Congratulations to Prof. Rami Aqeilan and PhD Student Avanthika Venkatachalam for receiving the Kaye Innovation Award of 2022!
The Kaye Innovation Awards are given to inventors from the Hebrew University who solve real-world problems by translating scientific excellence into successful commercial ventures. Prof. Aqeilan developed a unique delivery method for gene therapy in WWOX-related human neurological diseases. PhD student Avanthika Venkatachalam from the Ben Neriah lab will receive the award for targeting cancer vulnerabilities in acute leukemia.
Congratulations to Batya Isaacson for receiving the 2022 James Sivartsen Prize in Pediatric Cancer Research!
The James Sivartsen Prize in Pediatric Cancer Research is awarded each year to a Hebrew University graduate student who is doing the most innovative work with application to the field of pediatric cancer research. During her PhD in the lab of Professor Ofer Mandelboim, Batya published 3 research papers and 2 scientific reviews, studying Urinary Tract Infection biology and treatment modalities.
Congratulations to Prof. Dana Wolf and PhD. Student Olesya Vorontsov for their article published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation !
In the article, the researchers aimed to identify prognostic biomarkers of CMV-related fetal brain injury and identified two amniotic fluid proteins that could be employed in the clinical setting to profoundly improve the prognostic assessment of CMV-infected fetuses.
The LRC/CL mourns the passing of Joyce Powell from Los Angeles, California.
Joyce was among the pioneers who funded Concern Foundation back in the 1960s. She was an ardent supporter of cancer research at the LRC for more than five decades. She was a unique character that inspired the community of the Concern Foundation and the many young researchers supported by Concern grants. Senior LRC Faculty and staff remember with gratitude her site visits together with members of the Powell Family, her questions, ideas, and warm words of support. We shall miss Joyce, as well as her friendship and leadership.
Our hearts are united today with Rick, Debbie, Nancy, Mike, Linda, and their families. May we be comforted in the eternal legacy of love and compassion that epitomized the meaningful life of our dear Joyce.
Congratulations to Prof. Michal Baniyash and Dr. Yaron Meirow for their new paper published in Nature Bone Research!
In the article, the researchers identify and characterize two cell populations that contribute to bone loss during chronic inﬂammatory diseases.
“Our ﬁndings suggest a central role of inflammatory osteoclast precursors in (iOCPs) bone loss initiation. iOCPs can serve as potential biomarkers for inflammatory bone loss (IBL) detection, and possibly as new therapeutic targets to combat IBL in a wide range of inﬂammatory conditions.”
Congratulations to Prof Michael Berger and his team on their new article published in Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC)
In the article, the researchers study changes in T cells water mass during cell activation and growth.
Our work provides a method to analyze cell water content, as well as insights into the ways cells regulate their water mass.
Figure 2: T cell growth is associated with a gradual decrease in wet to total volume ratio in the early phase followed by a rapid increase in wet to total volume in the late phase.
Congratulations to Ruth Galily for her new article published in Molecules!
In the article, the researchers report the synthesis of 3 novel CBG derivatives, which carry anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
We believe that HUM-223, HUM-233 and HUM-234 have the potential for development as novel drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, and in the case of HUM-234, potentially for obesity where there is a huge unmet need.
Figure 6: Anti-obesity evaluation of HUM-234 (25 mg/kg) in comparison to CBG (15 mg/kg), HFD (high fat diet) and STD (standard food diet).
The ZJU-HUJI minisymposium !
You are all invited to join!
Congratulations to post-doctoral student Dr. Hassan Elsana
Dr. Elsana, a member of Prof. David Naor’s team, who was accepted to Teva’s National Forum for BioInnovators program! He was selected as one of 31 top post-docs from Israeli academic institutions. Included in this program, he will also receive from a grant of $10,000 to support his research.
Congratulations to our very own Abigael Chaouat of Prof. Ofer Mandelboim's team for publishing her first paper, in PLOS Pathogens!
This fascinating paper describes a receptor-binding domain fusion protein that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 infection!
Congratulations to our very own Prof. Yinon Ben Neriah for his official introduction, yesterday, as a new member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities faculty!
Congratulations to Prof. Rami Aqeilan and his post-doctoral researcher Dr. Sri Repudi for their new paper published in EMBO Molecular Medicine on the preclinical assessment of WWOX gene therapy as a possible treatment for WOREE syndrome.
“In this study, we showed that a single ICV injection of AAV9-Syn1-WWOX in Wwox-null neonates rescues the phenotypes associated with WWOX deficiency including growth retardation, hypoglycemia, hypomyelination, seizures and premature lethality.” says Prof. Aqeilan. “Additionally, treated mice were fertile and exhibited normal behaviour” he added.
