The Hebrew University

Rehovot, Israel

The Hebrew University

Rehovot, Israel
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The Fund is dedicated to the portfolio of FutuRx, Israel's leading early-stage biopharma incubator founded by three of the world's leading healthcare organizations: Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Takeda, and OrbiMed, in cooperation with the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist). The fund was founded and will be managed by four RM Global partners: Mr. Yaron Breski, Mr. Assaf Keret, Mr. Ted Moon, and Mr. Bruce Roberts.  The Fund has completed its first closing of $30 million and will open to new investors for a second closing in the near future. "We are very excited to be launching this investment platform, given the extraordinary quality of science in Israel, and the powerful capabilities of our partners at FutuRx," commented RMG partner Yaron Breski. Another RMG partner, Ted Moon, added: "We believe the Fund will provide its investors with unique access to one of the most exciting early-stage biopharma portfolios we have seen." Mr. Erez Chimovits, senior managing director at OrbiMed Israel and Chairman of FutuRx, said that "Creation of the Fund is an important milestone for the incubator. The FutuRx incubator, which we founded together with our international partners, Johnson & Johnson and Takeda Ventures, is now receiving important reinforcement which will contribute to establishing new companies that develop breakthrough technologies." There are currently 10 portfolio companies in FutuRx, developing breakthrough technologies, with up to 30 additional portfolio companies to be formed. The existing and future portfolio companies are based on research originating at leading institutions in Israel and around the world, including the Weizmann Institute, The Hebrew University, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford among others. Several FutuRx ventures are already advancing as independent companies, financed by leading international players. "The Israeli Government Innovation Authority considers the RMGP Fund partnership with FutuRx an important model of fund-incubator synergy, that provides significant support and capital to the Israeli life sciences industry," stated Anya Eldan, Vice President at the Israeli Innovation Authority. "We welcome RM Global and FutuRx as long-term partners in our mission to accelerate breakthroughs in treating life-threatening diseases." FutuRx CEO, Dr. Einat Zisman, said that "RMG's establishment of this fund is an important strategic milestone for FutuRx. The fact that the Fund will provide a dedicated and unique source of capital to the incubator's portfolio companies will enhance FutuRx's competitive advantage as a best-in-class platform for early-stage drug development." RM Global is an investment banking and strategic advisory firm dedicated to creating unique value for its clients and investors. Specializing in life sciences, including biotech and medtech, with a track record of 25 years, RMG has built deep domain expertise and a unique global network, contributing to the success of many innovative companies in the Americas, Europe, Israel, and Asia.  See FutuRx is the Israeli biotechnology incubator that was established in January 2014 by OrbiMed Israel Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, through its venture group Takeda Ventures Inc., after winning the tender of the Israeli Innovation Authority in Israel. FutuRx established 10 companies and plans to establish and support additional 25-30 start-up companies during the eight year tender and to advance new candidate biotechnology products by identifying and nurturing these early-stage life science innovations. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

Reggev N.,The Hebrew University | Bein O.,New York University | Maril A.,The Hebrew University
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2016

Like yin and yang, novelty and familiarity are typically described as separate-yet-complementary aspects of an experience, two ends of a single continuum. However, novelty and familiarity are also multifaceted. For instance, novelty can sometimes result in enhanced mnemonic performance, whereas at other times familiarity is better remembered. As previous investigations focused primarily on the experimental aspect of novelty, the mechanisms supporting conceptual novelty (the novel combination of two previously unrelated existing concepts) remain unclear. Importantly, conceptual novelty can be recognized as such only when compared with preexperimental familiar knowledge, regardless of experimental status. Here we applied a combined repetition suppression/subsequent memory fMRI paradigm, focusing on the conceptual aspect of novelty and familiarity as the subject matter. Conceptual novelty was characterized by sustained neural activity; familiarity, on the other hand, exhibited repetition effects in multiple cortical regions, a subset of which was modulated by successful encoding. Subsequent memory of novelty was associated only with activation differences in a distinct set of regions, including the hippocampus and medial cortical regions. These results suggest that conceptual novelty (a) does not (easily) trigger the repetition suppression phenomenon but requires sustained neural recruitment and (b) activates dedicated encoding mechanisms. Conceptual familiarity, in contrast, allows rapid neural processing that depends upon existing neural representations. Overall, these findings challenge the definition of novelty as a unitary concept. Furthermore, they bear important implications for research into the neural bases of knowledge representation and recognition memory. © 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Savary J.,Yale University | Kleiman T.,New York University | Hassin R.R.,The Hebrew University | Dhar R.,Yale University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | Year: 2015

Much research has shown that conflict is aversive and leads to increased choice deferral. In contrast, we have proposed that conflict can be beneficial. Specifically, exposure to nonconscious goal conflict can activate a mindset (a set of cognitive procedures) that facilitates the systematic processing of information without triggering the associated costs, such as negative affect and stress. In a conflict mindset, people should be better able to make tradeoffs and resolve choice conflict. We tested this proposition in 4 experiments, and demonstrated that priming conflicting goals before a decision increases choice in domains unrelated to the primed conflict. We further demonstrated that increased choice occurs because people in a conflict mindset process choice information more systematically, and we rule out several alternative explanations for the results. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

