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Natalia Ivanova

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Associate Professor
Ph.D (1996) Engelhardt Institute for Molecular Biology, Moscow (Russia)

Dr. Ivanova grew up in Russia and received a Masters’ degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology. She completed her PhD in Biology at the Engelhardt Institute for Molecular Biology (Russia), where she developed a new way to identify differentially-expressed transcripts. She then joined Dr. Ihor Lemischka’ lab at Princeton University where she was among the first to apply systematic transcriptional profiling to compare molecular signatures of embryonic and adult stem cells. Following up on those studies, she utilized shRNA-based loss-of-function techniques to identify new regulatory factors that controls self-renewal in mouse embryonic stem cells.  She became an Assistant Professor at Yale University in 2008 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. 

In August 2019 Dr. Ivanova was recruited to the Center of Molecular Medicine and the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia. Her laboratory is interested in deciphering the gene regulatory networks that control specification of cell lineages throughout human development.  We use advanced molecular tools and human embryonic stem cell cultures to identify and study transcription and epigenetic factors that play critical roles in self-renewal, differentiation and reprogramming of human pluripotent cells.  With this basic knowledge at hand, we hope to develop new ways to differentiate and reprogram cells, better understand and treat genetic diseases and reset cellular ageing.

Grant Support

  • Molecular control of pluripotency in human ES cells, NIGMS,  05/01/14-08/31/23
  • Deciphering genetic and epigenetic regulatory logic of germ layer differentiation with manifold learning, NIGMS, 08/01/19-04/30/24
  • Derivation and characterization of induced trophoblast stem cells, NICHD, 08/01/19-04/30/21


Research Interests:

Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms regulating preimplantation development, pluripotency, differentiation and cellular reprogramming in humans

Selected Publications:

1.   Moon K, van Dijk D, Wang Z, Chen W, Hirn M, Coifman R, Ivanova N#*, Wolf G*, Krishnaswamy S.  PHATE: Visualizing Trajectory Structures in High-Dimensional Biological Data. *Equal senior contributors, #Corresponding author for experiments, Nature Biotechnology-in press.

2. Wang Z, Zhang Y, Lee YW, Ivanova NB. Combining CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout with genetic complementation for in-depth mechanistic studies in human ES cells. Biotechniques. 2019; vol. 66, no. 1;

3.   Hernandez C, Wang Z, Ramazanov B, Tang Y, Mehta S, Dambrot C, Lee YW, Tessema K, Kumar I, Astudillo M, Neubert T, Guo S and Ivanova NB. Chromatin-associated factors Dppa2 and Dppa4 guide epigenetic remodeling during reprogramming to pluripotency.  Cell Stem Cell. 2018; 23 (3), 396–411.

4.  Wang Z., Gearhart MD, Lee YW, Kumar I, Ramazanov B, Zhang Y, Hernandez C, Lu AY, Neuenkirchen N, Deng J, Jin J, Kluger Y, Neubert TA, Bardwell VJ, Ivanova NB. BCOR, a component of the non-canonical Polycomb Repressive Complex PRC1.1, is required to repress critical developmental genes in human ESCs.  Cell Stem Cell, 2018;22(2):235-51.

5.   Kumar I, Ivanova N.  Moving Toward the Ground State.  Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Oct 1; 17(4): 375-6.

6.   Stem cell epigenetics: looking forward. SA Benitah, A Bracken, Y Dou, D Huangfu, N Ivanova, H Koseki, et al. Cell Stem Cell. 2014; 14 (6), 706-709.

7.   Zhang Y, Schulz V, Reed B, Wang Z, Pan X, Mariani J, Euskirchen G, Snyder M, Vaccarino F, Ivanova N, Weissman S, Szekely A.  Functional genomic screen of human stem cell differentiation reveals pathways involved in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. PNAS. 2013; 110(30):12361-6.

8.   Oron EIvanova N.  Cell fate regulation in early mammalian development. Physical Biology. 2012 Aug; 9(4):045002. * This paper was highlighted among the 10 best articles in Physical Biology of 2012.

9.   Kloc AIvanova N.  Chromatin and Pluripotency: the MYSTerious Connection. Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Aug 3; 11(2):139-40.

10. Wang Z., Oron E., Nelson B., Razis S., Ivanova N. Distinct lineage specification roles for NANOG, OCT4 and SOX2 in human embryonic stem cells.  Cell Stem Cells 2012 10: 440-454. * This paper was highlighted among the 10 best Cell Stem Cell articles of 2012.

11. Ivanova N, Dobrin R, Lu R, Kotenko I, Levorse J, DeCoste C, Schafer X, Lun Y, Lemischka IR. Dissecting self-renewal in stem cells with RNA interference. Nature 2006 Aug 3; 442: 533-8.

12. De Haan G, Bystrykh L, Weersing E, Dontje B, Geiger H, Ivanova N, Lemischka I, Vellenga E, Van Zant G. A genetic and genomic analysis identifies a cluster of genes associated with hematopoietic turnover. Blood 2002, 100(6): 2056-2062

13. Ivanova N, Dimos J, Schaniel C, Hackney J, Moore K, Lemischka I. A Stem Cell Molecular Signature. Science 2002 298: 601-604

14. Phillips R, Ernst R, Brunk B, Ivanova N, Moore K, Overton G and Lemischka I. The Genetic Program of Hematopoietic Stem Cells.  Science. 2000 Jun 2;288(5471):1635-40.

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