I am a full professor of Gene & Cell Therapy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I direct the Gene and Cell Therapy Institute at the Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital. I also established this institute. Today, we are 13 research groups, with 90 investigators.
Current research interest: We investigate the role of inflammatory factors contributing to liver regeneration upon infection. While investigating these factors along the years, we have learned that the IL6-gp130 pathway is pivotal for the regeneration of liver parenchyma. This understanding further engaged us in studies aimed at translating the knowledge generated to determine the role of IL6-gp130 in the regeneration and anti-apoptosis in other tissues. Our current data show that this pathway is involved in the protection and regeneration of the kidney, heart, bone marrow stem cells and the salivary gland.
Translational research: Our researchers at the institute and I, in particular, are believers in translational investigation. During recent years, I have been involved in a number of programs and these include: 1. Development of a novel therapy for pancreatic cancer based on siRNA targeting K-Ras (I established a company around this technology called Silenseed); 2. Development of FIV as a novel lentiviral vector for gene therapy. 3. Identification of new therapeutic targets for liver cancer. 4. Development of novel imaging technologies for the identification of liver pathology, tools that were further used in our program on liver inflammation à regeneration à cancer (hepatocellular cancer).