Alex Tsankov, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Icahn Building, 14-20B (office)

Postdoc, Broad Institute and Harvard University

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering
B.A., Plan II Honors Program
University of Texas at Austin
Message to Future Trainees
I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to the States with my family when I was 11. I studied electrical and computer engineering in college and applied for Ph.D. programs fully intending to do research in wireless communication. Life took a detour and my first exploration into biology began as a masters student at MIT, where I applied information and network theory to study interactions between groups of transcriptional regulators in yeast.
     As a Ph.D. student in Aviv Regev's and Oliver Rando's lab, I became fascinated with understanding the regulatory rules guiding the evolution of transcription factor binding sites and nucleosome positioning. During my postdoc, I expanded my experimental skill set as a member of Alex Meissner's lab at the Broad Institute and Harvard University, studying transcription factor and epigenetics regulation during early cellular specialization of human embryonic stem cells. My cross-training in computational biology, genomics, single cell technologies, gene regulation, and epigenetics will guide our lab's mission to use both computational and experimental methods to uncover the regulatory mechanisms underlying human health, lung cancer, and respiratory disease.
I wanted to share my thoughts on mentorship for anyone who may be interested in joining my lab. As a graduate student I had the privilege of being advised by Aviv Regev and Ollie Rando, two incredible scientists who also genuinely cared about my development as a person. From them I learned to love the intellectual pursuit of research and that science is not a sprint but a marathon.
     I aim to recreate that same culture in my lab, where we work as a team in exciting and impactful research. Even when challenges arise, we will communicate honestly and work together to overcome them and enjoy the process. As Buddha said, “There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.” I expect dedication and hard work from you but in return you will gain my loyalty for you as a person and for your professional goals. If this type of environment is what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to contact me about possible research projects.