Dr. Benny Motro

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Senior Lecturer
The Suissa Life Sciences Building (212), 3rd floor, Room 301



1977-1980, BSc, with honors, in Agriculture

Dept. of Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot


1981-1982, MSc, with honors

Dept. of Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot


1985-1989, PhD

Dept. of Virology, Faculty of Medicine

Hebrew University, Jerusalem



Molecular and Developmental Biology

Dr. Alan Bernstein's laboratory, Mount Sinai Hospital Research Institute

Toronto, Canada


1991-1993, FELLOW

Leukemia Research Fund, Canada


1993-1996, FELLOW

Yigal Alon Fellowship





2002-present, SENIOR LECTURER

Cellular and Developmental Biology

The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences

Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel


Oct 2001-Feb 2002, SABBATICAL, Developmental Biology

Dr. Alan Bernstein’s laboratory, Mount Sinai Hospital Research Institute

Toronto, Canada


1993-2002, LECTURER

Cellular and Developmental Biology

Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University

Ramat-Gan, Israel



Composting of organic wastes for CO2 production

Migal Laboratories, Kiryat Shmona



Organization of conference


1997, Gene Targeting in vivo – the Impact of Gene Targeting

Ayelet Hashachar, Israel



Participation in Meetings of the EU consortium on

“Development of an Implanted Biosensor for Continuous

Care and Monitoring System of Diabetic Patients”:

Kick-off Meeting, Munich, Germany, Sept 12-13 2006

Six Months Meeting, Tel-Aviv, Feb 27-28, 2007

1st Year Review Meeting, Como, Italy,  July 16-18, 2007

Executive Board Meeting, Munich, Germany, Dec 13-14, 2007

18 Months Meeting, Prague, Feb 27 – March 1, 2008


1. The cellular and developmental roles of the mammalian Nek kinases:

Protein phosphorylation by protein kinases plays a critical role in orchestrating mammalian embryonic development and in cell cycle control. The NIMA-related kinases (NRKs) family of protein kinase is recently emerging as evolutionarily conserved, cell cycle regulatory proteins. Mammalian genomes harbor 11 members of this family (designated Nek), several of which were first cloned and characterized in our laboratory. However, their functions are still mainly enigmatic. Using overexpression and down-regulation approaches, we demonstrated that Nek7 is localized to the centrosome and is critical for the correct chromosomal segregation. Interestingly, our recent work revealed involvement of Nek1 in primary cilium formation. The primary cilium serves as an antenna sensing the physical and biochemical environment of the cell, and its disruption has been shown to be involved in multiple disorders and diseases including polycystic kidney diseases (PKD). Nek1 mutant mice indeed suffer from PKD, and we are currently exploring the ciliary - PKD phenotypes.

The ultimate approach to decipher the spectrum of functions of a specific gene is its inactivation by gene targeting. We recently applied this complicated technique to create mice deficient of several of the murine Nek kinases. The developmental and cellular consequences of Nek kinase loss is currently being investigated with the emphasis on possible chromosomal mis-segregations and ciliopathies.

2. Development of implantable glucose sensor:

Diabetes is one of the most common and devastating chronic diseases in humans. To stabilize blood glucose levels (BGL) daily and to allow normal life, diabetic patients must constantly monitor their BGL. A project (designated P. Cezanne) funded under the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Community is aimed at developing an implantable sensor for continuous monitoring of BGL. The consortium is multinational and multidisciplinary, and our group (in collaboration with Prof. Shulamit Michaeli's group) is responsible for the development of cells harboring a biological sensor sensitive to glucose levels. This task is highly challenging as the cells should survive in quite a harsh environment for at least half a year while stably expressing the sensor.

Last Updated Date : 20/08/2020