Chairperson: Prof. David Lichtstein


The Institute for Medical Research, Israel-Canada is a research institution which conducts fundamental and applied research in the field of biomedicine. The Institute conducts basic research on genes and proteins that control fundamental processes in living cells to unlock the mysteries of disease and find the keys to their causes, treatment, and prevention. Our goal is application and dissemination of knowledge through publication, education and international co-operation. The institute aspires to be one of the most innovative biomedical research organizations in the world. The Institute scientists work in a multidisciplinary enterprise to broaden the base of knowledge of specific cellular and molecular changes that may be involved in causing disease. This work is essential to understanding most of the illnesses that now challenge medical science, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and many more


About the Organizational Structure:


The Institute for Medical Research, Israel-Canada was established in 2007 and is the largest academic and administrative unit at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. The institute is composed of five Departments: Department of Medical Neurobiology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Immunology and Cancer Research, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research. The heads of the departments are elected every three years on a rotational basis. All the faculty members (83 in 2008) form the General Council that elects the chairperson of the institute for a term of four years. Six elected representatives form the Standing Committee which is responsible for conducting and supervising all academic and administrative matters. The institute is also divided into Teaching Divisions responsible for the teaching of the different disciplines of medical sciences. The teaching affairs are handled by the Teaching Committee, which is composed of the heads of the Teaching Divisions and headed by a chairperson elected by the General Council of the institute. The teaching responsibilities of the institute include the teaching of all the basic medical sciences to students in the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Pharmacy and B.Sc. in Medical Sciences program. In addition, 180 M.Sc. and 400 Ph.D. students are doing research and studying within the framework of the institute.


The research activities of the institute are dedicated to shedding light on the mechanisms whereby the tissues, organs and systems of the organism conduct their life processes with particular focus on issues relevant to the understanding of diseases and their treatment. The research activities of the institute covers a wide range of topics including cellular and system neurobiology, physiology, biochemistry, immunology, molecular genetics and membrane structure and function. These research activities are often based on the combined background and interests of members of the institute, producing multi-disciplinary approaches to medical sciences. The research is funded by competitive grants from a variety of national and international sources. The available facilities and equipment at the institute permit competitive investigation of virtually every aspect in medical sciences. Finally, research activities may also be organized into Research Hubs which bring an interdisciplinary group to focus on a certain health challenge or disease.

Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research

Chairperson: Prof. Howard Cedar

Department members: Dr. Behar Oded; Dr. Ben-Porath Ittai; Prof. Ben-Sasson Shmuel; Prof. Bergman Yehudit; Dr. Dor Yuval; Dr. Eden Sharon; Prof. Fainsod Abraham; Dr. Gerlitz Offer; Dr. Hellman Asaf; Prof. Katzav-Shapira Shulamit; Prof. Keshet Eli; Prof. Paroush Zeev; Prof. Yisraeli Joel;

Emeritus: Prof. Gordon Amirav; Prof. Grover Norman; Prof. Doljanski Fanny; Prof. Zajicek Gershon; Prof. Laskov Reuven; Prof. Stein Olga; Prof. Razin Aharon; Prof. Glazer Gad; Prof. Schlesinger Michael

To be located: Low Bldg (3&4) Ground floor and second floor


The Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research is composed of a talented group of young scientists devoted to understanding how the human body develops from a single cell, into a small embryo and then to the adult organism with multiple tissues and cell types. This involves a multidisciplinary effort that utilizes many basic tools, such as genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology. Using these approaches, scientists in the department are learning about the control of genes at the molecular level and how this works to help shape the organism through cell movement and differentiation. Studies in the department are also aimed at deciphering the basis of stem cells and are working at ways to reprogram body cells so they can be used for tissue repair in many different diseases. Understanding development will aid our efforts to overcome diseases like diabetes and tackle the problems of Fragile X syndrome and many neurological disorders. It also stands at the heart of deciphering the basic defects in cancer and developing new approaches for the treatment and prevention of this disease. This department is one of the best research centres in Israel, being supported by over 2.5 million dollars in annual grant money and producing research publications in the very best scientific journals.

Department of Immunology and Cancer Research

The Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology

Chairman: Prof. Prof. Ben Neriah Yinon;

Department Members: Dr. Aqeilan Rami; Prof. Baniyash Michal; Prof. Ben-Sasson Shlomo; Prof. Haupt Yigal; Prof. Kedar Eli; Prof. Mandelboim Ofer; Dr. Pikarsky Eli; Prof. Steinitz Michael; Prof. Yefenof Eitan

Emeritus: Prof. Gallily Ruth; Prof. Weiss David; Prof. Naor David; Prof. Kotler Moshe

To be located: Low (bldg 3 & 4) Floors BEINAIIM (mezzanine) and KARKA (ground)


Founded in 1968 as a new Department of Immunology at the Hebrew University-Faculty of Medicine and subsequently accorded Center status, the Lautenberg Center has achieved international recognition as a major unit for research and education in immunological science.

