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Scientists of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine help fight COVID-19

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak crisis, we at the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University are working around the clock to improve diagnostics, develop treatment options and find ways to prevent spreading of the Coronavirus. Here are some of the projects currently being undertaken at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC).

Where is COVID-19 Hiding before symptoms appear?

Dr. Oren Parnas’s lab studies the immune system, exploring the roles of different white blood and how they deal with bacteria, viruses and cancer. With Dr. Yotam Drier, they are exploring in which tissues and cell types the virus is hiding and replicating before symptoms appear. This incubation time is particularly long for COVID-19.

Inhibiting the Viral Replication of COVID-19

Professor Rotem Karni's lab develops molecules that modulate RNA processing as a treatment for cancer and other diseases. Currently they are developing molecules that will target the RNA of the virus, and prevent the virus from multiplying, which will treat the disease following infection.

Manipulating the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Dr. Michael Berger’s lab focuses on the antiviral immunity mediated by T-cell, which are the main cells that attach and kill virus-infected cells. His lab explores ways to manipulate these cells to make them more effective against viral infections. Findings from Dr. Berger’s lab show that T-cell immunity is impaired under low oxygen conditions characterize patients suffering from pulmonary diseases, and are being applied to COVID-19.

Limiting Immune Cell Activation to Fight COVID-19

Professor Zvika Granot's lab explores the process by which immune cells deal with cancer. They generated cutting-edge tools to modify immune cell activation and his lab is utilizing these tools to target the pathology and deterioration of COVID-19.

Working to Increase Coronavirus Testing Efficiency

Dr. Maayan Salton and Dr. Yotam Drier have teamed up to develop coronavirus tests which are more efficient and take less time and reagents. Dr. Salton’s lab studies the process of editing that happens at the RNA level, and as coronavirus is an RNA virus they are taking advantage of the many tools at their disposal to study the disease and develop new testing methods.

The Faculty of Medicine Opens a Coronavirus Testing Center

Professor Yuval Dor shows how the Faculty’s interdepartmental equipment unit has been transformed into a coronavirus testing center. See how Hebrew University robots, which are operated by graduate students and researchers, are conducting thousands of tests per day.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – A Tradition of Innovation
COVID-19 and lab equipment