Dr. Azriel Gorski
Associate Professor, University of New Haven, Forensic Sciences.
Dr. Jan Gunneweg
Research Associate, Institute of Archaeology, Archaeometry.
Dr. Gila Kahila Bar-Gal
Senior Lecturer, School of Veterinary Medicine, Zoonotic Diseases.
Dr. Eshetu Lemma
Post Doctoral Fellow, Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Molecular genetics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Mark Spigelman - MB BS, FRCS, B.Sc.
Victoria Koltunov - Ph.D. student, Bacterial dormancy.
María Inés Zylber - Ph.D. student, Molecular taphonomy.
Ljuba Hellmann - Ph.D. student, Ancient diseases.
Our small unit is embarked on a bold program of building around a central "Ancient DNA" (aDNA) core research a program in our bio-cultural heritage. These new areas of research take advantage of the advances in technology and molecular biology to express in atomic and molecular terms our evolutionary history. aDNA studies have continued to advance, and especially the area of ancient pathogens. 2003 - 2005 has been a period of moving beyond the establishment of the field into truly substantive areas of research. Our articles are now appearing in the Lancet and Proceedings of the Royal Society and stirring up considerable interest. Pathogen evolution and the interaction of pathogens are now in the forefront of understanding emerging infectious diseases. Now the ability to examine host resistance factors in populations is a challenge and a true possibility. We are now beginning to examine how these findings will impact on public health practices. We have now edited the first collection of articles on ancient pathogens, published by Oxford University Press. It appeared in March of 2003, entitled "Emerging Pathogens, the archaeology, ecology, and evolution of infectious disease". It has received excellent critical reviews (8).
Studies of the evolution of pathogenesis are underway. Organisms isolated from amber are the central focus of studies on the persistence on non-spore forming organisms. Remarkable relationships between dormancy and the very hostile environment of amber have been revealed. Another study examines the evolutionary origins of the metabolic systems of leishmania. Targets related to the inheritance of traits from photosynthetic bacteria are being exploited as chemotherapeutic targets.
In the area of material culture, a major work on Qumran by an associate of the unit, Jan Gunneweg, has recently been published by Academic Press, Fribourg. It is the definitive description of the material culture of Qumran - "Qumran, without the Dead Sea Scrolls". Based upon its contents, a meeting of COST (a European Community Network on science and technology) Action G8 was held on the 22 and 23rd of May 2005A at the Belgium House of the Hebrew University. It brought together in a workshop format 25 European experts who have studied findings from Qumran with advanced physical and chemical methods. The "Biological and Material Culture of Qumran at the Dead Sea" is now constituted as a Working Group of COST. A new aspect that we introduced into the COST agenda was on the impact of biological agents in the destruction of organic materials, specifically the biopolymers. We are certain this workshop will have a major impact on the future of scientific archaeology in Israel.
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Commissioned officer, US Public Health Services.
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Laboratory of Physical Biology, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.
Assigned from US Public Health Service to El Salvador, Faculty of Medicine. Visiting Professor of Microbiology.
Returned to previous assignment, NIH.
Head, Section of Cell Biology and Immunology. Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Laboratory of Physical Biology, NIH.
Hebrew University, Professor of Parasitology, Hadassah Medical School.
Chairman, Department of Parasitology.
Director of the Kuvin Centre for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases.
Director, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University.
Harvard College, cum laude, AB Biology.
University of Pennsylvania, MD School of Medicine.
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital Internship.
Selected Research Support
Center for the Study of Emerging Diseases. Ancient Pathogens.
David and Tasha Stadtner Fund. Molecular Taphonomy.
Karen Kayemet of Israel. Paleobotany
Australian Friends of Hebrew University. Tuberculosis research.
Israeli Government, MInistry of Absorption. Student support.