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

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.

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

Azem Abdussalam

Research topic: Understanding the function of mitochondria at the molecular level.

Research methods: The primary research approach that we utilize is reconstitution of a studied system from individual purified proteins.  We then employ a wide range of biochemistry and biophysics methods to study the structural properties of the reconstituted complexes, in vitro. Finally, we use functional assays (protein refolding and import) to establish a mechanistic link between the structure and function.  In parallel, we study the behavior of protein variants in a living system, using bacterial and yeast as model systems of normal and disease causing proteins.

Projects in the lab include:

  1. Molecular function of mitochondrial molecular chaperones on protein folding.
  2. Molecular mechanism of function mitochondrial protein import machinery.
  3. Nuclear encoded protein as a cause of mitochondrial disease.

Prag Gali

Research topic: Elucidating the decoding mechanisms of ubiquitin signals and their significance in neurodegenerative diseases

Research methods: Biophysical measurements including SPR, AUC, MST and SEC, X-ray crystallography, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry and bacterial genetics

Projects in the lab include:

  1. Molecular mechanisms that regulate membrane protein trafficking and Parkinson’s disease
  1. Mechanisms for regulation of sodium / potassium channels and dopamine transporter.
  1. The molecular basis of the involvement of the ubiquitin E3-ligases Ube3A and Ube3B in autism
  1. The involvement of ubiquitin-receptors in amyloid formation.

Mayo Lior

Research topic: We strive to better understand the mechanisms of autoimmunity and inflammation that underlie neurologic diseases and to translate these laboratory discoveries into new therapies.

Research methods: We take a transdisciplinary approach in our research endeavors using immunologic, genomic, proteomic and metabolomic approaches to study neuroinflammation in pre-clinical (murine) and clinical models. Our research combines state of the art technologies such as single-cell genome-wide sequencing, genomic editing, in-vivo imaging, targeted and un-targeted mass-spectrometry, in-situ molecular imaging and real-time metabolic analysis.

Main projects in the lab include:

  • Elucidating the immune function of the different glial cells in autoimmune diseases and neurologic disorders.
  • Investigating the immunometabolic response in the brain.
  • Studying the crosstalk between the innate and adaptive immune systems in the central nervous system.
  • Exploring the immunological aspects of the astrocyte-neuron relationship.
  • Developing novel strategies for manipulating glial activation and autoimmune responses.