2024 research activities

Head Prof. Eldad Tzahor

Picture of Prof. Eldad Tzahor

Prof. Eldad Tzahor

משרד +972-8-934-3715

רקע כללי

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

  • 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
    Mechanisms regulating L1CAM-mediated colon cancer invasion and metastasis
    The interplay between the role of beta-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 beta-catenin target genes in tumor development and metastasis

  • 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

  • Picture of Professor Emeritus Zvi Kam

    Professor Emeritus 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

  • Picture of Prof. Valery Krizhanovsky

    Prof. Valery Krizhanovsky

    The role of cellular senescence in aging and age-related diseases
    Collaboration with:  Uri Alon
    The dynamics of senescent cells during aging
    The role of senescent cells in lung fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    The role of senescent cells in Alzheimer's disease
    Analysis of senescent cells heterogeneity on transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic levels
    Mechanisms of interaction of senescent cells with their microenvironment
    Interaction of senescent cells with the immune system
    Cellular senescence in cancer development and treatment
    Collaboration with:  Ittai Ben-Porath, Hebrew University
    Senescent cells in pre-malignant lesions
    Therapy-induced senescence in cancer
    Senescence during embryonic development
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Tal Biron-Shental, Meir Hospital
    Senescence in syncytiotrophoblast is disrupted during intra-uteral growth restriction (IUGR)

  • Picture of Prof. Sima Lev

    Prof. Sima Lev

    Signaling networks in cancer development and metastasis
    Collaboration with:  Thomas Karn, Eytan Ruppin, Gordon Mills, Flavio Maina, Frank Westermann, Yosef Yarden
    Tumorigenic signaling networks in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtypes
    Combination therapy, drug resistance, and cancer stem cells
    Ferroptosis and TNBC therapy
    Receptor Tyrosine Kinases (RTKs) (AXL, cMet, EGFR) and non-RTKs (PYK2, FAK) signaling in TNBC
    Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) & TNBC metastasis

  • Picture of Prof. Moshe Oren

    Prof. Moshe Oren

    Role of p53 in tumor-host interactions.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Michal Lotem, Hadassah Medical Center Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah, Hebrew University Medical School
    Gain of function of mutant p53 in cancer.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Varda Rotter, Weizmann Institute; Prof. Vassilis Gorgoulis, Athens University Medical School
    Molecular biology of p53.
    Regulation of the Hippo pathway and its deregulation in cancer
    Crosstalk between the p53 and Hippo pathways

  • 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.

  • 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 and drug resistance genes
    Decipher the immuno-genetic interactions between melanoma and T cells
    HLA peptidome analysis of metastatic melanoma lesions

  • 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

  • Picture of Dr. Yonatan Stelzer

    Dr. Yonatan Stelzer

    DNA methylation dynamics during cell fate decisions
    Epigenetic reprogramming during gametogenesis
    Mammalian parental imprinting as an epigenetic paradigm
    Environmental effects on the epigenome
    Epigenetic perturbations in disease and cancer

  • Picture of Dr. Ravid Straussman

    Dr. Ravid Straussman

    Tumor microenvironment-mediated chemoresistance
    Tumor microbiome
    Ex-vivo Cultures of Tumor Tissues for Rapid Tailoring of Anti-Cancer Therapy
    Phenotypic and Mechanistic Characterization of Drug Tolerant Persister Cancer Cells
    Signalome: A Novel Approach for the Analysis of Signaling Pathway Activity in Cancer

  • Picture of Dr. Itay Tirosh

    Dr. Itay Tirosh

    Intra-tumor heterogeneity: combining computational and experimental approaches to understand the diversity of cells within tumors, their functions, interactions and clinical significance.
    Collaboration with:  Mario Suva, Massachusetts General Hospital. Sid Puram, Washington University.
    Single cell analysis of clinical tumor samples, with a focus on glioma
    Computational modeling of the tumor ecosystem
    Testing the function of tumor subpopulations in cell and animal models

  • 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

  • Picture of Dr. Leeat Yankielowicz-Keren

    Dr. Leeat Yankielowicz-Keren

    Collaboration with:  Prof. Michal Lotem Prof. Eli Pikarsky Dr. Jonathan Cohen Prof. Yardena Samuels Prof. Steve Hodis Prof. Scott Rodig
    Graft verses host disease
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Gerard Socie
    Multiplexed imaging
    Collaboration with:  Dr. David van Valen
    Artificial intelligence

  • 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