Levi

Sagi Levi

Education/ Resume:

2020  – present     Assistant Professor, the Faculty of Biology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

2012  – 2020  Postdoctoral training, Bargmann laboratory of neural circuits and behavior, the Rockefeller University.

2010  – 2012  Postdoctoral training, Barkai laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science.

2005  – 2010 Ph.D. in Physics (Biological Physics track), Barkai laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science.

2002 – 2005 M.Sc. in Physics (Biological Physics track), Barkai laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science.

1999 – 2002     B.Sc. in Physics (Challenge Excellence Program), Hebrew University.

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Research Summary

A key aspiration of brain research is to understand the mechanisms allowing animals to translate environmental cues into distinct behavioral decisions. How does the underlying neuronal network sense the environment, and how does it process information and compute which behaviors to perform? How are neuronal networks modulated by context and experience, and how does it impact sensation and decision making? In our research group, we study the computational, physiological and molecular mechanisms of neuronal networks that drive decision making.

To study these questions, we utilize the power of C. elegans as a model organism and an interdisciplinary approach, combining mathematical modeling, systems biology methodologies, genetics and cutting-edge experimental tools. We use variety of microfluidic devices to study behavior and neuronal activity in animals that freely navigate in controlled environments, and we use chemo- and opto- genetics to analyze animal responses to neuronal perturbations.

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Awards and Fellowships:

2013 – 2016  Human Frontier Science Project (HFSP) postdoctoral fellowship.

2012 Menashe Milo prize, awarded for PhD research by the Feinberg Graduate School at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

2006 Lee A. Segal prize in theoretical biology, awarded for MSc research by the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Key Publications
  • Levy S. and Bargmann C. I., An adaptive-threshold mechanism for odor sensation and animal navigation. Neuron, 105(3): 534-548.e13.
  • Jang H., Levy S., Flavell S. W., Mende F., Latham R., Zimmer M. and Bargmann C.I. Dissection of neuronal gap junction circuits that regulate social behavior in C. elegans. PNAS, 114(7): E1263–E1272.
  • Gordus A., Pokala N., Levy S., Flavell S. W., and Bargmann C. I., Feedback from network states generates variability in a probabilistic olfactory circuit. Cell, 2015. 161(2): 215-227.
  • Levy S., Kafri M., Carmi M., and Barkai N., The competitive advantage of a dual-transporter system. Science, 2011. 334(6061): 1408-1412.
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Recent Publications
  • Levy S. and Bargmann C. I., An adaptive-threshold mechanism for odor sensation and animal navigation. Neuron, 105(3): 534-548.e13.
  • Serrano-Saiz E., Vogt M. C., Levy, Wang Y., Kaczmarczyk K. K., Mei X., Bay G., Singson A., Grant B. D. and Hobert O., Diverse SLC17A6/7/8 vesicular glutamate transporter homologs in nematodes. Genetics, 2020. 214(1): 163-178.
  • Jang H., Levy S., Flavell S. W., Mende F., Latham R., Zimmer M. and Bargmann C.I. Dissection of neuronal gap junction circuits that regulate social behavior in C. elegans. PNAS, 114(7): E1263–E1272.
  • Gordus A., Pokala N., Levy S., Flavell S. W., and Bargmann C. I., Feedback from network states generates variability in a probabilistic olfactory circuit. Cell, 2015. 161(2): 215-227.
  • Vardi N., Levy S., Gurvich Y., Polacheck T. et al., Sequential feedback induction stabilizes the phosphate starvation response in budding yeast. Cell Reports, 2014. 9(3): 1122-1134.
  • Vardi N., Levy S., Assaf M., Carmi M., and Barkai N., Budding yeast escape commitment to the phosphate starvation program using gene expression noise. Current Biology, 2013. 23(20): 2051-2057.
  • Levy S., Kafri M., Carmi M., and Barkai N., The competitive advantage of a dual-transporter system. Science, 2011. 334(6061): 1408-1412.
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Open Positions

Positions are available for motivated M.Sc and Ph.D. graduate students with a Biology, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or Chemistry backgrounds.

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