Research Department of Physiology ,Biophysics and Systems Biology

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The Vascular Biology Laboratory of Associate Professor Abassi Zaid. Mechanisms Scientific research Photoof sodium/water retention and cardiac hypertrophy in congestive heart failure. Involvement of the endothelin and nitric oxide systems in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Pathogenesis of proteinuria in experimental models of nephrotic syndrome: Novel therapeutic approaches. Adverse renal effects of pneumoperitoneum: Mechanisms and therapeutic approaches. Acute kidney injury-Pathogenesis, detection and therapy.

The Cardiac Research Laboratory of Professor Binah Ofer. My laboratory is mainly interested in investigating the molecular and cellular derangements in iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes generated from patients with inherited cardiac pathologies such as Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT), LQTS, and a variety of cardiomyopathies, including dystrophic cardiomyopathies. Specifically, my lab main activities are: (1) Reprogramming human hair keratinocytes and dermal fibroblast to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC); (2) Generating iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM) from patients with varies inherited cardiac pathologies; (3) Investigating the molecular, cellular and functional changes in the mutated cardiomyocytes.

The Cardiac Electrophysiology and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Professor Gepstein Lior.
Identification of Human Embryonic-Derived Cardiac Progenitor Cells – Implications for Myocardial Repair The research performed in the Gepstein laboratory lies in the emerging fields of cardiovascular regenerative medicine. Specifically, our research focuses on the potential use of human pluripotent stem cells (such as human embryonic stem cells, hESC) for myocardial regeneration (for the treatment of post-myocardial infarction heart failure), and on utilizing genetically-engineered cell grafts to modify the myocardial electrophysiological properties (for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias). Specific research programs that involve hESC include: Studying the mechanisms that are involved in early human cardiac-lineage commitment and differentiation, and the potential presence of a differentiation hierarchy during this process. Studying the mechanisms that underlie the development of excitability and calcium handling in human cardiac tissue. Using the hESC cardiomyocyte differentiation system as a platform for functional genomics, pathophysiological modeling, and drug testing. Developing molecular, cell-based, and tissue engineering approaches to utilize hESC-derived cardiomyocytes for future myocardial repair strategies.

The Genome Structure and Function Laboratory of Assistant Professor Noam Kaplan studies the profound connection between genetic information and its physical organization. We use a combination of advanced computational and experimental methods to decipher how the genome encodes its 3D organization and how this mediates biological function across different biological systems and in disease.

The Cardiovascular System Molecular Research Laboratory of Assistant Professor Kehat Izhak. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a worldwide epidemic. It is estimated, for example, that in Europe around 10 million people are Scientific research Photosuffering from this disease. Despite some progress in medical treatment within the last 10 years, morbidity and mortality of CHF are still high: 70-80% of patients suffering from heart failure will die within the next 8 years. Our lab studies the molecular mechanisms responsible for cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling during heart failure. Specifically we focus on the molecular signals, genome organization and the epigenetic modifications that control gene expression in the heart and on the mechanisms that differentially control concentric and eccentric cardiac growth in order to suggest targets for treating heart failure. We are also interested in heat valve disease and valve calcifications and in ways to inhibit this devastating process. We use advanced molecular biology, physiology, genomics, cell culture techniques and gene modified mice to address these questions.

Biophysics & Systems Biology Laboratory of Assist. Professor Yoni Savir focuses on machineries by which cells sense their environment and accordingly regulate their growth and metabolism; the impacts of age on signal processing networks in cells; information processing in biological systems.

The Physiology of Excitable Systems Laboratory of Professor Marom Shimon. Research focus:
biophysical and functional aspects of excitability in channels, cells and networks. Special attention is devoted to processes at extended timescales.

The Visual System Research Laboratory of Professor Perlman Ido. The research in the laboratory deals with visual information processing in the healthy and diseased retina and in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying retinal diseases. We study the effects of neuromodulators e.g. nitric oxide and dopamine on light- and dark-adaptation and on the receptive field properties of ganglion cells. We study the molecular response of the retina to stressful episodes such as light exposure, hyperglycemia, high intra-ocular pressure, retinal detachment. we investigate stress-induced protein expression and the role of these proteins in retinal degeneration.

The Kidney Research Laboratory of Professor Winaver Joseph.

Research focus—
1. Regulation of renal blood flow by hormonal and paracrine systems: the Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone systems, nitric oxide, Endothelin, Prostaglandins, the natriuretic peptides system.
2. Mechanisms of salt and water retention by the kidney in experimental congestive heart failure