This proof-of-concept preclinical assessment provides hope for WOREE and SCAR12 syndrome patients. In this context, the Aqeilan lab would like to thank all the patients, their families, and WWOX Foundation for their continuous support and inspiration.”
Invitation to the General Assembly of the Israel National Academy of Sciences
We are pleased to invite you to attend the open meeting of the General Assembly of the Israel National Academy of Sciences, which will feature the reception of new members and their inaugural lectures.
Among the new members to be inducted at the ceremony is our own Prof. Yinon Ben-Neria.
The event will take place on the third night of Hanukkah: Tuesday, November 30, 2021, between 18: 45-15: 30, and will be broadcast live on the academy’s website.
To receive a viewing link, we would be very grateful for your registration as soon as possible in the form found in the attached link (each participant must register separately).
You are all welcome,
Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research
Together with eminent virology colleagues from Italy and Germany, Prof. Dana Wolf organized the European Seminar in Virology.
The exciting program, with leading state-of-the art speakers and students from all over Europe, put an emphasis on SARS-CoV-2. Discussions included neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants, vaccines, other viral agents, antiviral vaccine vectors, and vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2.
In addition to SARS-CoV-2, other viral infections were also well-represented, including intrinsic restriction factors to HIV and herpesviruses (including CMV), innate immune resistance hubs, NK cells, trained innate immunity, and mucosal immunity.
The meeting was a great success with outstanding invited talks, excellent student presentations (including open presentation of unpublished data), and exceptional audience participation with in-depth discussions about each talk.
Due to current regulations we limited the onsite registration to 70 participants, which turned out to be a perfect size for close scientific interactions.
New Review published on Trends in Cell Biology
A fascinating and intriguing review on the putative homeostatic role of cancer mutations is published by Prof. Yinon Ben Neriah, Prof. Eli Pikarsky, and PhD student Avanthika Venkatachalam. In this review the authors discuss the potential constructive role of driver mutations in maintenance of tissue homeostasis, and whether they are linked to augmented stem cell renewal – possibly reflecting an adaptive protective mechanism.
It is with great sadness that the Lautenberg Research Center announces the passing of Ben Perlmutter z"l
Congratulations to Prof. Rami Aqeilan and MD-PhD student Daniel Steinberg for their newly published article in EMBO Molecular Medicine!
Congratulations to Prof. Berger and Dr. Saragovi for their article published in e-Life!
In their research, Prof. Berger and Dr. Saragovi used a unique mouse model to examine T-Cell antiviral responses in mice which were kept under low oxygen conditions.
Using molecular, pharmacological, and genetic methods they showed that T-Cell failure to respond under hypoxia stems from mitochondrial biogenesis arrest.
They then demonstrated that hypoxia-arrested T cells in-vivo could be rescued by short exposure to atmospheric oxygen conditions.
Their findings allow for a better understanding of viral infections in hypoxia-associated diseases, and may have clinical implications in the future treatment of such infections.
Passing through the new tunnel connecting the Botnar Building to Magid, don’t miss this:
Beautiful picture by PhD Student Or Reuven of Prof. Michal Baniyash’s lab, showing immune cells localized together in response to a developing tumor.
Congratulations to Prof. Michal Lotem and Dr. Emma Hajaj !
Prof. Lotem and Dr. Hajaj have discovered that two splice variants of the SLAMF6 receptor are found on human T Cells. While one form has a known antagonist role, the other form acts as an agonist that contributes to the anti-tumor response of T Cells.
They show that promoting mRNA splicing, resulting in an elevated expression of the agonistic form as opposed to the antagonistic one, improves human T-Cell capacity to inhibit human melanoma in mice.
This yin-yang relationship of SLAMF6 splice isoforms may represent a balancing mechanism that could be exploited to improve cancer immunotherapy.
Congratulations to Prof. Dana G. Wolf and PhD Student Or Alfi for the recent publication of their novel study in the Journal of Virology !
The researchers reveal SARS-CoV-2 tissue and virus-specific innate immune responses of human nasal-mucosal and lung tissues.
“The study sheds light on the role of the nasal-mucosa in active viral transmission and immune defence, suggesting a window of opportunity for early interventions, in contrast to the restricted innate immune response in early SARS-CoV-2 infected lung tissues which could underlie the unique uncontrolled late phase lung damage of advanced COVID-19.”
Prof. Ofer Mandelboim published a new paper in Nature Communications!
Dr. Einat Seidel led this exiting work into a new role for a human cytomegalovirus derived signal peptide which is slowly cleaved, enabling it to function in immune evasion! Click here to read more about this important and impressive discovery.
