Microbiology and Virology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms (microscopic organisms) that exist as single cells or cell clusters (i.e., bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protozoa, and viruses). The science of microbiology deals with the structure, function, and classification of such organisms and with investigating as well as controlling their activities. One of the advantages of the science of microbiology is that it provides simple tools for studying basic life processes, since many cellular activities are shared by microbial cells and more evolved (multicellular) organisms. In fact, much of our current understanding of biochemical and genetic processes in cells is based on studies carried out on microorganisms. Microorganisms constantly surround us and affect our lives on a daily basis. On the one hand, some of the human, animal, and plant diseases are caused by microorganisms. On the other hand, microorganisms contribute to numerous geobiological processes on earth and are routinely used in various industrial applications (e.g., the food industry, bioremediation, and biotechnology). Microbiological research implements both traditional and advanced research methods. The research focuses on diverse aspects ranging from basic to applied science and includes: (i) continued use of microorganisms as model systems for answering basic questions in biology; (ii) attempts to better understand and control the appearance, emergence, and recurrence of infectious diseases, with special emphasis on understanding the virulence mechanisms of mutual host-microorganism interactions and the interaction with the host's defense system; (iii) development of novel antimicrobial agents to overcome the resistance of microorganisms to existing substances; (iv) development of novel uses of microorganisms in industry, agriculture, and environmental processes; (v) characterization of the function of microorganisms in the environment and discovering the large number of microorganisms that have not yet been identified or grown in culture; (vi) in-depth understanding of basic processes (e.g., translation, transcription and splicing) of the eukaryotic pathogen which requires a systemic approach (system biology) for identification of unique processes in the pathogen that are not found in the host. This approach is especially important for pathogens such as parasites and fungi, where the differences with the host are small compared to bacterial pathogens. Viruses are known as generators of diseases in plants, animals and humans. Virological research has a variety of aspects, including epidemiological aspects (dispersion of the viruses and the morbidity that is related to them), clinical aspects (characteristics of the morbidity, prevention and treatment), and molecular aspects (the virus's genome and the molecular processes that are related to replication, expression of the viral genes and their action). The absolute dependence of viruses on living cells for their reproduction creates a complex web of interactions between viral components and proteins and cellular elements. Research of these interactions is important for understanding infection processes and for identifying weak points for impairing the infection process. Virus research may also help in understanding cellular processes that take place even in the absence of a viral infection.

Prof. Banin Ehud

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    Prof. Gerber Doron

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      Dr. Katcoff Don

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        Prof. Michaeli Shulamit

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        Prof. Ron Goldstein

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        Publications

        Selected Publications

        Human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons for studying human neurotropic viruses

        Markus, A., Lebenthal-Loinger, I., Yang, I.H., Kinchington, P.H. and Goldstein, R.S. An in-vitro model of latency and reactivation of varicella zoster virus in human stem cell-derived neurons by PLOS Pathogens 2015
         
        Grigoryan, S. Yee, MB Glick, Y, Gerber, D, Kepten, E, Garini, Y, Yang, IY Kinchington, PR and Goldstein R.S. Fusion mediated direct transfer of viral and cellular proteins from Varicella-Zoster Virus-infected non-neuronal cells to human neurons. PLOS One 2015

        Sloutskin, A, Yee, MB, Kinchington, PR and Goldstein, RS Varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus type 1 can infect and replicate in the same neurons whether co- or superinfected. J Virol. 2014 88:5079-86


        Markus, A., Waldman Ben-Asher, H., Kinchington,P.R. Goldstein, RS  Cellular transcriptome analysis reveals differential expression of pro- and anti-apoptosis genes by VZV-infected neurons and fibroblasts . J. Virol, 2014 88: 7674 –7677.

        Birenboim, R. Markus, A. Goldstein, R. S. Simple generation of neurons from human embryonic stem cells using agarose multiwell dishes J. Neurosci Methods 214:9-14 2013

        Grigoryan, S., Kinchington, P.R., Yang, I.H., Selariu, A., Zhu, H., Yee, M., and Goldstein, R.S. Retrograde axonal transport of VZV: live-imaging studies in hESC-derived neurons J. NeuroVirol. 18:462-470 2012

        Dukhovny, A. Sloutskin, A., Markus, A. Yee, M., Kinchington, P.K. and Goldstein, R.S. VZV infects human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons and neurospheres, but not pluripotent embryonic stem cells or early progenitors. J. Virology. 86:3211-3218, 2012. (Spotlighted article)

        Markus, A., Grigoryan, S., Sloutskin, A., Yee, M.B., Zhu, H, Yang, I-H., Thakor,N., Sarid, R.,  Kinchington, P.R.  and Goldstein, R.S. Varicella zoster virus infection of neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells: direct demonstration of axonal infection, transport of VZV and productive neuronal infection.  J. Virol. 85:6220-33 2011

        Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to neural derivatives

        Ziegler, L., Grigoryan, S. Yang, I-H, Thakor,N and Goldstein, R.S. Efficient derivation of Schwann cells from human embryonic stem cells (original article).Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 7:394-403 2011

        Ziegler,L., Segal-Ruder,Y., Coppola, G., Geschwind, D., Fainzilber,M., and Goldstein,R.S. A human neuron injury model for molecular studies of axonal regeneration  Exper. Neurol  223:119-127 2010

        Goldstein, R.S. Transplantation of mammalian embryonic stem cells and their derivatives to avian embryos. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports (invited review) 6:473-484, 2010

        Brokhman, I., Pomp, O. Fishman, L, Tennenbaum, T., Amit, M., Itzkovitz-Eldor, J. and Goldstein, R.S. Genetic modification of human embryonic stem cells with adenoviral vectors: heterogeneity of infectability between lines and increased infectability with differentiation correlates with expression of the coxsackie virus receptorStem Cells and Development 18:447-456 2009

        Pomp, O., Brokhman, I., Gamarnik, L, Almog, M., Korngreen, A., Tavian, M., and Goldstein,R.S. PA6-induced human embryonic stem cell-derived neurospheres: a new source of human peripheral sensory neurons and neural crest cells Brain Research 1230:50-60 2008 (cover photo)

        Pomp, O., Brukhman, I., Ben-Dor, I., Reubinoff, B. and Goldstein, R.S. Generation of peripheral sensory and sympathetic neurons and neural crest cells from human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells 23:923-930, 2005.

        Goldstein, R.S., Drukker, M. Reubinoff, B.E. and Benvenisty, N. Integration and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells transplanted to the chick embryo. Dev. Dynam.  225:80-86, 2002.

        Schuldiner, M., Eiges,R., Eden,A., Yanuka, O., Itskovitz-Eldor,J., Goldstein, R.S.and Benvenisty, N. Induced neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells Brain Res. 913:201-205, 2001 (cover photo, 350 + citations).

        Biotechnological uses of the chick embryo

        Grinberg,I., Duchovny, A. and Goldstein, R.S.Whole-animal imaging of human blood malignancy in turkey embryos: visualization of homing and engraftment. Leukemia and Lymphoma, 53:472-8 2012

        Farnoushi, Y., Cipok,M., Kay, S., Naparstek,E., Goldstein,R.S. and Deutsch,V.R. Rapid in vivo testing of drug response in multiple myeloma made possible by xenograft to turkey embryos Br. J. Cancer, 105:1708-1718 2011

        Noiman, T. Buzhor, E., Metsuyanim, S. Harari-Steinberg, O., Morgenstern, C., Dekel, B and Goldstein, R.S. A rapid in-vivo assay system for analyzing the organogenetic capacity of human kidney cells Organogenesis, 7:140-144 2011

        Slobdobnik, D. Grinberg, I, and Goldstein, R.S. Human skin transplanted to the chick chorioallantoic membrane for prediction of contact hypersensitivity: an alternative to murine local lymph node assay. Experimental Dermatology 18:409-413 2009

        Grinberg,I., Reis, A. Ohana, Taizi, M, Rund, D., Cipok, M., Tavor, S., Deutsch, V. and Goldstein, R.S. Engraftment of human blood malignancies to the turkey embryo: a robust, rapid and inexpensive in-vivo model. Leukemia Research 33:1417-1426 2009

        Taizi, M., Deutsch, V.R., Leitner, A., Ohana, A. and Goldstein, R.S. A rapid in-vivo system for studying and testing therapeutics on human blood malignancies. Exp. Hematol. 34:1698-1708, 2006.

        Early vertebrate development (chick embryo)

        Goldstein, R.S. and Kant, R. Plasticity of axial identity among somites: cranial somites can generate vertebrae without expressing Hox genes appropriate to the trunk. Dev. Biol. 216:507-520, 1999 (cover photo, Jan 2000).

        Goldstein, R.S., Teillet, M. A. and Kalcheim, C. Microenvironment created by grafting rostral half-somites is mitogenic for neural crest cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 12:4476-4480, 1990.

        Goldstein, R.S. and Kalcheim, C. Determination of epithelial half-somites in skeletal morphogenesis. Development116:441-445, 1992.

        Patents

        Methods for generating neuronal cells from human embryonic stem cells and uses thereof (with Reubinoff, B.) US Patent application filed April 8, 2005, awarded Singapore, 2009.

        Chimeric avian-based screening system containing mammalian grafts (with Tennenbaum Tamar and Deutsch Varda) PCT Publication Date: May 1, 2006. USPTO publication April 2009

        80-414 BIOTECHNOLOGY SEMINAR

        80-545  BIOTECHNOLOGICAL USES OF STEM CELLS

        80-849 IMAGE PROCESSING FOR BIOLOGISTS

                      INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGY B (English for Post-bac Premed program)

        80-902 GRADUATE SEMINAR (A)

         

        Prof. Sarid Ronit

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          Prof. Schwarz Rakefet

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