2020 research activities
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/