Magen H.,The Hebrew University | Cohen A.,The Hebrew University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance | Year: 2010

The Dimension Action (DA) model asserts that the visual system is modular, and that each task involves multiple-response mechanisms rather than a unitary-response selection mechanism. The model has been supported by evidence from single-task interference paradigms. We use the psychological refractory period paradigm and show that dual-task performance can also be explained by the DA model. In 6 experiments we contrasted predictions from the DA model with predictions from the Response Selection Bottleneck (RSB; Pashler, 1994) model asserting that dual-task limitations are due to a unitary-response selection mechanism. Task 1 in all experiments was a tone discrimination task. In Experiments 1 to 3, Task 2 was a variation of either the Stroop or the flanker tasks. Experiments 4 to 6 manipulated response selection directly. The results showed that response selection effects can be underadditive in some conditions and additive in others depending on the modular nature of the response effect. Together, the results support the existence of an underlying modular architecture as proposed by the DA model and pose serious difficulties for the RSB model. © 2010 American Psychological Association.

Gertler A.,The Hebrew University | Elinav E.,Weizmann Institute of Science
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2014

Random mutagenesis of mouse leptin antagonist (L39A/D40A/F41) followed by selection of high-affinity mutants by yeastsurface display indicated that replacing residue D23 with a non-negatively charged amino acid (most specifically with Leu) leads to dramatically enhanced affinity of leptin toward LEPR leading to development of superactive mouse, human, ovine and rat leptin antagonists (D23L/L39A/D40A/F41A). Superactive leptin antagonist mutants of mouse, human, rat or ovine leptins were developed in our laboratory, expressed in E. coli, refolded and purified to homogeneity as monomeric proteins. Pegylation of leptin antagonists resulted in potent and effective long-acting reagents suitable for in vivo studies or therapies. In the present review we explain the mechanism of leptin inhibition and summarize the possible use of leptin antagonists as possible leptin blockers in various human pathologies such as antiinflammatory and anti-autoimmune diseases, uremic cachexia, and cancer. We also suggest the use of leptin antagonists as research reagents for creation of a novel, fast and reversible model of T2DM in mice. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

Home > Press > Nanotechnology delivery system offers new approach to skin disease therapies: Hebrew University formula that activates the body's natural defense against free radicals could control a variety of skin pathologies and disorders Abstract: Researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a nanotechnology-based delivery system containing a protective cellular pathway inducer that activates the body's natural defense against free radicals efficiently, a development that could control a variety of skin pathologies and disorders. The human skin is constantly exposed to various pollutants, UV rays, radiation and other stressors that exist in our day-to-day environment. When they filter into the body they can create Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) - oxygen molecules known as Free Radicals, which are able to damage and destroy cells, including lipids, proteins and DNA. In the skin - the largest organ of the body - an excess of ROS can lead to various skin conditions, including inflammatory diseases, pigmenting disorders, wrinkles and some types of skin cancer, and can also affect internal organs. This damage is known as Oxidative Stress. The body is naturally equipped with defense mechanisms to counter oxidative stress. It has anti-oxidants and, more importantly, anti-oxidant enzymes that attack the ROS before they cause damage. In a review article published in the journal Cosmetics, a PhD student from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working in collaboration with researchers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, suggested an innovative way to invigorate the body to produce antioxidant enzymes, while maintaining skin cell redox balance - a gentle equilibrium between Reactive Oxygen Species and their detoxification. "The approach of using the body's own defense system is very effective. We showed that activation of the body's defense system with the aid of a unique delivery system is feasible, and may leverage dermal cure," said Hebrew University researcher Maya Ben-Yehuda Greenwald. Ben-Yehuda Greenwald showed that applying nano-size droplets of microemulsion liquids containing a cellular protective pathway inducer into the skin activates the natural skin defense systems. "Currently, there are many scientific studies supporting the activation of the body's defense mechanisms. However, none of these studies has demonstrated the use of a nanotechnology-based delivery system to do so," Ben-Yehuda Greenwald said. Production of antioxidant enzymes in the body is signaled in the DNA by activation of Nrf2 - a powerful protein that exists in every cell in our body. This Nrf2 cellular-protective signaling pathway is a major intersection of many other signaling pathways affecting each other and determining cell functionality and fate. Nrf2 is capable of coordinating the cellular response to internal as well as external stressors by tight regulation of phase-II protective enzymes, such as the antioxidant enzymes. Ben-Yehuda Greenwald has also discovered a new family of compounds capable of activating the Nrf2 pathway. Moreover, by incorporating them into the unique delivery system she has developed, she managed to efficiently stimulate the activation of the Nrf2 pathway and mimic the activity of the body's' natural way of coping with a variety of stress conditions. "The formula we have created could be used in topical medication for treating skin conditions. Our formula could be used both as preventive means and for treatment of various skin conditions, such as infections, over-exposure to UV irradiation, inflammatory conditions, and also internal disease," she said. While the researchers focused on the skin, the formulation could prove to be effective in enhancing the body's natural protection against the damaging effects of ROS in other parts of the body, such as inflammation in cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. ### Ben-Yehuda Greenwald integrated several fields of research into her work and was guided by experts in their fields - Prof. Roni Kohen, the Director of the School of Pharmacy, The Institute of Drug Research in the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine; Prof. Shmuel Ben-Sasson from the Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research at The Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada in the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine; and Prof. Havazelet Bianco-Peled from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. She conducted her study at the David and Ines Myers Skin Research Laboratory at The Institute for Drug Research in the School of Pharmacy at The Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Weisburd D.,George Mason University | Weisburd D.,The Hebrew University
Criminology | Year: 2015

