Isolation of broadly neutralizing antibodies against SARS Co-V-2
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological cause of the coronavirus induced disease 19 (COVID-19) that emerged in late 2019 causing a worldwide epidemic. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the family Coronaviridae together with SARS-CoV that emerged in 2002 causing approximately 8000 infections with a lethality of 10%. Both viruses are the result of a zoonotic transfer from an animal reservoir that caused a life-threatening respiratory illness in humans. Along with other accumulating evidence, our working hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 convalescent individuals have protective anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity, and particularly, antibodies. In this study we aim to isolate anti-SARS Co-V-2 broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) bNAbs from convalescent COVID-19 patients and to generate a panel of candidates for treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
Antibody responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis
In collaboration with: Dr. Danielle Bendayan, Lung division, Shmuel Harofe Hospital, Dr. Oren Zimchoni, Kaplan Hospital
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTb) is the cause of Tuberculosis disease and is the top infectious agent world wide according to the WHO. In the last century a MTb was successfully controlled with highly efficient antibiotic treatment. However, recently the number of antibiotic-resistant MTb cases increased dramatically.
Our goal is to characterize and B cell response to Mtb and isolate anti-mob inhibiting antibodies that in the future can be translated into new antibody-based therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccine candidates for MTb. For that, we isolate and characterize the antibodies that are naturally produced in response to MTb in infected individuals.
Neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies
Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) is the etiologic cause of the infectious AIDS disease. According the WHO, in 2016 35 million people were infected with the virus and 1.2 million people died from AIDS. The current antiretroviral treatment is efficient in keeping low levels of viremia, however the virus is not completely eliminated by this treatment and some levels persist through latency and low-level replication. It is important therefore to investigate alternative strategies to eliminate HIV-1.
A small fraction of HIV-1 infected individuals produce neutralizing antibodies that show potent neutralizing activity against a broad range of different HIV-1 isolates. Our goal is to characterize new broadly anti-HIV-1 antibodies from infected patients with the aim of identifying new antibody-base therapeutics and new potential vaccine targets.
Discovery of anti-tumor antibodies
In collaboration with Dr. Einav Gal-Yam, Sheba Cancer Center
Monoclonal antibodies are widely used in for treatment of specific types of tumors.
Our goal is to understand the natural antibody immune response against tumors in breast and lung cancer patients by isolating naturally produced antibodies against tumor-associated antigens (TAA). We use single cell antibody sequencing methods for discovery of new anti-tumor antibodies that can potentially be used in the clinic for diagnostic and treatment of patients.
Vaccination under stress
In collaboration with: Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, PhD, Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences.