Jacob Hanna Lab

Pluripotent Stem Cell Studies
& Ex Utero Embryogenesis

We are part of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. We are affiliated with the Helen and Martin Kimmel Institute for Stem Cell Research and the Azrieli Institute for Systems Biology.

We are an interdisciplinary group of scientists interested in understanding embryonic stem cell biology, modeling early embryo development and advance stem-cell-based human disease platforms. Specifically, we investigate the process of cellular reprogramming, in which induced pluripotent stem cells are generated from somatic cells, and we investigate how different states of pluripotency are maintained throughout development in mice, rabbit, monkeys and humans. In parallel, we study how different in vitro grown stem cell populations (embryonic and extra-embryonic) can self-organize into stem cell-derived (synthetic) embryoid models (termed SEMs) from multiple species, and how they can be used to improve stem cell differentiation into organs and tackle key developmental phenomena. We utilize in our studies a diverse arsenal of biological experimentation methods including: transgenics, bio-engineering, genetic engineering, electronic engineering, high throughput screening, advanced live microscopy and single cell genomic analyses. We also seek to combine biological experimentation with computational biology, theory and modeling, to solve relevant outstanding biological questions.

Research page

Selected Publications

Complete human day 14 post-implantation embryo models from naïve ES cells

Oldak B., Wildschutz E., Bondarenko V., Comar M., Zhao C., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Tarazi S., Viukov S., Pham T. X. A., Ashouokhi S., Lokshtanov D., Roncato F., Ariel E., Rose M., Livnat N., Shani T., Joubran C., Cohen R., Addadi Y., Chemla M., Kedmi M., Keren-Shaul H., Pasque V., Petropoulos S., Lanner F., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H. (2023) Nature.

Post-Gastrulation Synthetic Embryos Generated Ex Utero from Mouse Naïve ESCs

Tarazi S., Aguilera Castrejon A., Joubran C., Ghanem N., Ashouokhi S., Roncato F., Wildschutz E., Haddad M., Oldak B., Gomez-Cesar E., Livnat N., Viukov S., Lukshtanov D., Naveh Tassa S., Rose M., Issaq - Hanna S., Raanan C., Brenner O. J., Kedmi M., Keren-Shaul H., Lapidot T., Maza I., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. (. (2022) Cell. 185, 18, p. 3290-3306.e25

Principles of signaling pathway modulation for enhancing human naive pluripotency induction

Bayerl J., Ayyash M., Shani T., Manor Y. S., Gafni O., Massarwa R., Kalma Y., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Zerbib M., Amir H., Sheban D., Geula S., Mor N., Weinberger L., Naveh Tassa S., Krupalnik V., Oldak B., Livnat N., Tarazi S., Wildschutz E., Tawil S., Ashouokhi S., Lasman L., Rotter V., Hanna S., Ben-Yosef D., Novershtern N., Viukov S. & Hanna J. H. (2021) Cell Stem Cell. 28, 9, p. 1549-1565.e12
All Publications