David Lichtstein, born in Lodz, Poland, and father of 3, is a graduate of the Faculty of Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1970). His M.Sc. (1972) and PhD (1977) degrees on the metabolism of amino acid neurotransmitters in the brain were studied in the laboratories of Prof. Joseph Dobkin and Prof. Jonathan Magnes, at the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Lichtstein completed his postdoctoral training (1977-1980) in the laboratory of Dr. Arthur Blume at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology, Nutley, NJ, USA, working on opiate receptor function.
In 1980, as a lecturer, he joined the Department of Physiology of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in the Faculty of Medicine. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1983, Associate Professor in 1987 and Full Professor in 1994. He was a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1985-1986) and the Eye Institute (1997-1998) at the National Institutes of Health, MD, USA, and a Visiting Professor in Toledo School of Medicine, OH, USA (2007).
In his research, Prof. David Lichtstein's main focus is the regulation of ion transport across the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. In particular, he studies the main transport system for sodium and potassium, the sodium-potassium-ATPase, and its regulation by cardiac steroids. His work led to the discovery that specific steroids that were known to be present in plants and amphibians are actually normal constituents of the human body and have crucial roles, such as the regulation of cell viability, heart contractility, blood pressure and brain function. His research has implications for the fundamental understanding of body functions, as well as for several pathological states such as heart failure, hypertension and neurological and psychiatric diseases (for more details see Prof. Lichtstein's webpage
). His laboratory studies were and ared supported by many prestigious grant foundations such as the Israel Academy of Sciences, the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Tysen Foundation, Israel, Ministry of Health, Israel, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Israel, as well as by multinational drug companies and private foundations. Prof. Lichtstein is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews.
He has served as the President of the Israel Society for Physiology and Pharmacology (1996-1999) and was a member of numerous Medical Faculty and Hebrew University committees. He also served in many executive roles within the academic activities of the Faculty of Medicine and the Hebrew University, including Chairman of the Neurobiology Teaching Division (1983-1986), Chairman of the Department of Physiology (1992-1996), Chairman of the Institute for Medical Sciences (1999-2002) and, until recently, Chairman of the Institute for Medical Research, Israel-Canada (2008-2012). In June 2013 Prof. David Lichtstein was elected Dean of the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine.