Ronit Satchi-Fainaro

Research topic:

Our research focuses on the brain microenvironment in which a primary or a secondary tumor arises, and the critical influence that recruited non-cancerous stromal cells, such as astrocytes, microglia, neurons, endothelial and immune cells, can have on brain tumor progression, metastasis and response to therapy.

Research  methods:

We employ a range of multi-disciplinary complementary strategies to address our questions including the establishment of new mouse models of human and murine cancers, 3D bioprinting, computational approaches, and analysis of patient samples in collaboration with our clinical colleagues. Our ultimate goal is to apply this knowledge to the clinic by developing targeted therapies that disrupt essential tumor-microenvironment interactions using nanotechnology, polymer chemistry, and smart Turn-ON probes for intravital non-invasive molecular imaging.

Projects in the lab include:

  1. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in glioblastoma – brain          microenvironment interactions.
  2. Uncovering the role of astrocytes-mediated neuroinflammation in the establishment of melanoma brain metastasis.
  3. Unraveling the role of microglia in primary and secondary brain neoplasms.
  4. Identifying the mechanisms by which cells in the brain microenvironment regulate invasion and metastatic colonization of melanoma, breast and lung cancer.
  5. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the contribution of the brain microenvironment to therapeutic resistance.
  6. Rational design of precision theranostic nanomedicines for brain neoplasms.

 

Ben Maoz

Research topic:  

  • Cellular interaction in the Neurovascular Unit.
  • Traumatic Brain injury.

Research  methods:

  • Organs-on-a-chip
  • Omics methods, such as proteomics, metabolomics, etc.
  • Electrophysiology.

Projects in the lab include:

  • Studying how traumatic brain injury effect the neurovascular unit.
  • Development of new tools for the study of brain physiology (e.g. Organs on a chip for the study of the neurovascular unit). 

 

 

Achiron Anat

Research topics:

  • Gene expression studies in multiple sclerosis
  • Assessment of brain MRI disease burden using innovative computerized methods
  • Cognitive aspects in autoimmune diseases
  • Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis using big data analyses

Research  methods:

  • Gene expression, Elisa, PCR
  • T cell subpopulation, FACS
  • Statistical analyses of big data
  • Analysis of cortical thickness and brain volume

Projects in the lab include:

  • Classifier for biomarkers to diagnose white matter diseases
  • Assessment of molecular markers in acute multiple sclerosis relapse
  • Prediction of multiple sclerosis disease outcome using gene expression
  • Childhood multiple sclerosis

Joint projects with other Faculty members in the Sagol School of Neuroscience:

  • Prof Yaniv Assaf – MRI research in multiple sclerosis using innovative techniques to measure axon diameter

Barak Boaz

Research topic:

  • Neurobiology of genetic neurodevelopmental disorders such as Williams syndrome and autism spectrum disorders.
  • Dissecting neural circuits and brain regions’ roles in anxiety-like and social behavior.
  • Therapeutic approaches to improve behavioral abnormalities in mouse models for psychiatric disorders.

Research  methods:

  • Molecular and cellular biology
  • In vivo optogenetics and pharmacogenetics
  • Behavioral tests
  • Stereotaxic surgical techniques for gene delivery
  • Nucleic acid methods
  • Transgenic and conditional knockout mouse models
  • Histology and microscopy
  • In vitro cell-based assays

Projects in the lab include:

  • In vivo optogenetic manipulation of social behavior abnormalities in mouse models for psychiatric disorders
  • Gene-rescue treatments to restore behavior and physiology in mouse models for psychiatric disorders
  • Defining the postnatal developmental and functional roles of genes in mouse models for psychiatric disorders
  • Pharmacological and pharmacogenetical studies to treat psychiatric disorders
  • Neuron-glia interactions and their role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders
  • Production and characterization of novel mouse models for genetic neuropsychiatric disorders

Rubinstein Moran

Research topic: Decipher the neuronal and molecular basis for epilepsy and autism.

Research methods: Electrophysiology, Mouse models, Acute brain slices, EEG, Behavioral experiments.

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. Understand the relationship between seizures and cognitive impairment in Dravet Syndrome.
  2. Explore functional interactions between different voltage gated sodium channels and compensatory mechanisms in Dravet Syndrome.
  3. Unveiling the neuronal and network basis for visual system dysfunction in Dravet Syndrome

Ast Gil

Research topic:

  • Familial Dysautonomia (FD) is a neurodegenerative disease
  • Developing new drugs to treat FD

Research  methods:

  • Generating transgenic mouse for FD
  • Drug development
  • Molecular pathways leading to neuro-degeneration

Projects in the lab include:

  • How PS (and other drugs) resulted in recovery of axonal outgrowth and enhanced retrograde axonal transport
  • Developing novel methods to deliver drugs to the brain
  • Identify the molecular pathway that leads to neurodegeneration in FD

Joint projects with other Faculty members in the Sagol School of Neuroscience:

  • Prof. Eran Perlson

Dvir Tal

Research topic:

  • Tissue engineering.
  • Drug delivery.
  • Cell therapy.

Projects in the lab include:

  • Engineering 3D neuronal networks
  • Engineering spinal cord implants.
  • Biomaterials for brain regeneration
  • Bioelectronics-integrated engineered tissues.

Rotenstreich Ygal

Research topic:

  • The eye as a window to the brain – using retinal structure and function measurements as novel early and objective biomarkers for brain neurodegeneration diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis), brain injuries and brain tumors.
  • Development of novel treatments for neuroretinal degeneration
  • Development of innovative diagnostic tools for macular, retinal degeneration and optic nerve diseases

Research methods:

  • Clinical trials – ophthalmic, imaging and pupillometry analyses
  • Animal research including transgenic rodent models for neuroretinal diseases
  • Molecular biology, tissue cultures and advanced in vivo imaging

Projects in the lab include:

  • Retinal structure and function measurements as novel objective biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chromatic multifocal pupillometry for objective assessment of optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis
  • Chromatic multifocal pupillometry for objective assessment and early detection of changes in intracranial pressure and acute brain injury
  • Development of stem cell therapies for neuroretinal degeneration – pre-clinical studies and clinical trials
  • The role of microglia activation in neuroretinal degeneration and development of microglia-blocking treatments for incurable retina degeneration
  • Chromatic multifocal pupillometry – an innovative diagnostic tool for objective assessment of macular, retinal degeneration and optic nerve diseases

Joint projects with other Faculty members in the Sagol School of Neuroscience:

  • Retinal Structure and function as novel objective biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease – in collaboration with Prof. Michal Beeri and Dr. Ramit Ravona-Springer

Rechavi Gidi

Research topic: Epitranscriptomics (RNA epigenetics), Transposable genetic elements in the brain, Genes mutated in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Research methods: Next generation sequencing, Bioinformatics

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. RNA editing in the brain.
  2. RNA methylation in neurodegenerative diseases.

Maggio Nicola

Research topic: The role of neuroinflammation and neurocoagulation in the pathophysiology of neurological disorders.

Research methods: Electrophysiology, Slice recording, Molecular biology, Biochemistry, Histology and Immunohistochemistry, Behavioral tests.

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. The role of thrombin in the brain: from physiology to pathophysiology.
  2. Neuroinflammation and Neurocoagulation in the brain.
  3. The role of stress and corticosteroid in synaptic transmission and plasticity.