Dr. Amir Sapir


In my laboratory and research group, we focus on four fundamental topics in biology:1) We study the role of mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse, in cellular and organismal metabolism and aging. 2) We investigate the beneficial and adverse effects of statins, a group of cholesterol-lowering agents that are among the best-selling medications in history. 3) We study the plasticity of metabolic networks with specific emphasis on cholesterol and other sterols synthesis pathways in the evolution of eukaryotes. 4) We explore the metabolism of animals that live in extreme habitats such as anoxic, hypersaline, or arsenic-rich environments.

Academic Background

B.Sc. Biology, The Hebrew University

M.Sc. Biology, The Weizmann Institute

Ph.D. Biology, The Weizmann Institute

Selected Publications

Sapir, A., Choi, J., Leikina, E., Avinoam, O., Valansi, C., Chernomordik, L.V., Newman, A.P., Podbilewicz, B. (2007). AFF-1, a FOS-1-regulated fusogen, mediates fusion of the anchor cell in C. elegans. Developmental Cell 12:683-698.

Sapir, A., Avinoam, O., Podbilewicz, B., Chernomordik, L.V. (2008). Viral and developmental cell fusion mechanisms: conservation and divergence. Developmental Cell 14:11-21.

Sapir, A., Dillman, A.R., Connon, S.A., Grupe, B.M., Ingels, J., Mundo-Ocampo, M., Levin, L.A., Baldwin, J.G., Orphan, V.J., Sternberg, P.W. (2014). Microsporidia-nematode associations in methane seeps reveal basal fungal parasitism in the deep sea. Frontiers in Microbiology 5:43.

Sapir, A., Tsur, A., Koorman, T., Ching, K., Mishra, P., Bardenheier, A., Podolsky, L., Bening-Abu-Shach, U., Boxem, M., Chou, T.F., Broday, L., Sternberg, P.W. (2014). Controlled sumoylation of the mevalonate pathway enzyme HMGS-1 regulates metabolism during aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111:E3880-3889.

Oks, O., Lewin, S., Langier Goncalves, I., Sapir A. (2018). The UPRmt protects Caenorhabditis elegans from mitochondrial dysfunction by upregulating specific enzymes of the mevalonate pathway. Genetics 209:457-473. 

Shih, P-Y., Lee, JS., Shinya, R., Kanzaki, N., Pires-daSilva, A., Badroos, JM., Goetz, E., Sapir, A., Sternberg, PW. (2019). Newly Identified Nematodes from Mono Lake Exhibit Extreme Arsenic Resistance. Current Biology 29:3339-3344.e426.


Introduction to Endocrinology, Embryology, Developmental Biology, The Biology of Aging

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