistance and cross-resistance of bacteria to ribosomal antibiotics, in the lab of Prof Ada Yonath. While solving crystal structures of ribosome complexes, he was fascinated by RNA-protein interactions. Therefore, he continued to a postdoc with Prof. Tom Cech, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. There, he entered into the new and wild field of long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). At the time, lncRNAs were already proposed to regulate epigenetic modifiers, although mechanisms were still vague. During his postdoc, he focused on the histone methyltransferase polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2); the most studied epigenetic modifier in the context of RNA-mediated epigenetic regulation. He was the first to quantify the affinity and specificity of PRC2 to RNA and provided the first evidence for promiscuous RNA binding by PRC2: an observation that shifted the paradigm on how PRC2 is regulated by RNA. As a group leader at Monash University, through a collaboration with international teams, he discovered the binding motif for PRC2 within RNAs and identified the binding site of RNA within PRC2.
Abstracts this author is presenting: