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Host-Pathogen interactions

Manipulations of host cell processes by bacterial pathogens

Anat Herskovits Lab

Our lab of bacterial pathogenesis and cell host interactions is located at Tel Aviv University. We are interested in how intracellular bacterial pathogens manage to survive the mammalian niche and cause infection. We study the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which is a human facultative intracellular pathogen. We specifically ask how is L. monocytogenes metabolically adapted to grow within mammalian cells? How does it sense host derived metabolites and use this information to regulate virulence gene expression? We also ask, how does L. monocytogenes interact with its inhabiting prophages in the course of mammalian infection? Lysogenic phages are parasites, potential ‘molecular time bombs’, yet during mammalian infection they cooperate with their bacterial host. We study phage adaptive behaviours that support the survival of pathogens within the mammalian niche. Our lab combines various computational, biochemical and genetic approaches to decipher these mechanisms.

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We are looking for PhD and Postdocs for a new ERC project

High scholarships are guaranteed

Selected Publications

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Active Lysogeny in Listeria Monocytogenes Is a Bacteria-Phage Adaptive Response in the Mammalian Environment

Anna Pasechnek, Lev Rabinovich, Olga Stadnyuk, Gil Azulay, Jessica Mioduser, Tal Argov, Ilya Borovok, Nadejda Sigal and Anat A. Herskovits (2020), 

Cell Reports

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Coordination of cohabiting phage elements supports bacteria-phage cooperation

Tal Argov-Shai Ran Sapir, Anna Pasechnek, Gil Azulay, Olga Stadnyuk, Lev Rabinovich, Nadejda Sigal, Ilya Borovok and Anat A. Herskovits (2019), Nature Communications

Controlled branched-chain amino acids auxotrophy in Listeria monocytogenes allows isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector. 

Moran Brenner, Lior Lobel, Ilya Borovok, Nadejda Sigal, Anat A Herskovits (2018), PLoS Genetics

Temperate bacteriophages as regulators of host behavior

Tal Argov, Gil Azulay, Anna Pasechnek, Olga stadnyuk, Shai Ran-Sapir, Ilya Borovok, Nadejda Sigal and Anat A Heskovits (2017) ,Current Opinion in Microbiology

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Prof. Anat A.Herskovits

Principal investigator

Dr. Ilya Borovok

Senior lecturer

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Dr. Nadejda Sigal

Research associate


Keren Tzohar
PhD Student


Shoham Berman
MSc Student

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Eran Antokolitz
MSc Student

Yogev Adler
PhD Student

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Michal Yacobovitz
MSc Student


Prof. Anat A. Herskovits

School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology.

George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences
Green building, room 107
Tel Aviv University
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

Tel.: +972-3-640-7502
Fax: +972-3-640-7504

Laboratory rooms and phone numbers:


Room 106: Main research lab, 03-6407505

Room 104: Research lab

Room 111: Research lab

Rooms: 101, 105 and 110 are equipment rooms.

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