Check out the latest collaborative research, news and innovations with our guest contributors from the world-wide scientific community.

So How Are We Doing? A Quick Update on Understanding Natural Killer cells and their role against HIV infection


Dr. Adrienne Meyers

Dr. Adrienne Meyers

Viruses hold the key to many important aspects of our understanding of biology, immunology and genetics — and all of them have information to offer. My passion for viruses led me to seek out a more in-depth understanding of immunology and how it relates to pathogenic viruses, which directed me to the research programs of Dr. Frank Plummer at the National Microbiology Laboratory/ Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the University of Manitoba. I spend a great deal of time working in sub-Saharan Africa, directing research projects and overseeing many of the studies on HIV/AIDS in one of the hardest hit parts of the world.

Dr. Adrienne Meyers

Well, I'm very pleased with the progress we've made to date and the direction that the work is heading for!  IMRIC Prof. Ofer Mandelboim and I have spent a lot of time brainstorming and discussing how we can build the collaboration and where to take things.  Our work, which began with characterizing a role for Natural Killer (NK) cells in protection from HIV infection ("resistance" to HIV) has expanded to look at NK cells in the context of other infectious diseases.  We've got projects on the go with Influenza and talks about expanding to other viruses such as Dengue and Ebola.

So far we have had one paper accepted for publication - this was work conducted primarily in Nairobi by members of both our labs, headed by a post-doctoral fellow, Hormas Ghadially, from Ofer's team.  This paper was published in the journal AIDS in February 2012. The manuscript describes differences in NK cells and their interaction with another type of immune cell, Dendritic Cells, in women who are resistant to HIV infection.  Another key to the puzzle in understanding "natural" protection from HIV!! We feel very strongly that the key to development of a novel, effective vaccine (and novel therapeutics) lie in these natural correlates of protection that we see in women resistant to HIV.

We have several projects on the go right now - some on HIV and some on influenza - all are very exciting and yielding new and important information.  Stay tuned for updates on the projects and the results of the's sure to be great and lead us in even more new directions!

For now - here are some of the pictures from Nairobi - the first two are from one of the clinics where our study participants enroll and visit. The third picture is our lab (with a new addition) where we conduct the experiments once samples are transported from the clinic.  Great people on all teams!


Vlog: Meet IMRIC PhD student Keren

By: Keren Nevo
Prof. Orna Amster-Choder's lab

"If you find something new in science, the first thing you do is recheck yourself 10,000 times..."

Don't just think of bacteria as something you try to avoid. Check out IMRIC PhD student Keren Nevo's Vlog as she discusses her incredible research using bacteria and recent discovery published in Science. Nevo is completing her PhD research under Prof. Orna Amster-Choder



Running all over the World: The Virtual Race and the Jerusalem Night Run, Make sure to Stretch!

By: Bar Pereg
Hebrew University running group, "Someone to Run With"

As a Hebrew University student I am so excited to take part in the Virtual Race. After all, your support goes towards my school. My friends. My professors. So thank you for your contribution because I know that the researchers at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) are making their contribution to science and society through their incredible investigations and innovations.

The big virtual race day takes place on Dec.11, and on Dec.12 another exciting race is taking place right here in Jerusalem, the first ever Night Run. Runners from around Israel will come together in Jerusalem’s Old City, circling the ancient walls and running through the streets for this awesome race.

Pick a Team: Virtual Marathon for Medical Research: Supporting breast cancer research

By: Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of BC Cancer Foundation
Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of BC Cancer Foundation

Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of BC Cancer Foundation, writes about his support for the IMRIC Virtual Marathon. Check out this excerpt from his post on the BC Cancer Foundation blog

This is a brief interruption to Dr. Aly Karsan’s blogging to share an interesting fundraising opportunity that is happening right now online—it’s a virtual race!

The Virtual Marathon for Medical Research - December 11, 2011 The BC Cancer Agency has recently entered into the Virtual Marathon for Medical Research presented by the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC). It is a virtual race that will take place on December 11, 2011, where 10 different charities will race to win money for their cause; and each charity is represented by an avatar based on the likeness of a real person.

One of our recent guest bloggers, Dr. Karen Gelmon, will be racing—in avatar form—for breast cancer research, and I would like to extend the invite to you to support her virtual marathon for breast cancer research.

To read more and check out how to join the Virtual Marathon for Medical Research click here

Our Parkinson's Disease Research: New Hopes for the Future

By: Dr. Boris Rosin, IMRIC Researcher
Dr. Boris Rosin, IMRIC Researcher

After working for several years as a software development engineer following the completion of a BSc in Mathematics and Computer science at the Tel Aviv University, I decided to pursue a medical degree at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I took my knowledge from my former career and joined Professor Hagai Bergman’s laboratory at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC)at the Faculty of Medicine and Edmond and the Lily Safra Center of Brain research (ELSC). At first I was a software engineer, writing the software for the experiments performed in our lab, investigating Parkinson’s and the neuronal processes underscoring learning.  Prof. Bergman is an incredible researcher and one of the top in his field of Parkinson’s disease. I am very fortunate to say that today I am working under his guidance in my PhD research.

My research is on Parkinson’s disease (PD). The so-far incurable disease is characterized by non-motor and motor symptoms, with the latter group including mainly muscle rigidity, resting tremor and bradykinesia. A family of techniques, collectively labeled as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), has been used for treatment of tremulous disorders, first and foremost PD. The essence of the therapy is the implantation of a stimulating electrode in a deep region of the brain and the delivery of high-frequency low-current stimulus which brings about a significant alleviation of the main PD motor symptoms. Despite being very widespread, the mechanisms underlying DBS action are poorly understood. Our research aims at improving DBS, and specifically to perform closed-loop DBS, in which the stimulus will not be delivered constantly as it is today but rather in reaction to the ongoing brain activity.