Dr. Nitzan Shabek, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
College of Biological Sciences
Plant Biology Department
Postdoctoral Fellow – HHMI, University of Washington
PhD – Technion- Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Nitzan Shabek is a Tenure Track Professor and a Principal Investigator at the University of California, Davis. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of OerthBio LLC (an agricultural biotech company and a joint venture between Bayer and Arvinas).
Before joining UC Davis, Dr. Shabek was an HHMI postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he worked with Dr. Ning Zheng on elucidating how target proteins can be recognized by ubiquitin ligase enzymes. Using various biochemical and cellular approaches together with X-ray crystallography, Dr. Shabek studied the regulation, composition, and structure of specific biosensor protein complex in plant hormone signalling. Prior to that, he obtained his PhD in Biochemistry at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology with the mentorship of Dr. Aaron Ciechanover (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry). His PhD research focused on understanding the mechanistic regulation of cellular ubiquitin pools and protein recognition and degradation by 26S proteasome. Dr. Shabek also studied the yeast’s DNA endonuclease proteolytic regulation by ubiquitin-like proteins, and obtained his M.Sc. in Molecular Genetics from the Ben-Gurion University in Israel.
Dr. Shabek’s research experience spans both theoretical and applied work, in the areas of structural biology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology (in bacteria, yeasts, insects, plants and mammalian cells). He is broadly interested in how certain signals are perceived, transduced and regulated in cells, and how biological pathways are controlled by proteolytic systems. His research goal is to envision these biological pathways from atomic to organismal level and address pathophysiological challenges through bioengineering.
As a faculty member at UC Davis College of Biological Sciences (CBS), Prof. Shabek has been teaching Biochemistry classes in the College of Biological Sciences (undergraduate upper-division: BIS102 and MCB120L; and graduate students discussions PLB290 and BCB215) as well as developing new educational approaches using Virtual Reality. Furthermore, Dr. Shabek serves as an Academic Advisor at UC Davis Graduate Group Program (PBGG) and is an active faculty member at the PBGG, IGG, and BMCDB graduate groups, as well as at the DEB (Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology) program, the CTP (UCD Cancer Therapeutic Program), the NIH MCB T32 Trainer, and serves as CBP (Chemical Biology Program) mentor. Other academic mentorships and training roles including participation in Young Scholar Program (high school students) and GSoC (Graduate Students of Color).
In his spare time, he loves spending time with his family, hiking, biking, cooking and shredding on his electric guitars.