The Lautenberg Center is comprised of over seventy students, scientists and personnel workers. Organized into thirteen independent but closely collaborating research units, the Centers staff is pursuing a multifaceted program of investigation in tumor immunology, transplantation immunology, and basic cellular and molecular immunology. More than thirty research projects are financed by US$1.3 million dollars of competitive grants. Some 2,000 scientific communications articles reporting research findings, reviews, chapters in text-books and in symposium publications, books, and abstracts of lectures presented at international scientific conventions have been published by investigators conducting their studies in the Centers laboratories.

Highlights of research topics investigated by The Centers scientists are: Role of the WWOX tumor suppressor in homeostasis and cancer (Rami Aqeilan); Chronic inflammation and immuno-suppression (Michal Banyiash); Protein destruction and inflammation-Common themes in cancer (Yinon Ben-Neriah); Regulation of tumor suppression in normal and cancerous cells (Yigal Haupt); Regulation of NK cell activity by viral and cellular microRNAs (Ofer Mandelboim); Mechanisms of liver carcinogenesis (Eli Pikarsky); Non-genomic mechanisms regulating gluco-corticoid induced death of cancer cells (Eitan Yefenof).

The Centers personnel provides formal courses of lectures and laboratory instruction in immunology, molecular biology, tumor biology and host-parasite relationship studies to medical, dentistry, and pharmacy students, and to undergraduate and graduate students in the natural sciences. Forty Ph.D. students and eighteen M.Sc. students pursue dissertational research at the Center, and foreign scholars with advanced standing are frequent visitors for seminars and periods of joint investigational endeavors.

The Center provides a variety of clinical services and consultation to hospitals in Israel, especially through its affiliated Hadassah Unit of Tissue Typing and Immuno-genetics. The Lautenberg Center is linked to the scientific and medical communities in Israel, and internationally through invitations to scientific meetings, membership in scientific associations and organization of symposia and conferences.

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Chairman: Prof. Rosenshine Ilan;

Department Members: Prof. Altuvia Shoshy; Prof. Amster-Choder Orna; Dr. Ben-Yehuda Sigal; Prof. Bercovier Herve; Dr. Dzikovski Ron; Dr. Furman-Schueler Ora; Prof. Goldberg Israel; Dr. Golenser Jacob; Prof. Hanski Emanuel; Prof. Jaffe Charles; Dr. Jarrous Nayef; Prof. Margalit Hanah; Prof. Piness Ophry; Dr. Rokem Stefan; Prof. Rosen Haim; Prof. Shlomai Joseph; Dr. Simon Itamar; Prof. Taraboulos Albert; Prof. Trachtenberg Shlomo; Prof. Warburg Alon; Prof. Yogev David;

Emeritus: Prof. Aharonovich Yakov; Prof. Engelberg-Kolka; Prof. Bachrach Uriel; Prof. Galon Rachel; Prof. Greenblatt Charles; Prof. Cohen Amikam; Prof. Samuni Amram; Prof. Citri Nathan; Prof. Razin Shmuel; Prof. Schlein Yosef; Prof. Shapira Dan

To be located: Botnar Building, Floors -1, 3 and 4 (as of April 2009)


Infectious diseases reemerge as a major global public health problem and bioterrorism threat. Some of these diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and leishmaniosis are more prevalent in developing countries. Others, like those caused due to infections by Streptococcus and E. coli are more common in industrial countries. Moreover, microbes play a central role in chronic inflammatory diseases such as ulcer and inflammatory bowel diseases. Combating these threats depends on a deeper understanding of basic processes in microbial biology, and requires stuies of microbial gene-regulation, computational genomic studies, microbial development and metabolism, investigation of the structure of microbial virulence factors and analysis of host-microbe interaction. However, while each of these individual studies is important, today the focus of biomedical research must be on integrating disciplines and approaches in order to gain a wider perspective on disease and prevention.


Established in 1923, the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics was one of the first departments to be established at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in what was then called the Institute of Microbiology. Previously, the laboratories of members of the department were scattered thought the Ein Karem campus. The newly re-organized department brings together a powerful intellectual community of top scientists to facilitate a multidisciplinary approach to meet tomorrow's needs for preserving life. The goal of the newly organized department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is fostering such a multidisciplinary approach in investigating microbe biology and host-pathogen interactions.


The department comprises 21 research groups headed by internationally established scientists involved in the study of microbes including bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses. Almost all faculty members of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics are funded by grants from a variety of national and international sources, and the available equipment and facilities will permit competitive investigation in virtually every aspect of modern microbiology. Over the years, the department has consistently made important contributions to the development of science and biotechnology in Israel.



