• Prof. Avri Ben-Ze'ev

    Adhesion-mediated signaling during cancer progression

    We study the changes in the mechanisms that regulate the coordination between cell-cell adhesion and signaling during cancer invasion and metastasis.  Special emphasis is devoted to the following topics:

    1. The dual role of beta-catenin in WNT signaling (as co-transcription activator) and as a key mediator of cell-cell adhesion linking adhesion receptors to the cytoskeleton.
    2. Identification and role of WNT/beta catenin target genes in regulating cell motility, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and cancer cell invasion and metastasis.
    3. Investigation of genes induced by adhesion-mediated (WNT and others) signaling that are also expressed at increased levels in normal stem cells and during cancer progression.  We are studying the role of such genes in both tissue homeostasis and cancer progression.
  • Prof. Alexander D. Bershadsky

    Studies the basic processes of self-organization of the most abundant cellular protein, actin, into filamentous structures that comprise the cytoskeleton, an intracellular network determining cell shape, generating cell motility, and strengthening adhesion of cells to each other and to extracellular matrix. These processes depend on the assembly of the actin filaments mediated by special proteins known as formins, filament movement mediated by molecular motors, myosins, and filament anchorage at the cell adhesion sites. Actin self-organization in the cell is coordinated by diverse signaling molecules, among which small G proteins from the Rho and Arf families and protein tyrosine kinases are also within sphere of interest of the laboratory. The main direction of the recent research focuses on understanding actin cytoskeleton- and adhesion-dependent mechanisms of cell mechanosensitivity, and the establishment of left-right cell asymmetry.

    Currently working in collaboration with Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore

  • Prof. Eli Canaani

    Investigates the MLL gene and its protein products, in order to understand their biochemical activities and the mechanism by which they trigger leukemia. Leukemias associated with rearrangement of the MLL gene account for the majority of acute lymphocytic and myelocytic leukemias in infants, and in therapy-related leukemias.

  • Prof. Zvi Kam

    We develop and apply methodologies of Light Microscope Image Acquisition and of Quantitative Analysis to cell biology. Studies with collaborators, to which these methodologies are applied include:

    • Dynamic behavior of osteoclasts sealing zone (Left Figure: sealing zone quantification for drug screening, work of Dr. Sarit Batsir).
    • Individual and collective cell migration in 2D and 3D environments (Middle Figure: computer analysis of wound-healing essay, work of Yair Elisha and Prof. Benny Geiger)
    • Platelets spreading and activation.
    • Lamelapodia dynamics.
    • Robust algorithm for tracking cells (Right Figure: the NetFlow graph optimization for tracking cells in time-lapse movies, proposed by Prof. Adi Shamir)
  • Prof. Varda Rotter

    The role of p53 in maintaining genomic plasticity
    • Mutant p53 gain of function
    • p53 Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH)
    • Role of p53in the life of stem cells
    • Role of p53 in the life of cancer stem cells
    • p53 in inflammation metabolism
    • p53  regulating endocrine loops
    • p53 based therapy
    website of Prof. Varda Rotter varda.rotter@weizmann.ac.il
  • Prof. Yehiel Zick

    Cross talk between insulin resistance, animal lectins and bone remodeling

    We combine mouse models, cell biology and analysis of signaling pathways to focus on:

    • Role of animal lectins (particularly galectin-8) as regulators of bone remodeling and insulin action
    • Novel elements (Ndfip1; Otub2, TM7SF3) that modulate survival of pancreatic beta cells
    • IRS (insulin receptor substrate) proteins, insulin resistance, and beta cell function
    website of Prof. Yehiel Zick yehiel.zick@weizmann.ac.il