2024 research activities

Head Prof. Benjamin Geiger

Picture of Prof. Benjamin Geiger

Prof. Benjamin Geiger

משרד +972-8-934-3910

רקע כללי

The immune system was originally recognized for its role in defense of the organism against pathogens, including bacteria and viruses. However, we have come to realize that the system not only reacts to exogenous pathogen attacks, but also to internal challenges posed by tissue remodeling, aging, metabolic unbalance and cancer.  Moreover, immune cells are also critically involved in normal developmental processes and the maintenance of adult homeostasis in light of innocuous and beneficial environmental challenges such as the microbiome. 

Research in the Department of Immunology addresses the challenge to understand contributions of immune cells to physiology and pathophysiology, with the aim to deepen our knowledge and develop new strategies for therapeutic intervention. Accordingly, our research spans a wide range from studying basic mechanisms of development, inter-cellular communication, cell trafficking and effector functions of immune cells to the definition of their specific roles in aging, autoimmune disorders, allergies and cancer. 

Department members investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying immune disorders, such as aging, immunodeficiencies, innate immunopathologies, autoimmunity, as well as infectious diseases. Using pre-clinical mouse models and patient samples, we develop novel therapeutic strategies including check-point blockade, immunotherapies and improved vaccination protocols. We develop and employ state-of-the-art approaches ranging from intra-vital imaging and conditional gene manipulation, to advanced bulk and single cell genomics and proteomics to uncover physiological and pathological roles of the immune system.

For more details on our exciting research projects and specific groups in the Immunology Department, please see our web page https://www.weizmann.ac.il/immunology/

ScientistsShow details

  • Picture of Dr. Jakub Abramson

    Dr. Jakub Abramson

    Understanding how breakdown of this process results in autoimmunity.
    Deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control the establishment of central immune tolerance.

  • Picture of Prof. Ronen Alon

    Prof. Ronen Alon

    Integrin and chemokine signals for leukocyte diapedesis, differentiation and killing
    Collaboration with:  Ziv Shulman (WIS) Steffen Jung (WIS)
    Leukocyte-type specific roles of ICAMs and VCAM-1 in respiratory infections
    Collaboration with:  Natalio Garbi (Bonn)
    Role of DC ICAMs in lymphocyte priming and differentiation
    Collaboration with:  Moshe Biton (WIS)
    Dendritic cell and macrophage signals in anti-tumor immunity
    The role of lung macrophages in lung cancer and cancer metastasis to lungs
    Collaboration with:  Steffen Jung
    Breast cancer killing in primary tumors and inside the lung vasculature by neutrophils
    The role of antigens on lung metastatic lesions in the recruitment and killing capacity of circulating CTLs and TILs
    The functions of thymus epithelial ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in thymocyte selection
    Collaboration with:  Kristin Hogquist (U. of Minnesota, MN) Jakob Abramson (WIS)

  • Picture of Prof. Ido Amit

    Prof. Ido Amit

    Genomics and Systems Biology of the Immune System.
    Decoding the mammalian transcriptional Regulatory Code in health and disease.

  • Picture of Prof. Ruth Arnon

    Prof. Ruth Arnon

    Pathological mechanism in the CNS of various multiple sclerosis animal models.
    Collaboration with:  R. Aharoni
    Neuroprotection, neurogenesis and remyelination – consequences of Glatiramer Acetate treatment in EAE.
    Collaboration with:  R. Aharoni; M. Sela
    Mechanism of action of Copolymer 1 (Copaxone®), a therapeutic vaccine against multiple sclerosis.
    Collaboration with:  M. Sela; R. Aharoni
    Involvement of peptides in animal models of Alzheimer disease and its amelioration
    Collaboration with:  R. Maron
  • Picture of Prof. Gideon Berke

    Prof. Gideon Berke

    Immunopathology in AIDS: Killing of HIV-infected CD4 T cells induced by Autologous CD8 T cells is Modulated by Nef expression
    Collaboration with:  Hassin D. and Sevilya Z.; Assuta Ashdod Medical Center.
  • Picture of Prof. Irun R. Cohen

    Prof. Irun R. Cohen

    Development and clinical applications of an antigen microarray device and informatics analyses aimed at diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring and management of autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases – the ImmunArray Ltd iCHIP (Israel and USA); now in clinical use.
    Treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and other autoimmune conditions using DNA plasmids encoding human HSP90 or HSP70 – Alma Bio Therapeutics (France).
    Treatment of ALS using a synthetic peptide that inhibits apoptosis and fosters cell growth – Immunity Pharma Ltd. (Israel); entering clinical trials.

