Prof. Gil Segal

Molecular Cell Biology and Bio
ביולוגיה מולקולרית של התא ולב סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Gil Segal
Phone: 03-6405287
Fax: 03-6422046
Office: Britannia-Porter, 417


Prof. Gil Segal holds a BSc and a PhD from the Tel Aviv University and completed a three-year post-doctoralstudy in Microbial Pathogenesis at the Columbia University in New-York. He joined the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology at the Tel Aviv University on 1999 as an Alon fellow. In his laboratory at Tel Aviv he investigates the virulence determinants of Legionella pneumophila, and Coxiella burnetii. His lab focuses on the genetics, genomics and cell biology of these bacteria and their interaction with their human and amoeba hosts.






1996-1999 Post-doctoral Fellow; Microbial Pathogenesis, Columbia University  
1996 Ph.D.; Microbiology, Tel Aviv University  
1989 B.Sc.; Biology, Tel Aviv University  


Academic Appointments:


2014-2017 Chairman; Department Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel-Aviv University  
2014-present Full Professor; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University  
2007-2014 Associate Professor; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University  
2003-2007 Secior Lecturer; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University  
1999-2003 Lecturer; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University  


Honors and Awards:


2019-present Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology  
2016-present Editorial Board Member, Infection and Immunity  
1999-2002 Alon Fellowship for outstanding young researchers, awarded by the Israeli Ministry of Education  
1998-1999 Stephen Morse Fellowship for Post Doctoral studies  
1996-1998 EMBO Fellowship for Post Doctoral studies  
1993-1995 The Clore Scholarship for Academic Excellence for Ph.D. students  
1992 The Michael Landau Award for research in microbiology  


Research Interests

Our lab is focused on understanding the interactions between the human bacterial pathogens Legionella pneumophila the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease and Coxiella burnetii the causative agent of Q-fever and their host cells. We explore strategies by which these pathogens infect, manipulate host cellular pathways and multiply within mammalian cells. We combine genomic, genetic and biochemical approaches to decipher the pathogenesis mechanisms of these bacteria. We wish to understand the molecular mechanisms by which the pathogenesis systems of these bacteria function, the ways in which they are regulated and the evolutionary events that influence their development.


The projects in the lab focus on different aspects of pathogen-host interactions. Current project include, among others, the identification of host cell processes modulated by bacterial pathogenesis determinants; uncovering the regulatory network that controls the expression of pathogenesis related genes; applying functional genomics to decipher the Legionella and Coxiella pathogenesis determinants and investigating the contribution of host-pathogen lateral gene transfer in the evolution of pathogenesis systems.


Please read for a more detailed research description.

Recent Publications

For the full list.


Since 2009:


Rasis, M., and G. Segal. 2009. The LetA-RsmYZ-CsrA regulatory cascade, together with RpoS and PmrA, post-transcriptionally regulates stationary phase activation of Legionella pneumophila Icm/Dot effectors. Mol. Microbiol. 72:995-1010. 


Degtyar, E., T. Zusman, M. Ehrlich and G. Segal. 2009. A Legionella effector acquired from protozoa is involved in sphingolipids metabolism and is targeted to the host cell mitochondria. Cell. Microbiol. 11:1219-1235. 


Burstein, D., T. Zusman, E. Degtyar, R. Viner, G. Segal and T. Pupko. 2009. Genome-scale identification of Legionella pneumophila effectors using a machine learning approach. PLoS Pathog. 5(7): e1000508. 


Hurtado-Guerrero, R., T. Zusman, S. Pathak, A. F. M. Ibrahim, S. Shepherd, A. Prescott, G. Segal and D. M. F. van Aalten.2010. Molecular mechanism of elongation factor 1A inhibition by a Legionella pneumophila glycosyltransferase. Biochem. J.426(3):281-292. 


Rubinstein, D. N., D. Zeevi, Y. Oren, G. Segal, and T. Pupko. 2011. The operonic Location of auto-transcriptional repressors is highly conserved in bacteria. Mol. Biol. Evol. 28:3309-3318. 


Viner, R., D. Chetrit, M. Ehrlich and G. Segal. 2012. Identification of two Legionella pneumophila effectors that manipulate host phospholipids biosynthesis. PLoS Pathog. 8(11):e1002988.  


Lifshitz, Z., D. Burstein, M. Peeri, T. Zusman, K. Schwartz, H. A. Shuman, T. Pupko, and G. Segal. 2013. Computational modeling and experimental validation of the Legionella and Coxiella virulence-related Type-IVB secretion signal. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 110(8): E707-E715. 


Segal, G. Identification of Legionella effectors using bioinformatic approaches. Legionella: Methods and Protocols, ed.: C. Buchrieser and H. Hilbi. New York, Springer Science & Business Media, Humana Press, 2013, pp. 595-602.


Nevo, O., T. Zusman, M. Rasis, Z. Lifshitz and G. Segal. 2014. Identification of Legionella pneumophila effectors regulated by the LetAS-RsmYZ-CsrA regulatory cascade, many of which modulate vesicular trafficking. J. Bacteriol. 196:681-692. 


