WizeAging - Aging of the hematological system and genetic changes in blood cells


Scientific Background

In our laboratory we study the process of aging. Aging is a biological process during which biological changes occurring over time cause a deterioration in function and potentially lead to development of disease. We all age, but not all of us at the same rate or in the same manner.

As part of our research in aging, we examine aging of the hematological system, which influences the aging of the entire body. Over the past few years we began to understand that as part of the aging process of the hematological system, genetic changes occur in hematological stem cells. These changes are referred to as "Age Related Clonal Hematopoiesis (ARCH)". Above the age of 40, around 30% of the population will develop genetic changes in the blood cells. Recent studies have determined that these genetic changes are related to aging and progression of diseases in general, and not necessarily limited to the hematological system. Further research is necessary in order to determine how to deal with this situation and how further disease development can be prevented.

In a minority of individuals bearing these genetic changes, hematological malignancies may develop and in even larger number of these carriers there seems to be a connection with between the genetic changes in blood cells and evolvement of cardiac disease and diabetes.

More information can be obtained by reading the article on ARCH written by Dr. Shlush and recently published in the journal Blood.


Study details:

The intent of the WizeAging study is to determine whether it is possible to predict how and under which conditions genetic changes in blood cells result in various diseases and to further understand the basis of the mechanism of these cellular mutations in the blood cells.

Your participation in this study will help in furthering our understanding of this process and assist in the development of new methods of treatment for hematological malignancies, cardiac disease and diabetes.


  • This study is intended for both males and females aged over 50.
  • As part of this study, the participant will be required to come to the Weizmann Institute and fill in a questionnaire regarding his/her medications and diseases.
  • Four test tubes of blood (approximately 40 milliliter) will be taken from the participant by a qualified physician or nurse.
  • In addition information regarding current blood tests which have been done in the Kupat Holim will be requested.
  • Participation in this trial is not considered treatment and is free of charge


The entire proceedings at the Weizmann Institute should take 1-2 hours.

* If interested the results of the genetic tests will be available (after 6 months)

* After a year you may be requested to return for further testing and repeat the questionnaire if you agree. This will enable us to follow up further change of somatic mutations which were found or which may develop.

* If certain genetic changes have been found and these changes have been determined to substantially increase the possibility of disease development, this information will be given to the participant (if he/she is interested) and - if deemed necessary - also to the family physician with a recommendation as to further procedures.

* If the participant is not interested in receiving information concerning results of the genetic tests, this can be specified on the consent form to be filled in at the beginning of the experiment.

* We must emphasize that these genetic tests are not infallible and there is the possibility that not all genetic changes present will be found.

Participation in this trial is anonymous and all information obtained will remain confidential. In addition, publication of the results of the trial will not contain any personal information which might reveal the identity of the participant.

This trial will greatly add to the understanding of the aging process and in the future might lead to the development of means to treat and prevent disease. Further information may be obtained through email: wizeaging@weizmann.ac.il


Thank you for your participation!


Liran I Shlush M.D Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Weizmann Institute of Science Department of Immunology.

Visiting Physician Leukemia Service, Princess Margaret Cancer Center Toronto Canada.

Visiting Physician Hematology Department Rambam Healthcare Campus.