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

HIV/AIDS Vaccine, Are We Finally Here?

AIDS cocktail

I remember my first health class where I truly paid attention to the material being presented. The material was a glass full of pills.  It was called a cocktail. And a man who was dying from AIDS was swallowing each pill, one by one, before my whole class.

It was the first time our class didn't giggle through sex ed. It was the first time I met someone that was dying. He was dying from AIDS. Back in the 90's AIDS was spreading and talk of a cure was just that…talk.

To me AIDS is the disease of my generation. From that day on I knew what it was, how you can contract it and how it will kill you.

Today, as an adult, I am still paying attention to news about the disease.  Some of the most exciting research taking place at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) is in AIDS research. Take for example Prof. Ofer Mandelboim, who is collaborating with Dr. Frank Plummer from the University of Manitoba on HIV and AIDS research. The pair travelled to Kenya where through their research they were able to show that Natural Killer cells play an important role in building resistance to infectious diseases like HIV and AIDS.

This week, HIV/AIDS research made headlines once again. The news reported that Canadian researchers at the University of Western Ontario in London may have developed an HIV vaccine.  The vaccine received a green light from the FDA for testing on humans. The clinical trials will take place over three years.

The vaccine has taken over a decade to develop. I can't help but wonder if the man with the cocktail is still alive and holding on pill by pill. I want to believe he is and that one day this important research will finally give people like him a cure. And give me another way to remember AIDS, not as a deadly disease, but as a disease that can be cured.  

Vlog: What's Happening in the lab now, PhD Student Moran Dvela

Blog: Student
PhD student Moran Dvela

Check out PhD Student Moran Dvela's latest vlog as she explains what's happening in her IMRIC lab under Prof. David Lichtstein's supervision, right now. Mutations, mice and more! Learn about how the lab works and what Moran is focusing on. 

For more on PhD student Moran click here

Science and Art, Father and Son, Academy Award and Nobel Prize...

Footnote

 

It is a general notion that the left side of the brain is more science based and the right side more creative. However, in real life I believe these sides are not divided equally and that sometimes the paths cross.

There is after all a science to art. And one could argue that science is an art form. For me there is no better illustration of these two worlds colliding then Institute of Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) Professor Howard Cedar and his son Film Director Joseph Cedar.

Both father and son have become household names in their respective fields. Prof. Cedar is a scientist and known to many as the "father of methylation," which has led to the field of epigenetics. Joseph Cedar first came on the world's radar for his film "Beaufort" which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He will be back on the red carpet again this year for a second nomination for his film "Footnote". The film is a dramedy that examines the relationship between father and son, both of whom are competing researchers of Talmud at an Israeli university.  

This is science and art. Father and son excelling in their respective fields—I am referring to the Cedars not the father and son in the film. So yes, I know it is a bit off topic, but I wanted to share behind the scenes footage of Prof. Cedar that I filmed after his son's film's success at the Cannes Festival where he won best screenplay. The film was just making its way into movie theaters, but I being a native Los Angelina was already asking about the Oscar excitement.

Well we are finally here, and Footnote's nomination is once again exciting for Israel. After all the country has never won an Academy Award. But what could be even more exciting than young Cedar taking home Hollywood Gold? I think winning an Oscar and a Nobel Prize in the same year. It could happen, and if it does I want the rights to the film version of this story!

Watch this short clip to learn about the film, the father-son relationship, and art and science.  

Vlog: Meet IMRIC PhD student Keren

Blog: Guest
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

 

 

Vlog: Masters Student Roy Granit on Lab's Breast Cancer Discovery

Blog: Student
By: Masters Student Roy Granit
Masters Student Roy Granit

 

Check out IMRIC Masters student Roy Granit in his new Vlog post about his lab's breast cancer discovery. Through Roy's lab's investigative studies, led by Dr. Ittai Ben-Porath, the team has found a sub population of cells among the tumor cells that have the characteristics of a stem cell.  What does this all mean? Watch the clip to find out!

 

 

Roy Granit is currently pursuing hisM.Sc. in Biomedical Research at The Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) at The Hebrew University. Check out Roy's first vlog here.