Mission

To study the health benefits of nutraceuticals and nutrition in the treatment of age-related illnesses as well as explore  their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. 

Our researchers are focused on the impact of nutrition on human health issues, and also study the health benefits of medicinal cannabis for different types of human diseases.

Collaborate

with us

Head of Nutrition and Natural Products Department
Head of The Department of Nutrition and Natural Products

Prof. Jamal Mahajna

Plant-based Cancer Drug Discovery
972-50-4242634
Jamalm@migal.org.il

Our main interest in the cancer drug discovery program revolves around cancer drug resistance, and in particular, in Ph+ leukemia. In general, Ph+ leukemia drug resistance to therapy might be due to mutations within BCR/ABL or associated with disease progression that is independent of BCR/ABL mutations. To overcome drug resistance caused by point mutations, specially the "gatekeeper" T315I mutation, we explored modulators of the Myristoyl Binding Pocket (MBP) within the BCR/ABL {Khamaisie et al., 2011; Najajreh et al., 2013} and combinations approaches utilizing AKIs with allosteric inhibitors {Khateb et al., 2012; Mian et al., 2012}. Currently, we are addressing residual disease, cell-adhesion mediated resistance, and disease progression of Ph+ leukemia which is independent of BCR/ABL mutations. Specifically, we are exploring the interaction between the Ph+ leukemic cells to the bone marrow microenvironment and studding the role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) activators in mediating homing and adhesion to the bone marrow, mediated by affecting the expression of CD44, CD184, and N-cadherin that contribute to residual disease, stimulate drug resistance, and accelerate disease progression in most hematopoietic malignancies. Our long term goal is to get a better understanding of the role of EMT activators in the biology of Ph+ leukemia, especially in the regulation of bone marrow homing and adhesion of Ph positive leukemia cells which play a significant role in disease progression and drug resistance. Achieving our goals will be utilized to develop better diagnostic and therapeutic tools for Ph+ leukemia and potentially to other hematological malignancies.

The department consists of collaboration between different laboratories within the institute including the labs of:

  • Vascular Research Signaling
  • Microbiome and Human Health
  • Integrative Physiology
  • Cancer Drug Discovery
  • Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases
  • Physiology and Cultivation of Mushrooms
  • Oxidative Stress and Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology of Chronic Diseases 
  • Zebrafish laboratory for pre-clinic assays.

The department consists of collaboration between different laboratories within the institute including the labs of:

  • Vascular Research Signaling
  • Microbiome and Human Health
  • Integrative Physiology
  • Cancer Drug Discovery
  • Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases
  • Physiology and Cultivation of Mushrooms
  • Oxidative Stress and Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology of Chronic Diseases 
  • Zebrafish laboratory for pre-clinic assays.

Department Research Groups

Applied Mycology

Prof. Segula Masaphy

Prof. Segula Masaphy
Applied Mycology

Research Interests:

Research Interests:

Ecology and Biotechnology of Mushroom

Bio-active compounds from mushrooms

Environmental Mycology

Fungal-bacterial interactions

Forest mycology

The aim of my research is to increase the applied knowledge on microbial interactions with their environment, mainly filamentous fungi (including edible mushrooms), either improving their valuable

    Integrative Physiology

    Dr. Roee Gutman

    Dr. Roee Gutman
    Integrative Physiology

    Research Interests:

    Research Interests:

     

    My field of interest is Integrative Physiology, i.e. the broader aspects of physiology, involving and integrating mechanisms and regulatory functions at all biological levels spa

      Medicinal Cannabis

      Dr. Paula Adriana Pitashny

      Dr. Paula Adriana Pitashny
      Medicinal Cannabis

      Research Interests:

      Research Interests:

      Our research group is interested in the investigation of the potential medicinal activities of the different cannabis plant species in pre-clinical studies.

      2004- Present. Senior Lecturer at Tel Hai College, Upper Galilee, Israel.

        MicroRNAs and the Mechanisms of Diseases

        Dr. Ari Meerson

        Dr. Ari Meerson
        MicroRNAs and the Mechanisms of Diseases

        Research Interests:

        Research Interests:

        We study the molecular basis of chronic diseases, focusing on the function of microRNAs, short RNA molecules that regulate gene expression and are involved in a variety of biological pathways.

        We study the molecular basis of chronic diseases, focusing on the function of microRNAs.

          Natural Products and Analytical Chemistry

          Prof. Soliman Khatib

          Prof. Soliman Khatib
          Natural Products and Analytical Chemistry

          Research Interests:

          Research Interests:

          1. Extraction, isolation, structure elucidation and synthesis of natural bioactive compounds from microalgae, plants and mushrooms for the prevention and treatment of human diseases. 

          Isolation, identification and synthesis of bioactive natural compounds for the prevention and treatment of human diseases, and advanced analytical methods such as, metabolomics for early diagnosis

            Plant-based Cancer Drug Discovery

            Prof. Jamal Mahajna

            Prof. Jamal Mahajna
            Plant-based Cancer Drug Discovery

            Research Interests:

            Research Interests:

            Our research interste revolved around natural products who exihibit anti-cancer activity. Our main focus is in overcoming chemoresistance in cancer and in particular,

            Our main interest in the cancer drug discovery program revolves around cancer drug resistance, and in particular, in Ph+ leukemia.

              Sphingolipids, Natural-Bio Compounds and Immune Modulation Laboratory

              Dr. Dorit Avni

              Dr. Dorit Avni
              Sphingolipids, Natural-Bio Compounds and Immune Modulation Laboratory

              Research Interests:

              Research Interests:

              Bioactive sphingolipid metabolites, including ceramide, sphingosine and their respective 1-phosphates (C1P and S1P), have gained recognition over the last two decades as key regulators of cellular

              We strive to understand the mechanisms of  inflammation and cancer  that underlie the involvement of sphingolipids  and to translate these laboratory discoveries into new the