2000 - MSc Biology, Tel Aviv University
1998 - BSc Biology, Tel Aviv University
Temporal-spatial quantification of the Wnt canonical/Non canonical balance required for cardiomyocyte differentiation.
Myocardial infarction (MI) remains the most frequent cause of death in the developed world. Development of directed differentiation techniques of stem cells into cardiomyopcytes have raised hopes for cell therapy based treatment of MI survivors. However, gaps in understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the differentiation process limit the use of cell therapy.
Measurment of RNA and protein levels and specific inhibition of molecular signaling pathways have characterized the competition between the Wnt canonical and non - canonical signaling pathways and their activation during specific time and space windows during cardiomyocyte differentiation as the main factor in determining cell fate. However, these methods cannot characterize the signals and signaling pathways expressed in individual cells (only the average of tissues and embryos) or follow the differentiation of cells over time. In contrast live imaging enables continuous measurement of fluorescent markers in many cells over weeks.
We study the process of cardiac differentiation using ES cells in which different Wnt signaling components are fluorescently tagged, quantifying inter-correlations between pathway activation, signal levels and cell fates.