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Computational Microbiology

Dr. Itai Sharon

Contact Dr. Itai Sharon

Dr. Sharon's research focuses on the study of microbial communities using computational tools. As part of his research he develops tools for assembly, binning and analysis of metagenomics and other omics data. These and other tools are then applied to real world problems across multiple environments such as the human body, ocean, sediment and more. Dr. Sharon's scientific interests include phage-host interactions in microbial communities, strain variation, characterization of previously unknown microbes and more.



PhD Computer Science. Dissertation title: Computational methods for metagenomic analysisTechnion – Israel Institute of Technology.

MSc Computer Science. Research focus: similarity detection for low complexity and remotely related proteins, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

BSc Computer Science,Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

 Academic positions

2015 – present MIGAL – Galilee Research Institute, Principle Investigator. Research focuses on the development of computational and other tools for microbial ecology.
2015 – present Tel-Hai College, Senior Lecturer. Teaches basic and advanced courses at the Computer Science Department.
2010 – 2015 University of California, Berkeley, Postdoctoral Researcher. Research focus: dynamics and structure of microbial communities across different environments.
04 – 08/2010 Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Short postdoc. Research focus: analysis of next generation sequencing.

For complete list of publication check Dr. Sharon's Google scholar page

Selected Publications

Unusual biology across a group comprising more than 15% of domain Bacteria

Nature 2015 Brown, C.T., Hug, L.A., Thomas, B.C., Sharon, I., Castelle, C.J., Singh, A., Wilkins, M.J., Wrighton, K.C., Williams, K.H. and Banfield, J.F. Read online

Accurate, multi-kb reads resolve complex populations and detect rare microorganisms

Genome Res 2015 Volume 25 Pages 534-543 Sharon, I., Kertesz, M., Hug, L.A., Pushkarev, D., Blauwkamp, T.A., Castelle, C.J., Amirebrahimi, M., Thomas, B.C., Burstein, D., Tringe, S.G., Williams, K.H., Banfield, J.F. Read online

Perspective: Genomes from metagenomics

Science 2013 Volume 342 Issue 6162 Pages 1057-1058 Sharon, I., Banfield, J.F. Read online

The human gut and groundwater harbor non-photosynthetic bacteria belonging to a new candidate phylum sibling to Cyanobacteria

eLife 2013 Volume 2 Pages e01102 Di Rienzi, S.C.*, Sharon, I.*, Wrighton, K.C., Koren, O., Hug, L.A., Thomas, B.C., Goodrich, J.K., Bell, J.T., Spector, T.D., Banfield, J.F., Ley, R.E. Read online

Time series community genomics analysis reveals rapid shifts in bacterial species, strains, and phage during infant gut colonization

Genome Res 2013 Volume 23 Issue 1 Pages 111-120 Sharon, I., Morowitz, M.J., Thomas, B.C., Costello, E.K., Relman, D.A., Banfield, J.F Read online

Fermentation, Hydrogen and Sulfur Metabolism in Multiple Uncultivated Bacterial Phyla

Science 2012 Volume 337 Issue 6102 Pages 1661-1665 Wrighton, K.C., Thomas, B.C., Sharon, I., Miller, C.S., Castelle, C.J., VerBerkmoes, N.C., Wilkins, M.J., Hettich, R.J., Lipton, M.S., Williams, K.H., Long, P.E., Banfield, J.F Read online

Genomic island variability facilitates Prochlorococcus-virus coexistence

Nature 2011 Volume 474 Pages 604-608 Avrani, S., Wurtzel, O., Sharon, I., Sorek, R., Lindell, D Read online

Comparative metagenomics of microbial traits within oceanic viral communities

ISME J 2011 Volume 5 Issue 7 Pages 1178-1190 Sharon, I., Battchikova, N., Aro, E.-M., Giglione, C., Meinnel, T., Glaser, F., Pinter, R.Y., Breitbart, M., Rohwer, F., Béjà, O Read online

Photosystem I gene cassettes are present in marine virus genomes

Nature 2009 Volume 461 Pages 258-262 Sharon I., Alperovitch A., Rohwer F., Haynes M., Glaser F., Atamna-Ismaeel N., Pinter R.Y., Partensky F., Koonin E.V., Wolf Y.I., Nelson N., Béjà O. Read online

A statistical framework for the functional analysis of metagenomes

Computational Molecular Biology Proceedings of 13th Annual International Conference on Research in (RECOMB), LNCS 2009 Volume 5541 Pages 496-511 Sharon, I., Pati, A., Markowitz, V.M., Pinter, R.Y. Read online

Viral photosynthetic reaction center genes and transcripts in the marine environment

ISME J 2007 Volume 1 Issue 6 Pages 492-501 Sharon, I.*, Tzahor, S.*, Williamson, S.*, Shmoish, M., Man-Aharonovich, D., Rusch, D.B., Yooseph, S., Zeidner, G., Golden, S.S., Mackey, S.R., Adir, N., Weingart, U., Horn, D., Venter, J.C., Mandel-Gutfreund, Y., Béjà, O. Read online


Post-graduate and post-doctoral research training


Laboratories and research projects


Business opportunities and technology transfer