Dr. Avraham is Full Professor at the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry and Vice Dean at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. Born in Canada and raised in the US, Dr. Avraham received her B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and then went on to perform her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Her doctoral thesis focused on the development of a model for Down syndrome. She performed her postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, USA in mammalian genetics. Read more…
Zippi received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders at Tel Aviv University and her Master’s degree in Genetics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her graduate studies, as well as her post-doctoral training were completed in genetics, in our laboratory, where she worked on identifying and characterizing genes involved in deafness in the Jewish population. Today, Zippi continues her work in our lab as a Research Associate, combining experimental and computational techniques in order to detect all the ‘deafness genes’ in the Jewish population and reach a comprehensive view of the roles these genes play in hearing and deafness.
Amiel received his B.Sc. degree at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University, Rehovot, Israel. In parallel to his bachelor’s studies, he worked as a laboratory assistant in the Department of Plant Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he was exposed to the world of transposable elements and homologous recombination. He then decided to pursue his studies in the field of genetics. His Ph.D., obtained in 2012, focused on studying the mechanisms that underlie deafness as a result of SLC26A4 mutations. Human mutations in SLC26A4 lead to a non-syndromic (DFNB4) and syndromic form of deafness with enlargement of the thyroid gland (Pendred syndrome). In particular, he studied an ENU-generated mouse model, loop, with a mutation in the Slc26a4 gene. He continues to perform research in the lab on thyroid dysfunction in the loop mice, in between classes in the Sackler Four Year medical school program.
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 vestibular dysfunction. She continued on the direct Ph.D. track, and now focuses on exploring the mechanism underlying a duplication of the TJP2gene that was discovered in our lab and associated with late-onset progressive hearing loss in an Israeli family.
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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Kathy received her Bachelor Honors Degree in Pharmacology from University College London (UCL), United Kingdom. While at UCL she joined the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Gale at The UCL Ear Institute, where she worked on the role of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) in neomycin-induced hair cell death. She completed her Master’s Degree in Biology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She carried out her research in the laboratory of Prof. Luca Scorrano to work on mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis. During this period she set up a system for a novel super-resolution microscopy approach to reveal the role of mitochondrial subcompartments during pathophysiological conditions.
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.