Lifshitz, Z., D. Burstein, K. Schwartz, H. A. Shuman, T. Pupko, and G. Segal. 2014. Identification of novel Coxiella burnetii Icm/Dot effectors and genetic analysis of their involvement in modulating a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Infect. Immun. 82:3740-3752. 


Zusman, T., Y. Speiser and G. Segal. 2014. Two Fis regulators directly repress the expression of numerous effector-encoding genes in Legionella pneumophila. J. Bacteriol.196:4172-4183.


Feldheim S. Y., T. Zusman, Y. Speiser and G. Segal. 2016. The Legionella pneumophila CpxRA two-component regulatory system - new insights into CpxR’s function as a dual regulator and its connection to the effectors regulatory network. Mol. Microbiol. 99:1059-1079.


Burstein D., F. Amaro, T. Zusman, Z. Lifshitz, O. Chen, T. Pupko, HA. Shuman and G. Segal. 2016. Genomic analysis of 38 Legionella species identifies large and diverse effector repertoires. Nature Genetics. 48:167–175. Research Highlights in Nature Reviews Microbiology (2016) 14:133.

News and Views article in Nature Genetics (2016) 48:115-116.


Speiser Y., T. Zusman, A. Pasechnek and G. Segal. 2017. The Legionella pneumophila incomplete phosphotransferase system (PTS) is required for intracellular growth and maximal expression of PmrA regulated effector-encoding genes. Infect. Immun. 85:e00121-17.


Feldheim S. Y., Zusman T., Kapach A., Segal G. 2018. The single-domain response regulator LerC functions as a connector protein in the Legionella pneumophila effectors regulatory network. Mol. Microbiol. 110:741-760.


Nachmias N., T. Zusman, and G. Segal. 2019. Study of Legionella effector domains revealed novel and prevalent phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate binding domains. Infect. Immun.  87:e00153-19.


Linsky M., Y. Vitkin and G. Segal. 2020. A novel Legionella genomic island encodes a copper-responsive regulatory system and a single Icm/Dot effector protein transcriptionally activated by copper. mBIO 11:e03232-19.


Linsky M. and G. Segal. 2021, A horizontally acquired Legionella genomic island encoding a LuxR type regulator and effector proteins displays variation in gene content and regulation. Mol. Microbiol. 116:766-782.


Lab Members

Research associate

Dr. Tal Zusman


1990-1995            Post-Doc                Laboratory of Prof. I.P. Witz and Dr. M. Ran, Tel Aviv University

1985-1990            Ph.D.                      Laboratory of Prof. M. Mevarech, Tel Aviv University

1982-1984            M.Sc.                      Laboratory of Prof. E.Z. Ron, Tel Aviv University

1979-1982            B.Sc.                      Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


2000-current                                        Laboratory of Prof. G. Segal, Tel Aviv university

1998-2000                                           Laboratory of Prof. S. Wientroub, Tel Aviv university

1997-1998                                           Medis-El company, Tel Aviv university

1996-1997                                           Laboratory of Prof. E.Z. Ron, Tel Aviv university


PhD students

Naomi Shapira


2018-2019            M.Sc.                     Laboratory of Prof. G. Segal, Tel Aviv university  

2015-2018            B.Sc.                      Program in Medical and Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


Chen Adler


2007-2009            M.Sc.                     Laboratory of Prof. G. Segal, Tel Aviv university  

2004-2007            B.Sc.                      Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


2018-2021                                           The Volcani Center, Newe Ya'ar

2016-2018                                           The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Ben-Gurion University

2010-2014                                           The Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Rehovot


Bar Fogel


2019-2022            M.Sc.                     Laboratory of Prof. M. Ilan, Tel Aviv university    

2015-2018            B.Sc.                      Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


MSc students

Dar Hershkovitz


2016-2019            B.Sc.                      Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University





PhD students

Ohad Gal-Mor (2000-2003)

Michal Feldman (2003-2008)

Elena Degtyar (2004-2009)

Michal Rasis (2007-2011)

Ram Viner (2007-2012)

Ziv Lifshitz (2010-2014)

Yariv Speiser (2010-2015)

Oded Nevo (2012-2016)

Yaron Feldheim (2013-2018)

Michael Wexler (2014-2018)

Marika Linsky (2015-2021)


MSc students

Karen Pomeranz (2000-2002)

Michal Feldman (2001-2003)

Gal Yerushalmi (2002-2004)

Talia Kolberg (2002-2004)

Hani Kotzer (2003-2005)

Gali Aloni (2004-2006)

Shelly Hagag (2004-2006)

Tomer Bahar (2004-2006)

Millie Kaplan (2004-2007)

Michal Rasis (2005-2007)

Efrat Altman (2005-2007)

Chen Adler (2007-2009)

Ziv Lifshitz (2008-2010)

Yariv Speiser (2008-2010)

Einav Spector (2008-2010)

Oded Nevo (2010-2012)

Chen Moshe (2010-2012

Yaron Feldheim (2011-2013)

Anna Pasechnek 2011-2013

Shelly Katz (2011-2013)

Michael Wexler (2012-2014)

Anya Kapach (2013-2015)

Jennia Vitkin (2015-2017)

Daniel Tchelet (2016-2018)

Nimrod Nachmias (2016-2018)

Naomi Shapira (2018-2019)

Natalya Boufan (2018-2020)

Miranda Geva (2018-2020)

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