  • Picture of Dr. Rony Dahan

    Dr. Rony Dahan

    Antibody response in cancer
    Anti-tumor mechanisms of immune checkpoint antibodies
    Therapeutic window of antibody-based immunotherapies

  • Picture of Prof. Lea Eisenbach

    Prof. Lea Eisenbach

    immunotherapy of cancer
    Collaboration with:  yardena samuels, david bassan, adam solomon, esther tzehoval
    tumor antigens, engineered lymphocytes, lynch syndrome vaccines
    Cancer Stem Cells and immunotherapy
    the role of small interferon induced genes in tumorigenicity and apoptosis
    tumor escape and tolerance
    T cell receptor evolution for immunotherapy
    Collaboration with:  David Bassan
    Antigen presentation by engineered MHC molecules
    Collaboration with:  Dr Gideon Gross

  • Picture of Prof. Zelig Eshhar

    Prof. Zelig Eshhar

    Redirecting effector T cells for adoptive cell treatment of cancer.
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Anat Globerson Levin Immunology and Advanced CAR-T Therapy Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center Tova Waks Department of Immunology and Regenerative Biology The Weizmann Institute of Science
    Treatment of Multiple Myeloma using Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells with Dual Specificity
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Anat Globerson Levin Immunology and Advanced CAR-T Therapy Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center Tova Waks Department of Immunology and Regenerative Biology The Weizmann Institute of Science
    Less is more: reducing the number of administered Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells in a mouse model using a mathematically guided approach.
  • Picture of Prof. Sara Fuchs

    Prof. Sara Fuchs

    The basis of D2 dopamine receptor diversity: Cloning, signal transduction, development, and correlation with disease.
    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: Structure, function, and regulation of gene expression.
    Myasthenia gravis: Regulatory mechanisms, epitopes, and immunodulation.
  • Picture of Prof. Steffen Jung

    Prof. Steffen Jung

    Brain Macrophage contributions to CNS pathologies, including MS, Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and Multiple sclerosis (MS)
    Collaboration with:  Marco Prinz, University of Freiburg, Germany Pablo Blinder, TAU, Israel Reuven Stein, TAU, Israel Susanne Wolf, MDC, Berlin Soyon Hong, UCL, London, UK Kia Movahedi, VIB, Brussels, Belgium
    Microglia contributions to brain pathologies
    Contributions of perivascular macrophages to brain pathologies
    Modules ensuring microglia quiescence and restoration of the microglia ground state following activation, with a particular focus on the IL-10 axis
    Contributions of IL-23 producing monocytes to the generation of pathogenic T cells in the MS model EAE
    Comparative analysis of HSC-derived engrafted brain macrophages and host microglia in health and disease
    development of novel animal models that allow the functional dissection of parenchymal and perivascular brain macrophages
    The role CX3C chemokine axis in intercellular communication.
    Contributions of Dendritic cell, Macrophages and Monocytes Contributions to Gut Health and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
    Studying Molecular Cues guiding Mononuclear Phagocyte Differentiation
    Definition of monocyte development in physiology and pathophysiology (IBD, obesity)
    Study of differentiation of monocytes into tissue macrophages in small and large intestine and blood
    Definition of functional conytributions of classical monocyte subsets including neutrophil - and DC- like cells.
    Studying Interactions of Macrophages with Sympathetic Nerve System
    Collaboration with:  Avraham Yaron, Weizmann Institute
    Competitive Fungal commensalism as a therapeutic strategy to curb candidiasis
    Collaboration with:  Neta Shlezinger, HU Bernhard Hube,Leibniz-HKI, Jena, Germany Petra Bacher, University of Kiel, Germany

