Nitzan Aframian 2022-2023

Institution of PhD:
Tel Aviv University
Academic Discipline of PhD:
Life Sciences
PhD Advisor/s:
Prof. Avigdor Eldar
Dissertation Topic:
Communication and Cooperation in the Bacteriophage Arms Race

Nitzan grew up in Jerusalem and now lives in Tel Aviv with his partner Aya and their baby boy, Tamuz. After completing five years of military service as an intelligence officer, he commenced undergraduate studies in the research program for outstanding students in the Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University and continued to MSc and PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Avigdor Eldar, exploring interactions between bacteria and the viruses that infect them.

Nitzan’s research focuses on cooperation and communication within the ancient and ongoing war between these two simple biological entities. Together with his lab-mates, he discovered that some viruses communicate from their dormant state to control their reactivation. Moving to the bacterial perspective, Nitzan is currently studying the ways in which bacteria defend themselves from viral infection. Intriguingly, bacterial defense strategies seem to involve cooperation and even altruistic self-sacrifice. Through the exploration of this relatively simple model system, he hopes to uncover general principles of communication and cooperation, and the genetics of an evolutionary arms race.