Naama Geva-Zatorsky, Ph.D. – Principal Investigator
Naama is combining systems-biology with microbiology and immunology to study the interactions between gut microbes and the host immune system in health and disease. She has characterized the host response to a variety of gut microbes and has applied a metabolic labeling approach to fluorescently label the anaerobic gut microbes. In addition, she is studying microbial genetic mechanisms that allow gut microbes to thrive the dynamic gut ecosystem and to co-op with bacteriophage. She is a recipient of the Alon Fellowship, the national and international UNESCO-L’Oreal award, the Human Frontiers fellowship, the EMBO fellowship, the John F. Kennedy Prize, the Teva Prize, and the Barenholz prize, for academic excellence. Naama received her B.Sc. from Tel Aviv University, double-majoring in Chemistry and Biology, with summa cum laude honors. Her M.Sc. and Ph.D., are from the Weizmann Institute, studying systems-biology of protein dynamics in cancer, with Prof. Uri Alon, completed with honors. Her postdoctoral training was at Harvard Medical School, studying gut microbiota-host interactions with Prof. Dennis Kasper.
Tal Gefen, Ph.D. – Lab Manager
Tal obtained his B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Tel-Hai Academic College. He then pursued consecutive secondary degrees, M.Sc. and Ph.D., both in Immunology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture. He continued to a postdoctoral position at the University of Miami, faculty of medicine in Eli Gilboas’ lab where he focused on cancer immunotherapy using Aptamer technology. He chose to join Naama in her endeavors as he was fascinated by the opportunity to help establish a new lab and hopes to contribute to the research.
Tal Capucha, DMD-Ph.D. – Researcher
Tal graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a DMD-PhD degree. In his Ph.D. he studied the relationship between ontogeny and homeostasis of dendritic cells in the mucosa and the environment with an emphasis on the microbiome. He currently acts as a resident in the Maxillofacial Surgery Department at Rambam Health Care Campus. Tal joined Naama’s lab as a physician-scientist to study the combined role of the microbiota, and tumor-associated immune cells in development and prognosis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Haitham Hajjo – MD-Ph.D. Student
Haytham is from the small village Deir Hanna located in the Galilee. He received his B.Sc. in Medical Science from the Technion Faculty of Medicine, with summa cum laude honors. He is part of the MD-PhD program and is studying the mutual interaction between the brain & gut microbiomes, working in collaboration with Asya Roll’s lab.
Nadav Ben-Assa – MD-Ph.D. Student
Nadav graduated from Tel-Aviv University with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biology. He then enrolled in the Medical school at the Technion. Currently, Nadav is working as an MD-PhD student in Naama’s lab. When Nadav learned that Bacteriophages interact directly with the human body, he found it impolite not to interact back with them. Nadav is trying to find how the presence of certain bacteriophages affect and interact with the human immune system. Nadav believes that all bacteriophages, bacteria, and eukaryotes were created equal and hopes to find a peaceful solution to the eons-old conflict between them.
Rawi Naddaf – MD-Ph.D. Student
Rawi joined the lab after finishing his first degree in medical sciences from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in the Technion as part of his MD studies. He joined the lab to pursue a Ph.D. degree as part of the MD-Ph.D. program. He is currently studying the interactions between microbiome metabolites and cancer pathogenesis. In addition, he’s studying the volatomic profile of the bacterial species in the human gut microbiome and its interaction with the immune system.
Dana Kadosh – Researcher
Dana graduated with honors with a B.Sc. in Biotechnology and Food Engineering from the Technion. In 2017, she participated in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, focusing on interactions between allergies, autoimmune diseases, and the immune system using synthetic biology. Dana is passionate about the marvelous human immune system and joined the Geva-Zatorsky lab to study inter-kingdom communications – how bacteriophages affect mammalian cells within the human gut ecosystem. Dana completed her M.Sc. studies and is currently continuing working in the lab on her project.