The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Chairman: Prof. Meyuhas Oded;

Department Members: Prof. Barenholz Yechezkel; Prof. Bar-Shavit Zvi; Dr. Cohen Ehud; Prof. Honigman Alik; Prof. Kanner Baruch; Dr, Karni Rotem; Prof. Lorberboum-Galski Haya; Prof. Panet Amos; Prof. Ravid Shosh; Prof. Razin Ehud; Dr. Sharon Ronit; Dr Shaulian Eitan; Prof. Stern-Bach Yael; Prof. Yedgar Saul;

Emeritus: Prof. Becker Yechiel; Prof. Gatt Shimon; Prof. Zakay-Rones Zichria; Prof. Rahamimoff Hannah; Prof. Reshef Lea

To be located: Botnar Bldg floors 1 and 2 (second stage)


The research in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is conducted in the laboratories of 21 research groups, headed by 16 faculty members and five professors emeriti. The scientific interests of these groups are diverse and characterized by the usage of biochemical, cellular and molecular biological methodologies in attempts to explore mechanisms underlying physiological and pathological processes, as well as the development of therapeutic agents and strategies. Highlights of research topics investigated by the department's scientists are: biochemical mechanisms of signal transmission in the nerve system and the involvement of ion channels (Baruch Kanner, Yael Stern-Bach, Hannah Rahamimoff); molecular responses to environmental and metabolic stresses, like oxygen deficiency and UV irradiation (Oded Meyuhas, Eitan Shaulian); differentiation of osteoclasts (Zvi Bar-Shavit); aging-associated degenerative diseases, like Parkinsons disease, and macular degeneration (Yechezkel Bernholtz, Ronit Sharon, Ehud Cohen, Mottie Chevion); neoplastic transformation and metastasis (Shosh Ravid, Rotem Karni, Alik Honigman); metabolic diseases, like Diabetes and lipid-storage diseases (Oded Meyuhas, Shimon Gatt); inflammatory and allergic diseases, like asthma (Ehud Razin, Shaul Yedgar); cardiac hypertrophy (Ehud Razin); infectious diseases caused by HIV, respiraptory viruses and pathogenic bacteria (Amos Panet, Raymond Kaempfer, Zichria Zakay-Rones); drug delivery systems and selective targeting of disease-causing cells for treating cancer, multiple sclerosis, as well as pain management and local anesthetics (Haya Lorberboum-Galski, Yechezkel Bernholtz, Shimon Gat, Zichria Zakay-Rones); development of antiviral drugs and vaccines (Zichria Zakay-Rones, Ehud Katz). In summary, members of the Department are engaged in multiple levels of basic research, from the physiology of the whole organism to molecular mechanisms, evidently their short- or long-term goals are aimed at solving medically relevant problems.

The Department of Medical Neurobiology

Chairman: Prof. Lev-Tov Aharon;

Department Members: Dr. Amedi Amir; Dr. Anglister Lily; Prof. Gertz David; Dr. Inbal Adi; Prof. Kalcheim Chaya; Dr. Klar Avihu; Prof. Lichtstein David; Dr. Meiri Halina; Dr. Nussinovitch Itzhak; Prof. Ornoy Asher; Dr. Prut Yifat; Prof. Rotshenker Shlomo; Dr. Treinin Millet; Prof. Vaadia Eilon; Prof. Yaari Yoel; Prof. Yanai Joseph

Emeritus: Prof. Ilani Asher; Prof. Ben-Or Sarah; Prof. Ben-Ishai Zina; Prof. Minke Baruch; Prof. Sohmer Haim; Prof. Samueloff Shlomo

To be located: Low (bldg 3 & 4), Floors 4 and 5  


The brain and nervous system control all our body functions. To understand how the brain and nervous system operate and govern our physical and mental tasks or emotional drives is one of the greatest challenges in life science and medicine. In the modern era progress in brain research and neuroscience can be obtained only by interdisciplinary approach and by combining basic and clinical research. The newly established department of Medical Neurobiology in the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University includes 17 active research groups. This assembly of investigators forms the largest departmental core of neuroscience and neurobiology in Israel. The major basic research areas in this regard are: cellular and molecular biology of neurons, development of the brain and nervous system, degeneration, plasticity and repair of the brain and nervous system, neural signaling, learning and memory, motor control, genetics, and cognition and behavior. Major clinical research efforts are focused on mechanisms of diseases of the nervous system, studies of brain imaging techniques, and development of novel therapies. Strong collaborations already exist between some of the groups in the department and we seek to strengthen existing relationships while identifying and promoting new research collaborations that cut across traditional borders, by bringing together investigators from complementary fields.




Research Hubs will encourage and enable IMRIC faculty to engage in collaborative research projects in core priority areas: a tentative list is as follows (note: if funding were given for something else, a hub could be formed to focus on that issue).


Hub for Cancer Research


Hub for Cardiovascular Research


Hub for Emerging Infectious Diseases


Hub for Hereditary Diseases and Birth Defects


Hub for Pancreatic Diseases


Hub for Neurodegenerative Diseases


Hub for Autoimmune Diseases


Hub for Mitochondrial Diseases