According to Laub (2004), criminology has a developmental life course with specific turning points that allow for innovations in how we understand and respond to crime. I argue that criminology should take another turn in direction, focusing on microgeographic hot spots. By examining articles published in Criminology, I show that only marginal attention has been paid to this area of study to date-often termed the criminology of place. I illustrate the potential utility of a turning point by examining the law of crime concentration at place, which states that for a defined measure of crime at a specific microgeographic unit, the concentration of crime will fall within a narrow bandwidth of percentages for a defined cumulative proportion of crime. By providing the first cross-city comparison of crime concentration using a common geographic unit, the same crime type, and examining a general crime measure, I find strong support for a law of crime concentration. I also show that crime concentration stays within a narrow bandwidth across time, despite strong volatility in crime incidents. By drawing from these findings, I identify several key research questions for future study. In conclusion, I argue that a focus on the criminology of place provides significant opportunity for young scholars and has great promise for advancing criminology as a science. © 2015 American Society of Criminology.

Levit A.,The Hebrew University
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2012

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important mediators of cell signaling and a major family of drug targets. Despite recent breakthroughs, experimental elucidation of GPCR structures remains a formidable challenge. Homology modeling of 3D structures of GPCRs provides a practical tool for elucidating the structural determinants governing the interactions of these important receptors with their ligands. The working model of the binding site can then be used for virtual screening of additional ligands that may fit this site, for determining and comparing specificity profiles of related receptors, and for structure-based design of agonists and antagonists. The current review presents the protocol and enumerates the steps for modeling and validating the residues involved in ligand binding. The main stages include (a) modeling the receptor structure using an automated fragment-based approach, (b) predicting potential binding pockets, (c) docking known binders, (d) analyzing predicted interactions and comparing with positions that have been shown to bind ligands in other receptors, (e) validating the structural model by mutagenesis.

Dayan E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Bar-Hillel M.,The Hebrew University
Judgment and Decision Making | Year: 2011

"Very small but cumulated decreases in food intake may be sufficient to have significant effects, even erasing obesity over a period of years" (Rozin et al., 2011). In two studies, one a lab study and the other a real-world study, we examine the effect of manipulating the position of different foods on a restaurant menu. Items placed at the beginning or the end of the list of their category options were up to twice as popular as when they were placed in the center of the list. Given this effect, placing healthier menu items at the top or bottom of item lists and less healthy ones in their center (e.g., sugared drinks vs. calorie-free drinks) should result in some increase in favor of healthier food choices.

All the Plutonium used on Earth is artificially produced in nuclear reactors. Still, it turns out that it is also produced in nature. "The origin of heavy elements produced in nature through rapid neutron capture ('r-process') by seed nuclei is one of the current nucleosynthesis mysteries," Dr. Kenta Hotokezaka, Prof. Tsvi Piran and Prof. Michael Paul from the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said in their letter. Plutonium is a radioactive element. Its longest-lived isotope is plutonium-244 with a lifetime of 120 million years. Detection of plutonium-244 in nature would imply that the element was synthesized in astrophysical phenomena not so long ago (at least in Galactic time scales) and hence its origin cannot be too far from us. Several years ago it was discovered that the early Solar system contained a significant amount of plutonium-244. Considering its short-lived cycle, plutonium-244 that existed over four billion years ago when Earth formed has long since decayed but its daughter elements have been detected. But recent measurements of the deposition of plutonium-244, including analysis of Galactic debris that fell to Earth and settled in deep sea, suggest that only very small amount of plutonium has reached Earth from outer space over the recent 100 million years. This is in striking contradiction to its presence at the time when the Solar system was formed, and that is why the Galactic radioactive plutonium remained a puzzle. The Hebrew University team of scientists have shown that these contradicting observations can be reconciled if the source of radioactive plutonium (as well as other rare elements, such as gold and uranium) is in mergers of binary neutron stars. These mergers are extremely rare events but are expected to produce large amounts of heavy elements. The model implies that such a merger took place accidentally in the vicinity of our Solar System within less than a hundred million years before it was born. This has led to the relatively large amount of plutonium-244 observed in the early Solar system. On the other hand, the relatively small amount of plutonium-244 reaching Earth from interstellar space today is simply accounted for by the rarity of these events. Such an event hasn't occurred in the last 100 million years in the vicinity of our Solar system. Explore further: Plutonium tricks cells by 'pretending' to be iron More information: Kenta Hotokezaka et al. Short-lived 244Pu points to compact binary mergers as sites for heavy r-process nucleosynthesis, Nature Physics (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nphys3574

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