2017 research activities

Head Prof. Eldad Tzahor

Picture of Prof. Eldad Tzahor
Head

Prof. Eldad Tzahor

Office +972-8-934-3715

Overview

The molecular mechanisms underlying cell structures, dynamics and fate, and their involvement in embryonic development and cancer are among the primary topics of interest of the Department. These include studies on the mode of action of growth factors and the nature of signals triggered by them in target cells following binding to specific surface receptors. Growth regulation is also approached through the study of suppressor genes encoding such proteins as p53, which inhibit proliferation and drive cells towards differentiation or apoptosis. These studies, focusing on the mechanisms stimulate cell proliferation, differentiation, or death, can elucidate the basis for cancerous transformation in a large variety of systems. Overproduction or hyperactivation of growth-promoting systems was shown to have an oncogenic (cancer-causing) effect, and a similar process may be induced when growth-suppressor or apoptosis-inducing genes fail to function. The levels at which cell structure, activity and fate are studied in this department and the focus of these studies are many and diverse, including the characterization of soluble growth factors and their receptors, the nature of complex signal transduction pathways, the action of specific regulators of cytokine action, rearrangement of genes associated with oncogenic processes, and the properties of tumor suppressor and apoptosis promoting genes. Since such processes involve networks of interacting factors, we are also interested in mathematical modeling and computerized analysis of biological gene circuits.

In addition, there is broad interest in the molecular mechanisms of cell adhesion and their involvement in the regulation of cell fate. These studies include characterization of the basic rules underlying adhesive interactions, the binding of surface-associated adhesion molecules with the cytoskeleton, and the nature of growth- and differentiation-promoting signals triggered by adhesive interactions. Of special interest are proteins such as β-catenin, which play a crucial role in reinforcing cell-cell adhesions as well as triggering gene expression.

ScientistsShow details

  • Picture of Prof. Uri Alon

    Prof. Uri Alon

    Combining theoretical and experimental methods to discover design principles of biological circuits
    Systems level analysis of gene regulation networks, with E. coli as a model system.
    Systems Immunology
    Collaboration with:  Nir Friedman
    Evolution

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  • Picture of Prof. Abraham Amsterdam

    Prof. Abraham Amsterdam

    Plasticity of gene expression during differenatiation in the gonads.
    Crosstalk amond signals that control apoptosis.
    Carcinogenesis in endocrine glands.
  • Picture of Prof. Avri Ben-Ze'ev

    Prof. Avri Ben-Ze'ev

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), cancer stem cells (CSCs) and Wnt target genes in colon cancer metastasis
    The interplay between the role of GRbeta-catenin in cell adhesion and signaling during colon cancer development.
    The molecular basis and signaling roles of nerve cell adhesion receptors in colon cancer metastasis
    The role of novel GRbeta-catenin target genes in tumor development and metastasis

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  • Picture of Prof. Alexander D. Bershadsky

    Prof. Alexander D. Bershadsky

    Integrin-mediated cell-matrix adhesions as mechanosensors: molecular requirements for the force-induced focal adhesion growth.
    Cell-cell contact-dependent regulation of the actin cytoskeleton and microtubule system: Role of p120 catenin and other components of cadherin adhesion complex.
    Role of myosin-driven contractility in the retrograde surface flow and cell motility.
    Cooperation between neuregulin, ErbB-family receptors, and cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans in the regulation of cell motility and morphogenesis.
  • Picture of Prof. Eli Canaani

    Prof. Eli Canaani

    Comparison of the properties of the leukemogenic ALL-1 fusion proteins with those of normal ALL-1.
    Transcription profiles of primary tumors with ALL-1 rearrangements.
    Functions of the human ASH1 protein.
    Studies of the ALR gene.
  • Picture of Prof. Benjamin Geiger

    Prof. Benjamin Geiger

    Molecular diversity of adhesion complexes
    The roles of mechanical force in adhesion development
    Role of phosphorylation in regulating cell adhesion and migration
    Signaling from the ECM
    Cell adhesion and migration in cancer
    Quantitatibve automated microscopy and high throughput screens

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  • Picture of Dr. Shalev Itzkovitz

    Dr. Shalev Itzkovitz

    Design Principles of mammalian tissues
    Combining mathematical models and sensitive single-molecule measurements to study how single cells interact in tissues to jointly bring about physiological goals

