Nadav Ahituv is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences and the Institute for Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco, CA, US. He received his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Tel Aviv University, working on hereditary hearing loss in our laboratory. He then did his postdoctoral fellowship, specializing in human genomics, in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the DOE Joint Genome Institute in Dr. Edward M. Rubin’s laboratory. His current work is focused on discovering gene regulatory elements in the human genome and linking mutations within them to human disease (http://bts.ucsf.edu/ahituv).
Ella was in our lab between 2003-2005 for her Master’s studies. Her M.Sc. research focused on the genetic mapping and characterization of the mouse mutant ‘Tailchaser’. She received her B.Sc. degree in Biology at the Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. After graduation Ella moved to London and worked in the pharmaceutical industry, both in pharmacovigilance (research of adverse effects of medicines) and in clinical research. She then decided to pursue a career in Medicine. She is now studying for her medical degree at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK.
Orna was in our lab between 2005-2010 for her Ph.D degree. Her Ph.D. research focused on the Pou4f3-Gfi1 transcriptional pathway and therapy for hearing loss. Orna worked with knockout mice and treated primary cochlear cultures with different anti-apoptotic agents. Her work was published inNeuroscience in 2010.
Orna received her M.Sc. from the Interdisciplinary Program for Biotechnology in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion, where she worked with siRNA on hematopoietic cells.
In 2012, Orna moved to Haifa and she is currently a lab manager in the Synthetic Biology Laboratory for the Decipherment of Genomic Codes, supervised by Prof. Roee Amit in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion, Haifa.
Lilach received her Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel; her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel; and her Master’s degree in Pharmacology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She performed her graduate studies in Immunology and Biological Regulation at the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel, where she characterized the conditions to improve the anti-tumor effect of antibodies to ErbB receptors, and found that a combination of non-competing antibodies to the same receptor has a synergistic effect compared to individual antibodies. As a Post-doctorate Fellow and Research Associate in our laboratory, Lilach studied the roles of microRNAs in the mouse inner ear and used massively parallel sequencing to identify deafness-linked mutations in hearing impaired persons. After working for two years in industry as a Senior Genome Analyst at Pronto Diagnostics Ltd., Lilach returned to academic research and is working as a Research Associate in the Systems Immunology Laboratory of Dr. Tomer Hertz, in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and The National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (http://www.hertz-lab.org/).
Keren was in our lab from 2002 to 2004 for her Master’s studies. Her thesis focused on an ENU-induced mutation in the AP-2 alpha transcription factor leading to middle ear and ocular defects in Doarad mice. Keren received her B.Sc. degree at the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Chemistry of Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. In parallel to her bachelor’s studies, she worked as a laboratory assistant in Dr. Ari Brazilai’s Laboratory (Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv). After her exposure to the world of mouse models for human genetic diseases, she decided to pursue her studies towards a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Her Ph.D. project focused on studying the molecular fingerprints in the eyes of an evolutionary conserved Polychaete. Her work shed light on the evolutionary history of the different cell types (e.g. pigment cells vs. photoreceptor cells) of the adult and larval eyes in the Polychaete Platynereis dumerilii. Today she is working as research coordinator at the Genetics of Autism Research Program at the University of California San Francisco, CA, USA.
Ronna Hertzano M.D. Ph.D. received both of her degrees from Tel Aviv University and was part of our laboratory from 1999-2006. She then pursued a residency in Otolaryngology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Hertzano is now a surgeon-scientist in the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her clinical practice is focused on diseases of the ear and lateral skull base, with a particular interest in hearing restoration and genetic hearing loss. Her research focuses on genetic hearing and balance impairment, and molecular cascades essential for inner ear development.
Orit was in our lab from 2005-2007 for her M.Sc. Orit received her B.Sc. degree in Biology and Psychology at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Her M.Sc. project aimed to study auditory and vestibular pathways by using both knock-in and chemically-induced mouse mutants. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant in a lab for molecular epidemiology, studying antibiotic resistant bacteria at the Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel. She then decided to pursue her studies abroad in the field of mRNA localization and is currently working on her Ph.D. thesis in the lab of Professor Ralf Peter Jansen at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. Her Ph.D. project focuses on the molecular mechanism of translation-independent mRNA targeting to the tubular and cortical endoplasmic reticulum network.
Thomas graduated in Medicine in Vienna, Austria, where he also worked as a clinician prior to joining our laboratory. He explored the role of microRNAs in the auditory and vestibular system, as well as identified mutations for deafness following massively parallel sequencing. His work was supported by an EMBO Fellowship. He is currently a resident physician in Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery in Vienna, Austria .
