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Follow the news and meet the people behind IMRIC's innovative medical research.

Vlog: PhD Student Roy Granit on Latest Research

Blog: Student
By: IMRIC PhD student Roy Granit
PhD student Roy Granit

Check out my latest vlog about what's happening in the lab and my change in status, from Masters student to PhD!

The Innovators Way

The Innovators Way

"If Israel is the start-up nation, then Hebrew University is the start-up of the start-up nation."

I couldn't agree more with this statement, shared last week by Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson during the launch of the new exhibition "Innovators Way". The Photo Expose features 27 Hebrew University researchers whose work led to commercial products in fields including health, safety, environment and nutrition.

Jerusalem Marathon Countdown: It's On!

Jerusalem Marathon's youngest runner

The Jerusalem Marathon is literally hours away and I am pumped. I am also kind of exhausted just thinking about the race itself…and I am only running the half! I feel really excited and when I get nervous about running for what will be about two hours (if I am lucky and reach my goal time) I just think about how this race is so important for my mental and physical health.

Running in races is a great way to challenge yourself physically, but also emotionally and mentally. As I said in my previous blog post, I first started running as a way to get off the baby weight and get out of the house. But the running felt so good that I made it a hobby. And from a hobby it became a daily part of my life. Finally, I realized that I could take the run to a whole new level with a race and a goal.

A year later, I never would have thought I would still be running and running in my second Half-Marathon and third Half when I race in Tel Aviv in two weeks. What's great about these races is you meet some of the thousands of people from all over the world that have come to the Holy City to run and explore the ancient streets.

As well as the international crowd there are also dozens of Hebrew University students that are participating in the race. Not only have these students come together to train and race, but they have volunteered in elementary schools and high schools, explaining to hundreds of students why a healthy lifestyle is so important. They also explained why the Marathon will shut down almost all the main roads of Jerusalem, and why they should come out and cheer on the runners. It is amazing to see this type of student initiative.

Check out this video to meet one of these students. You may recognize him from his own IMRIC Vlog, its PhD student Roy. He is taking time away from the lab—no small feat for medical researchers at IMRIC—and running in the race.

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

Blog: Guest
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 studies....it'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!

 

Run! Run! Run!

me and baby and half marathon

I am training for not one, but two half marathons that I hope to run in this March. I will run with my husband and our baby. We can't bring the dog, even though he would beat us all, because it is just a few too many thousand people for him.

Last week I ran in a free 16km race. I did finish the race, although it was pretty hard. The half marathon is 21km so I know I am almost there. What's so difficult about running in Jerusalem is all the hills. This city has more and ups and downs than a hormonal teenager!