Cellular Immunology

המעבדה לאימונולוגיה תאית
Head of the lab:
Dr. Muayad Zahalka
Research Areas:

The most desired goal in bone marrow and organ transplantation as well as in autoimmune medicine is the development of drugs that will specifically and effectively target disease-related T lymphocyte clones with very few side effects. The treatment with the currently available chemical immunosuppressive drugs in the clinic is accompanied by severe side effects and is sometimes not effective in suppressing the disease. This is because, on the one hand, they attack biological processes that exist not only in the target cells but also in many other tissues in the body, and on the other they do not suppress all the T-cell-dependent immune mechanisms.

In-depth research in our lab on the molecular processes in T cell activation has led to the identification of unique primary events that trigger the chains of signaling pathways responsible for this activation. Next, we established analytical systems that monitor and quantify these signaling events and asked how they can be inhibited.

In collaboration with the Computational Biology Unit at the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery at Tel Aviv University, we looked for small molecules capable of inhibiting these events. The search was done using a method of Molecular Dynamic Simulation, which produced a series of small molecules that were tested in the experimental model we set.

Some of these molecules have been shown to be capable of inhibiting different T cell signaling pathways and are currently being investigated in depth to increase their inhibitory activity.

Next, the selected molecules will be tested for their ability to inhibit T cell activation in vitro in culture and then in vivo in autoimmune disease and transplantation experimental models in animals.


Contact details
Dr. Muayad Zahalka Mobile: 052-2823697
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