Hadassah has achieved enormous success in stem cell clinical trials, including with neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis & ALS (Motor Neurone Disease) plus cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and many other diseases and disorders. In undertaking collaborative research with our UK partners, Hadassah doctors will be able to further ground-breaking research from “bench to bedside” that will both improve patient care and accelerate the discovery process. Read below about the specific joint-research projects Hadassah experts are working on together with prominent UK institutions. (Source: British Council/Birax Projects)
Regenerative cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease
Professor Shakesheff and Dr Even-Ram’s project aimed to improve the quality of nerve cells that are being used to develop regenerative therapies for Parkinson’s disease. Over the past few years, researchers have been investigating a novel regenerative medicine approach to treating Parkinson’s: Human embryonic stem cells grown in a dish are directed to form a type of neuron (nerve cell) which, when transplanted into the brain of Parkinson’s disease patients, can replace damaged neurons. In this project, the Shakesheff and Even-Ram groups developed a reliable selection method that could eliminate tumour-forming cells amongst the neurons derived from embryonic stem cells. This method may become an important tool in generating neurons as treatment for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Professor Kevin Shakesheff, University of Nottingham, Dr Sharona Even-Ram, Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre
Identifying the genetic characteristics of Diabetes to find new treatment
In this project, Professor Hanley and Professor Glaser studied the mechanisms which prevent beta cells from replicating in adults and children, and those that causes these cells to replicate in foetuses. By studying how the very early tissues are put together during development, the researchers discovered which genes are involved in driving how tissues grow and how cells divide. Their work led them to identify the genetic code responsible for shutting-down. If these cells can be reawaken, and stimulated to start dividing, it would allow the body to produce more beta cells capable of making insulin which would help in conquering diabetes.
Professor Neil Hanley, University of Manchester
Professor Benjamin Glaser , Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical Centre
Towards regenerative medicine in M.S.
This project explored the potential of cell therapies to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Neural stem cells, which can produce many different types of nerve cells, are being investigated as cells that could be used to stop the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like MS when transplanted.
They showed that these cell transplants helped to stop the disease developing and progressing and also had an impact on myelination of nerve cells – a process that is vital for nerve cell behaviour but goes wrong in MS. The groups also showed, for the first time, that human stem cell derived myelinating precursor cells when transplanted into Biozzi ABH mice were therapeutic. This is an important finding and ongoing experiments are trying to understand the mechanism by which these human cells slow disease progression.
Professor Siddharthan Chandran , University of Edinburgh, Professor Tamir Ben-Hur , Hadassah – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Age-related bone fragility in type 1 diabetes – the role of bone cell senescence
The overall aim of this research is to understand bone fragility in ageing patients with type 1 diabetes who are currently at high risk of bone fracture and premature death, and to develop new treatments to combat this. To do this, Professor Cox and Professor Dresner Pollak will first find out which type of bone cells are senescent and what makes them different from normal bone cells, and then they will identify ways of either killing the senescent cells or make them behave more like normal cells, as a first step in developing a new treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes.
Professor Lynne Cox, University of Oxford
Professor Rivka Dresner Pollak , Hadassah Medical Centre
Genetics and Metabolic Diseases
This collaborative research is studying the effect of small molecules on mitochondrial function in Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, which is a inherited form of vision loss, characterised by rapid, painless vision loss in both eyes. This study is evaluating the therapeutic potential of idebenone and related quinone analogues in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy.
Dr Patrick Yu-Wai-Man, University of Cambridge
Prof. Ann Saada (Reisch), Hadassah Medical Centre
The Wohl Institute for Translational Medicine geared toward applied research for personalised medicine, was created at Hadassah in 2019.
The multidisciplinary institute is a result of a partnership among the Wohl Legacy, Hadassah UK, and the Hadassah Medical Organisation.
The Wohl Institute offers state-of-the-art imaging technologies for pre-clinical research to researchers from Hadassah Hospital and other Israeli hospitals and universities and is the first of its kind in Israel.
The mission of Hadassah’s Wohl Institute for Translational Medicine is to serve as a national centre for innovative preclinical research, promoting studies designed to elucidate unsolved human diseases and the development of new therapies, for the benefit of all. Scientists, researchers, clinicians, and industry partners join together at the Institute to make research breakthroughs happen and to translate discoveries into innovative healthcare treatments.
Fifty research groups have partnered with the Institute on vital challenges in medical science ranging from oncology, orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and kidney disease to aging. Research at the Institute has generated over 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles in leading journals, and a new generation of young scientists is being trained to leverage advanced preclinical imaging for scientific medical research.
The Wohl Institute includes an organoid center. Miniature 3D tissue culture replicas of our body organs, organoids are powering a revolution in biomedical research, transforming our ability to model the impact of disease and promising breakthroughs in personalised medicine.
Through the rebuilding, renovation and expansion of our Round Tower at Hadassah Ein Kerem, we will significantly expand our capacity to serve the growing population of Jerusalem. This will create a more patient-centred healing environment and provide necessary resources to support the ground-breaking work of our doctors, researchers, nurses, and staff members. Massive refurbishment is needed to transform this outdated facility into a vibrant hub of future medicine.
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