Prof. Hadassa Degani
Cell Metabolism in health
The research in our group explores the progression of cancer including hormonal regulation, the development of blood vessels - angiogenesis and metabolism using molecular and physiological characterization by means of non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. The studies are conducted in human breast, prostate and lung cancer cell cultures and tumors in animal models. In addition, clinical investigations of breast, prostate and lung cancer patients were performed by means of MRI and CT. Specific efforts are directed to develop and improve the magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopic methods quantifying spatial changes with time. With these methods we were able to characterize flow and permeability limited perfusion, water and contrast agent diffusion, convection and the disparity in perfusion due to interstitial fluid pressure. We also developed means to monitor choline and glucose metabolism including transport and intracellular conversion and established the molecular basis for the alteration of these processes by malignant transformation. Recently MRI sensitive probes which specifically bind to the estrogen receptor were designed in collaboration with professor D. Milstein (Organic Chemistry). These probes are utilized as molecular imaging biomarkers for localizing and quantifying the estrogen receptor.