Dr. Oded Behar
As a result of trauma, ischemia or neurodegenerative diseases brain dysfunction is in many cases the result of neuronal cell loss. For many years it is also known that another cellular component of the brain, namely astrocytes respond by a process called reactive astrogliosis, characterized by changes in gene expression, morphology, proliferation, and, in some cases, scar formation. In recent years it is increasingly clear that astrogliosis has dramatic effects on the loss of neurons and the function of the brain. In the lab we have recently began to study the regulation of astrocyte activation. During this study we identify a new signaling molecule in astrocytes that play an important function in regulating astrocyte activation. Inhibition of this molecule in astrocyte modify the activation profile of these cells and as result better protect the survival of neurons under condones of injury. In the future we are planning to study the mechanism by which astrocyte modulate the survival of neurons in order to devise new ways to improve neuronal survival and brain function.
Research Interests: Astrogliosis and central nervous system injury, Biology of glioma and Neurodegeneration.