  • Picture of Prof. Tsvee Lapidot

    Prof. Tsvee Lapidot

    Metabolic regulation of Blood and Bone forming Stem Cells by Daily Light and Dark Cues (NE, TNF, Melatonin and PGE2).
    Regulation of Human and Murine Hematopoietic Stem Cell Migration and Development by Coagulation Cascades (both aPC/EPCR/Par1 anti inflammatory signals and Thrombin/PAR1 pro-inflammatory signals).
    Studying Molecular Cues guiding Human and murine Hematopoietic Stem Cells Homing and Bone Marrow (BM) recognition, retention and mobilization to the circulation.
    Metabolic regulation of BM Neutrophils activation and recruitment by Lactatae and GPR81 Signaling.
    Metabolic regulation of BM Neutrophils by Daily Light and Dark Cues.
    Energy sharing, Chemotherapy Resistance and Stress induced Mitochondira Transfer between Blood and Bone forming Stem Cells.
    AML AF9 Leukemic Stem Cells Metabolic interactions with BM Stromal Cells and Chemotherapy Resistance.
    Dynamic regulation of the Blood Bone Marrow Endothelial Barrier and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niches.

  • Picture of Prof. Edna Mozes

    Prof. Edna Mozes

    Specific immunomodulation of the auto immune diseases: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjogren Syndrome by a synthetic, tolerogenic peptide.
    Elucidation of the mechanisms by which a tolerogenic peptide ameliorates autoimmune disease manifestations in animal model and in patients with SLE and Sjogren Syndrome.
    The role of various cell types and cytokines in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.
    The status and role of T regulatory cells in autoimmune diseases.
    Development of a tolerogenic peptide as a novel specific drug for the treatment of SLE and Sjogren Syndrome.
  • Picture of Prof. Roald Nezlin

    Prof. Roald Nezlin

    Immunoglobulin properties and functions. Immune complexes. Non-immunt complexes of immunolobulins
    Collaboration with:  No
    Detection of Immune complexes with antigens.
  • Picture of Prof. Israel Pecht

    Prof. Israel Pecht

    Electron transfer mechanisms in proteins.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Ole Farver, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark. Prof. Scot Wherland, Washington state university, Pullman , USA.
    Antigen recognition and trans-membrane signaling by immuno-receptors.
    Collaboration with:  Prof. J. Abramson, WIS.
    Regulation and inhibition of mediator secretion by Mast cell and basophils. Allergy, Immediate type hypersensitivity.
    Electron transpot via proteins
    Collaboration with:  Pro.Mudi Sheves, WIS. Prof. D.Cahen, WIS.
    Conductance via proteins. Models for bio-electronics

  • Picture of Prof. Yair Reisner

    Prof. Yair Reisner

    Immature dendritic cells: investigating a novel granule mediated killing mechanism and the therapeutic potential for the prevention of Graft versus Host Disease.
    Crossing allogeneic and xenogeneic barriers by growing organs in-vivo from embryonic tissues : potential curative approaches for diabetes, hemophilia and lung diseases.
    Hematopoietic size control: A novel role for coagulation cascade factors in regulating the interplay between dynamic bone structure and long term survival and mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells.
    Developing a protocol for the production of human central memory CD8 T cells, to induce tolerance in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
    Investigating the use of activated CD8 T cells as novel cell therapy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
    Role and mechanism of tolerance induction by activated CD8 T cells: A novel cell therapy for chimerism induction, stem cell transplant engraftment and enhanced Graft versus Lymphoma / Leukemia effect.
  • Picture of Prof. Idit Shachar

    Prof. Idit Shachar

    Analyze the pathway regulateing the survival cascades in Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
    Collaboration with:  Dr Michal Haran, Kaplan Medical center
    Follow the mechanisms controlling homing of immune cells in health and disease.
    Determine the mechanisms regulating peripheral B cell maturation and survival in health and disease.

  • Picture of Dr. Liran Shlush

    Dr. Liran Shlush

    Clonal dynamics of aging hematopoiesis in humans
    Collaboration with:  Amos Tanay Omar abdel Wahab Jon Dick Mark Minden Hofer Thomas Elisa Laurenti Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan Hartmut Geiger Benny Geiger Dennis Kim Müller-Tidow, Carsten Yinon Ben Neria
    Understanding the functional effects of preleukaemic mutations on human haematopoietic stem cells
    Microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ) DNA repair in pre-leukemic hematopoietic stem cells
    Prevention of myeloid malignancies among carriers of spliceosome mutations
    Age-related clonal hematopoiesis and its link to age-related changes in the bone marrow microenvironment
    Multi-dimensional analysis and the human aging blood system