Avishag Mytlis 2023-2024

Institution of PhD:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Academic Discipline of PhD:
Faculty of Medicine
PhD Advisor/s:
Dr. Yaniv Elkouby, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dissertation Topic:
Cilia Mechanisms in Egg and Sperm Development

Avishag, born in 1993, grew up in Yehud and now resides in Jerusalem with her partner, Sahar, and their cats. Inspired by her father, who was a biology teacher, Avishag pursued a BSc in life sciences at the Hebrew University. During her studies she worked as an instructor at PICO Kids, a Jerusalem-based organization that uses technological hands-on learning to nurture children to be problem-solvers. She was also a mentor at QueenB, a feminist nonprofit organization promoting girls learning coding and tech. Captivated by the fascinating research taking place in Dr. Yaniv Elkouby’s lab and its potential for advancing women’s health and well-being, Avishag started her M.Sc. research there. She was awarded the Reem-Kayden Scholarship for outstanding women graduate students in science.

Avishag is a direct-track PhD candidate in biomedical sciences at the Hebrew University, under the supervision of Dr. Elkouby. Her research focuses on meiosis and gametogenesis in zebrafish. Together with her lab-mates, she uncovered an unknown organelle, a cilium, that is essential for oogenesis and female fertility. The cilium is conserved in male meiosis as well as in mouse oocytes and spermatocytes. Currently, Avishag is investigating the action mechanisms of the newly identified cilium in the hope of finding new solutions for human infertility.