Prestigious research grant from the European Research Council for Dr. Yotam Drier
Dr. Yotam Drier was awarded 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC grant will support the Drier lab’s quest to understand epigenetic and topological alterations in cancer and their intratumoral heterogeneity. These efforts include both uncovering fundamental mechanisms that regulate epigenetics and topology, as well as translating these findings to improve treatment of specific cancers, by combining advanced experimental techniques with cutting edge big data analysis. For more information see Dr. Drier’s lab page
Congratulations to Dr. Eliran Kadosh for his exceptional PhD work which was recognized by the International Birnstiel Award!
The International Birnstiel Award for Doctoral Research in Molecular Life Sciences which awards up to 6 PhD students worldwide! This prestigious prize was awarded to Dr. Kadosh for his work published in Nature earlier this year.
Dr. Kadosh conducted his doctoral research in the lab of Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah, and his hard work led to the discovery of a novel tumor suppressive activity of mutant p53 in the intestine. Excitingly, it was also shown that this activity was impeded by gut bacteria, thus demonstrating the involvement of the microbiome in tumor development.
This prize is a great honor, and we are very proud of Dr. Kadosh’s achievements!
Congratulations to Dr. Oren Parnas and his team on their newest publication in Nature Communications.
Their fascinating and important research applies single cell RNA-seq to uncover important players in the early development of pancreatic cancer, a disease with shockingly low survival rates. For more about their valuable discoveries click here.
Congratulations to Prof. Ben-Neriah and his team on their newest and exciting findings published in Nature!
In the article, Prof. Ben-Neriah and his team show that mutant p53 has an oncogenic effect in the distal gut but a tumor-suppressive effect in the proximal gut, and these opposing properties are determined by the gut microbiome.
Prof. Dov Solizeanou is celebrating his 100th birthday!
Huge mazal tov from the LRC friends and colleagues.
Professor Dov Sulitzeanu, who is one of the founders of the Lautenberg Center and the Department of Immunology is 100 years old and we at the Center give him our warmest greetings and appreciation for building our Center. Dov has been a role model of a scientist for many of his students and colleagues, including group leaders at the Center. Talking to Dov at his birthday I learned that he follows closely the scientific progress of the Center labs and, as always, raises interesting questions and ideas. As such, Dov continues to be a great source of inspiration to the Center’s members and we all wish him many more happy years. Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah
To our teacher and my long-standing friend Dov, wishing you many years of gratification and fruitful productivity. Prof. Moshe Kotler.
To my rabbi and mentor Dov, I will never forget your dedicated guidance and wisdom as you mentored me throughout my doctoral studies. Prof. David Naor
Congratulations to Prof. Ruth Galili, Orit Berhani, and Amijai Saragovi for receiving the prestigious Kaye Innovation Awards!
Remarkably, three out of the five recipients are members of the Lautenberg Center, and we take pride in their achievements. The Kaye Innovation Awards are given to inventors from the Hebrew University who are solving real-world problems by translating scientific excellence into successful commercial ventures.
Download the Kaye Brochure 2020
Congratulations to Dr. Yotam Drier on receiving a research grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).
The grant will provide support for the next five years for multiple efforts in the Drier lab to systematically uncover how epigenetic alterations drive liver cancers. In addition the ISF will help establish the new Drier lab by supporting advanced experimental equipment and high-end computational infrastructure in a separate new faculty equipment grant.
Prof. Dana Wolf and Dr. Yotam Drier have led efforts to test and implement simple and sensitive pooling approaches to increase the efficiency of clinical testing for SAR-CoV-2.
Thanks to these efforts the throughput of tests of asymptomatic populations at the Hadassah Medical Center increased more than 7-fold, allowing efficient screening of healthcare personnel and nursing homes. This approach can be easily implemented in other clinical labs and drew worldwide attention.
Prof Rami Aqeilan has published a new article article: Pleiotropic tumor suppressor functions of WWOX antagonize metastasis
In the article, Dr. Saleh Khawaled and Prof. Aqeilan show the role of the tumor suppressor WWOXs and its therapeutic potential in antagonize metastasis.
The Aqeilan’s laboratory won the prestigious proof-of-concept ERC (PoC-ERC) grant to develop a cure for WOREE syndrome.
Studying SARS-CoV-2 at the Lautenberg Center
Dr. Oren Parnas and Dr. Yotam Drier collaborate and use their labs’ resources and advanced techniques to study the coronavirus tissue distribution during infection period, and to study the regulation of the human receptor that allows viral entry to cells. These may lead to novel detection and treatment approaches against SARS-CoV-2.