Dorith received her Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she also continued to her Master’s degree in Chemical Biology, researching phototransduction in Drosophila flies. Dorith joined our lab in 2006 for her graduate studies. Coming across a paper titled “From flies’ eyes to our ears” (Walsh et al. 2002) describing mutations in myosin IIIA, she decided to continue in thisdirection. Her research focused on the myosin IIIA protein interaction network and its role in the hearing process, using a knock-in mouse model that was generated in collaboration with Prof. M.-C. King’s laboratory at the University of Washington that mimics the human mutation in MYO3A. Upon her graduation, Dorith moved to the north of Israel and is currently working as a research associate at the Institute of Human Genetics, Western Galilee Hospital-Naharia.
Ophir received his M.D. degree from Hadassah and the Hebrew University, and then completed residency in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery. During his residency, he spent a year as a research fellow at the Harvard Medical School studying cochlear implants. After residency he returned to Boston as a fellow in Otology/Neurolotogy and Skull base surgery at the Harvard Medical School. During his fellowship, he spent a year at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of Auditory Physiology, studying the damaging effects of noise in animal models. He is now a senior physician at the Department of Otolaryngology/head and Neck Surgery at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. His research interests include noise-induced hearing loss, auditory rehabilitation with prostheses and histology of human temporal bones. He is studying the effects of genetics on sensitivity to noise in our laboratory.
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Danielle received her B.Sc. from Tel Aviv University, during which time she began working in our laboratory on ENU mouse models for hearing and vestibular dysfunction. She continued on the direct Ph.D. track, focusing on a transgenic moue model for duplication of the TJP2 gene and a knock-out mouse model of the SYNE4 gene, both models for human hereditary late-onset progressive hearing loss that were discovered in Israeli families. Danielle is now pursuing her scientific career as a post-doctoral fellow at the laboratory of Prof. Albert Edge, Harvard University, Boston.
Anya received her B.Sc degree in Biology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel. During her first degree, she researched mitochondrial DNA inheritance in the diabetic population at the Department of Life Sciences of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Currently, Anya is a Ph.D student (direct-track) working on the role of microRNAs in the mammalian inner ear and hearing. Her expertise lies in miRNA in situ hybridization.
Shaked received his B.Sc at Tel-Hai Academic Colleg in medical biotechnology. In parallel he joined Dani Bercovich’s laboratory at Migal – Galilee Technology Center, working on identifying novel mutations using DHPLC assays. Today he is studying on the direct Ph.d. track, focusing on connexin26 (Cx26) knockout models. Cx26 is essential for the hearing process and mutations in the gene are the most prevalent cause of non-syndromic sensory hearing loss. The conditional knock-out mouse model he has created will be used to study potential regenerative techniques.
Yoni graduated magna cum laude from the Research Program for Outstanding Students in Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University. During his undergraduate studies he researched the relationship between marine bacteria and coral bleaching, as well host-pathogen interaction inListeria monocytogenes. He started his direct-track PhD in the field of stem cells, working for a year on neural stem cells before joining our laboratory. His research is focused on trying to understand how hair cells distinguish between front and back, allowing them to create hair bundles that point in a certain direction rather than a random one.
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Natalie received her B.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Haifa. She continued on to a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences, focusing on sleep and alertness problems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel. After working as a genetic counselor and as a cytogeneticist, Natalie joined our laboratory for a second Master’s degree, focusing on characterization of TMC1gene variants associated with deafness. She is currently specializing in genetic counseling and working as a cytogeneticist at the Institute of Human Genetics, Galilee Medical Center, Naharia.
Rafi joined our laboratory as an undergraduate research student during the summer of 2013. He is expected to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in May 2014 from Brandeis University, where he currently attends as a Wien International Scholar. In addition to double majoring in Biology and Neuroscience, Rafi has accumulated some laboratory experience, having worked at Prof. Elior Peles’s lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science and at Prof. Piali Sengupta’s lab at Brandeis University. In so doing, he was exposed to various biological processes such as demyelination and post-dauer cilia outgrowth. Rafi’s current scientific interests lie in synaptic plasticity, cortical development, and above all, sensorineural hearing loss, whether it is sudden and idiopathic or hereditary. His future career goals include attending graduate school towards obtaining a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience, as well as working hand-in-hand with pharmaceutical companies in order to help bring about clinical translation to theoretical discoveries. In the lab, Rafi worked on characterizing new mutations discovered by whole exome sequencing.
Meirav Sokolov received her M.D. degree from Tel Aviv University. She in the fifth and last year of an otolaryngology residency program, and chief resident at the Meir Medical Center in Israel. She is involved in several areas of research in ENT. She is a clinical instructor and tutor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. Her main field of interest is Otology-Skull Base Surgery and is planning to pursue a fellowship in this field. Dr. Sokolov is performing her Residency Research project in our lab.
The team in Karen Avraham's laboratory at Tel Aviv University works to understand the molecular basis of deafness. We carry out genomic evaluation of inherited hearing loss and study genetic regulation of the function of the inner ear. We use advanced genomic technologies, including hybridization capture and deep sequencing, and model organisms to accomplish these goals.