2018 research activities
The Department of Biological Regulation is comprised of approximately 170 people organized in 13 research groups. We are located in the Candiotty and Britannia buildings, which are equipped with all the cutting-edge facilities required for running excellent research endeavors. Our research is concentrated on the regulation of processes responsible for the concerted action of cells, tissues, and organs. A diversity of methodologies and experimental approaches are being used in order to tackle these pivotal issues in biology. These include biochemical, molecular and physiological methods, organ and tissue cultures, and whole animal studies utilizing mice and fish. In addition, some researchers of the Department are using methodologies and concepts of systems biology, host-pathogen interactions and a variety of imaging methods, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Since de-regulation of biological control circuits often underlays human diseases (e.g., malignant transformation, stroke, infertility, and defective tissue regeneration after injury), we make many efforts to implement the results of our studies in research projects leading to the development of new tools for early diagnosis, along with novel compounds suitable for pharmacological interventions.
The main projects that are currently performed in the department are:
Host-pathogen interactions - Dr. Roi Avraham
Cell metabolism in health and disease - Dr. Ayelet Erez
Cell death and metabolism - Prof. Atan Gross
Protein degradation by the ubiquitin/proteasome system - Prof. Ami Navon
Vascularization during pregnancy and cancer development - Prof. Michal Neeman
ECM remodeling: from biophysical principles to drug design - Prof. Irit Sagi
Intracellular signaling cascades in health and disease - Prof. Rony Seger
Epigenetics in stem cells and cancer: developing and applying single-molecule imaging technologies to study the epigenetic code - Dr. Efrat Shema
Genome and epigenome regulation - Prof. Amos Tanay
Cellular functions of long noncoding RNAs - Dr. Igor Ulitsky
The development of the vascular system - Dr. Karina Yaniv
Growth factors and their receptors in cancer - Prof. Yossi Yarden
Investigating functional, metabolic and architectural features of normal and malignant tissues with magnetic resonance techniques - Prof. Hadassa Degani
The control of reproduction - Prof. Nava Dekel
Investigating ovarian follicle physiology, regulation and demise in mammals with emphasis on the ovulatory response, including the control of oocyte maturation, transformation of the follicle into corpus luteum and culminating with the release of the fertilizable ovum - Prof. Alex Tsafriri
In December 2018, we expect tthat Prof. Philipp Selenko and his team will complete their relocation to Rehovot – Dr. Selenko is interested in cellular structural biology of human amyloid proteins.
The lab of host-pathogen genomics is interested in how individual encounters between host and pathogenic bacteria can ultimately define the outcome of infection. This is achieved by applying cross-disciplinary single-cell analysis platforms that collectively enable us to extensively profile and precisely monitor host-pathogen interactions within the context of in vivo infections.The work in the lab centers on salmonella infection of mouse macrophages as a tractable in vitro host-pathogen system. We use this model to develop state of the art high throughput genomic tools and interdisciplinary approaches, and then apply them to various in vivo infection models to address critical biological aspects of host-pathogen biology.Using comprehensive, quantitative, unbiased tools to analyse the molecular interactions that underlie distinct host-pathogen subpopulations and their impact on disease outcome.Using a powerful combination of cutting-edge single cell genetic and genomic approaches, we wish to address what forms the basis for successful immune clearance, from the level of individual infected cells to that of the whole organism, and why, in some cases, sterilization is incomplete?
Perfusion and angiogensis in lung cancer: The role of the bronchial and pulmonary vascular network using Fluorescence and magnetic resonance imaging methodsMolecular magnetic resonance imaging of the estrogen receptorCollaboration with: Professors David Milstein and Joel Sussman, Weizmann InstituteSynthesis of new, high affinity ligands of the estrogen receptor as probes for molecular imagingStructuaral studies (x-ray crystalography and NMR) of the estrogen receptor - targeted ligands complexFunctional activities and molecular imaging of the new targeted ligands in estrogen receptor positive huaman breast cancer cellsMechanisms of lymphatic metastasis in breast cancer; In vivo fluorescence and magnetic resonanc imagingAdvanced non invasive MRI methods for breast cancer detection and diagnosis ; clinical investigationsCollaboration with: Dr. Myra Shapiro, Meir medical Center3D Tracking of the mammary tree using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imagingAdvanced methods for analysis of dynamic contrast enhanced MRI based on a combined model free and model based method.Hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging of cancer metabolism; searching for novel metabolic markers of cancerCollaboration with: Professor Lucio Frydman, Weizmann InstituteRenal function through sodium grandients; Non-invasive, high resolution sodium MRI.Collaboration with: Dr. Edna Haran, Weizmann InstituteEstrogen regulation of angiogenesis and perfusion of breast cancer; from molecular mechanisms to functional MRI of the microvascular physiology
Molecular characterization of the ovulatory cascadeMechanisms involved in successful implantation.Regulation of the meiotic cell cycle: use of rodent oocytes as a model system.Cell-to-cell communication: regulation of expression, posttranslational modification, degradation and function of the gap junction proteins, Cx43 and Cx37.
How do mitochondria process stress signals and communicate them to the nucleus?The role of mitochondria in regulating the fate of embryonic and hematopoietic stem cellsEstablishing the role of mitochondrial carrier homolog 2 (MTCH2) in regulating the shape of mitochondria, metabolism and apoptosisDevelop inhibitors for MTCH2 as potential therapies of diseases such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and obesity
The nuclear translocation of signaling protein as a drug target for cancer and inflammationThe nuclear translocation of ERKThe nuclear translocation of JNK and p38Develop peptide inhibitors of the nuclear translocation of ERK/JNK/p38 for the cure of cancer and inflammationDevelopment of small molecular weight inhibitors of the nuclear translocation of ERK for the cure of cancerThe subcellular localisation of AKTThe mechanisms and roles of MEK nuclear translocationERK1c in the regulation of Golgi fragmentationThe mechanisms of golgi translocation of ERK1cSubstrates of ERK1c in the GolgiMechanism of ERK1c-regulated Golgi architecture
Molecular regulation of ovulatory changes in mammals.Collaboration with: Helena Ashkenazi, Shmulik Motola, Xiumei Cao, Malka Popliker, Seymour Pomerantz, Marco Conti, StanfordThe roles of gonadotropins and EGF-like factors in triggering ovulation.The resumption of meiosis and its regulation.Ovulation as a tissue remodeling process.The development and demise of ovarian follicles <I>in vivo</I> and <I>in vitro</I>: the role of apoptosis.Collaboration with: Atan Gross, KerenYacobi
Roles of long noncoding RNAs in gene regulationFunctions of long noncoding RNAs in establishing cell identifySequence determinants in long noncoding RNAsEvolution of intergenic regions in vertebratesSubcellular localization of long RNAsMassively parallel reporter assays