Yoel Benarroch

Mentor: Dr. Edward Chan
College of Dentistry
"It all started out of curiosity. My grandfather was a scientist, and I find science intriguing. So I thought I might as well give research a chance to see if it is right for me. I first met and visited Dr. Chan's lab at the end of my freshman year. The research being conducted at this lab captured my attention. After discussing available projects with Dr. Chan, I decided to spend the entire summer working on oral cancer and microRNA under my post-doc research mentor, Hyun Min Jung."


Microbiology and Cell Science



Research Interests

  • microRNA
  • Neurobiology
  • Cell Science

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Dean's List
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Scholarship
  • Presidential Service Award


  • Honors Program
  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Men's Club Volleyball


  • Sidney Lanier Fitness and Research Program
  • UF Women's Volleyball
  • UF Chabad

Hobbies and Interests

  • Snowboarding
  • Beach Volleyball/Volleyball
  • Kurt Vonnegut Sci-Fi
  • Camping

Research Description

Methylation Status of Tumor Suppressor miR-375 Gene in Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a disease detrimental to the lives of many patients who suffer from its ramifications, death being a frequent one. An important area of focus in cancer research quickly gaining attention is the role of microRNA (miRNA) in tumorigenesis. Studies show that some miRNA target important oncogenes, significantly regulating biological processes overbearing cancer such as cell proliferation and apoptosis. MiRNA-375 is the most under expressed miRNA in oral cancer. Chemotherapeutic drug treatment on certain oral cancer cell lines induces miR-375 expression. Our goal is to determine whether methylation of certain key transcription factors is the underlying epigenetic mechanism for this cellular process.