Judith Berman

Professor Judith Berman heads a research laboratory in the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University since October 2012  and was previously Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota.  Judith received her B.Sc. degree in Plant Pathology at Cornell University and her Ph.D. degree in the field of Biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science. As a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University she identified the first telomere binding protein, Rap1, in budding yeast. Her lab uses genetics, genomics, cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology and experimental evolution approaches to study the mechanisms underlying the rapid appearance of phenotypes such as drug resistance in Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen. Judith’s lab discovered that segmental and whole chromosome aneuploidies are highly associated with drug resistance and that shifts in whole genome ploidy occur in vitro, in mammalian model systems as well as in clinical isolates. Her lab focuses on how these changes in whole genome and individual chromosome ploidy arise, how they confer selective advantage to cells that contain them, and how to avoid their appearance in order to reduce the prevalence of antifungal drug resistance.