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  • Picture of Prof. Zvi Kam

    Prof. Zvi Kam

    Cellular Biophysics
    Collaboration with:  Benjamin Geiger, John Sedat, David Agard (UCSF)
    Quantitative analysis of structural features and dynamic changes in cells using microscope imaging
    High throughput high-definition microscopy application in systems cell biology
    Adaptive optics methods applied to thick sample imaging
    Cell level informatics

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  • Picture of Dr. Valery Krizhanovsky

    Dr. Valery Krizhanovsky

    The role of cellular senescence in human disease
    Mechanisms of interaction of senescent cells with their microenvironment
    Cellular senescence in cancer development and treatment

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  • Picture of Prof. Sima Lev

    Prof. Sima Lev

    Breast cancer progression and metastasis.
    Signal transduction therapy for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
    PYK2 and FAK as potential therapeutic targets for breast cancer metastasis.
    Chemotherapy resistance and recurrence of breast cancer.

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  • Picture of Prof. Moshe Oren

    Prof. Moshe Oren

    Histone ubiquitylation in regulation of gene expression and in cancer.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Yossi Shiloh, Tel Aviv University, Prof. Robert Roeder, Rockefeller University; Prof. Steven Johnsen, Goettingen University; Dr. Itay Ben-Porath, HUJI
    Role of p53 in tumor-host interactions.
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Jair Bar, Sheba Medical Center
    Gain of function of mutant p53 in cancer.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Varda Rotter, Weizmann Institute; Prof. Vassilis Gorgoulis, Athens University Medical School
    Regulation of the Mdm2 oncoprotein.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Yossi Shilo, Tel Aviv University
    Relationship of p53 to programmed cell death.
    Molecular biology of p53.
    Regulation of proteins by covalent modifications.
    Role of microRNAs in cancer.

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  • Picture of Prof. Varda Rotter

    Prof. Varda Rotter

    Molecular mechanisms controlling the expression of p53 in normal cells and its deregulation in cancer cells
    Involvement of p53 in cell differentiation and apoptosis: <I>in vivo</I> and in vitro models.
    Cellular proteins that specifically complex with the p53 protein.
    Cellular proteins that are induced upstream or downstream to the p53 protein following genotoxic stress.

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  • Picture of Prof. Yardena Samuels

    Prof. Yardena Samuels

    Synthetic lethal interaction network of melanoma
    Identification of melanoma hub interactomes
    CRISPR screens to reveal driver gene interactions
    Decipher the immuno-genetic interactions between melanoma and T cells
    HLA peptidome analysis of metastatic melanoma lesions

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  • Picture of Prof. Oren Schuldiner

    Prof. Oren Schuldiner

    A genetic dissection of developmental axon regeneration
    Molecular mechanisms of neuronal remodeling during development: Developmental axon pruning in Drosophila
    The role of cell-cell interaction in regulating developmental axon pruning
    The role of intracellular signaling in regulating developmental axon pruning
    The role of trafficking in regulating developmental axon pruning
    Glia and their effect on neuronal growth and remodeling

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  • Picture of Prof. Eldad Tzahor

    Prof. Eldad Tzahor

    Head muscle patterning and differentiation
    Characterization of head muscle derived satellite cells
    Dissecting the myogenic programs in head muscle progenitors
    Involvement of p53 in cranial myogenesis
    Cardiac and skeletal muscle progenitors during vertebrate embryogenesis
    Studying the crosstalk between BMP and FGF signaling pathways in cardiac progenitors
    Regulation of Islet1 gene expression using novel imaging techniques in live embryos
    The origin of the heart endocardium: Focus on the role of endothelial cells in cardiogenesis

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  • Picture of Prof. Yehiel Zick

    Prof. Yehiel Zick

    Mode of action of galectin-8, a mammalian lectin
    The molecular basis of Insulin Resistance: a Phosphorylation based Uncoupling of Insulin Signalling
    The insulin receptor as a model system for transmembrane signaling: Mode of interaction of the insulin receptor with its downstream effector molecules.
    Mammalian lectins as regulators of cell adhesion, cell growth, and apoptosis.
    Receptor trafficking: Regulation of endocytosis and recycling of the insulin receptor.
    Role of Galectin-8 in bone remodeling

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