Noa Mandelbaum – Ph.D. Student
Noa received her B.Sc. in Biochemical engineering from the Technion. She worked for a year as a Research and Development Assistant at Melcap, a medical device company, and is currently volunteering in “Engineers Without Borders” at the Technion. Noa joined Naama’s lab to characterize bacterial-derived immunomodulatory molecules in order to understand their mechanistic interactions that have therapeutic potential.
Shaqed Carasso – Ph.D. Student
Shaqed joined the lab after earning his first degree in Biology from the Technion. During his master’s degree in our lab, Shaqed studied fecal microbiota transplantations and phage therapy as treatment options for antibiotic resistant bacteria carriage, focusing on the role of gut bacteria in mediating the treatments’ outcome. Looking forward, Shaqed will integrate ‘wet’ lab work with bioinformatic tools to explore how bacteriophages can influence gut bacteria functionality and take a closer look at the Bacteroides genus’ phase variation.
Roni Keshet – Direct Ph.D. Student
Roni received her B.Sc. in Biomedical engineering from the Technion. She worked for two years as a support and testing student at MedicVision a medical imaging company developing enhancement tools for CT and MRI imaging, and worked there for another year as an QA engineer. She is a part of the excellence multidisciplinary program of the Rapaport faculty of medicine, joined the NGZ lab to study how nutrition can effect inflammation via the microbiome, working in collaboration with Shai Shen-Orr’s lab.
Rachel Herren – Research Associate
Rachel received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Health Sciences and Technology, focusing on Molecular Health Sciences from ETHZ in Switzerland. She spent a part of her M.Sc at the Weizmann Institute at the Elinav Lab, studying the effect of cardiotoxicity on inflammasomes. What drives Rachel to enter research is the potential of nutrition and lifestyle and how it can affect our microbiome and immune system. She is convinced that a holistic approach can prevent disease and improve health outcomes, and she is therefore excited to explore this concept in Naama’s Lab’s mechanistic approach.
Chen Yoeli – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Chen is a medical student, at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in the Technion. She found her way to Naama’s lab due to her interest in microbiome studies. Chen discovered her interest in basic and clinical research after studying Medical Laboratory Sciences for two years at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Currently, Chen is working at Naama’s lab as a research assistant, learning from other members of the lab, and assisting them with their experiments.
Efrat Oded – Research Assistant
Efrat is a medical student at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in the Technion. She graduated from the Hebrew University with a BSc in Chemistry and Biology in the honors programs “Amirim Teva” and “Etgar”. As part of the JBC “Golden Opportunity” Scholarship, Efrat studied the link between pathogens and Alzheimer’s disease with Dr. Naomi Habib at ELSC. Efrat joined the Geva-Zatorsky lab with an interest in the microbiome field. She is currently taking part in the research of a unique Type – I restriction-modification system in a common human gut-derived bacterium.
Amalfi Qarawani – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Amalfi is a medical student at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in the Technion. She’s from the northern village of Maghar and she has been interested in science ever since she was a kid. In 2017, she completed her research in biology and statistics at the Kinneret Academic college as a part of a science program. Later on, she presented her work in CERN, Switzerland. Amalfi is greatly interested in medical research, she joined the Geva-Zatorsky lab with the intent to learn about and explore the human microbiome.
Shaked Ahissar – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Shaked is a medical student at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in the Technion. She is participating in research projects in the lab, studying the interactions between the microbiome and the host’s immune system, and hopes to contribute to the understanding of important mechanisms which can lead to new therapeutic strategies.
Michal Brunswasser-Meirom, Post-Doctorate
Margalit Lillie Beck, MSc Student
Svetlana Fridman, Post-Doctorate
Elliot Berinstein, MD Student
Marian Khoury – Visiting Biotechnology Student
Naama Eshal – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Yossi Ben-Dor – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Neerupma Bhardwaj, Ph.D. – Post-Doctorate
Natali Constantinescu – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jennie Lugassy, Ph.D. – Research Associate