Gad D Vatine
My research focuses studying mechanisms underlying rare genetic neurological disorders using patient-specific stem cells. The emergence of technologies to reprogram somatic cells back into a pluripotent state, termed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have opened a new era in human-relevant disease modelling. During my postdoctoral training I have extensively used iPSCs and their derived cells to model two rare neurological disorders, namely, MCT8-deficiency and Huntington disease. Using microelectrode array (MEA), I investigated the neuronal performance of diseased neurons.
My research group specializes in bioengineered platforms known as Organ-on-Chip (OoC) to improve the physiological relevance of iPSC-derived cells, by recreating interphases that are involved in disease causing mechanisms. Using this innovative approach, our group was able to interrogate the role of the neurovascular unit and found disease-causing mechanisms at the level of the blood brain barrier (BBB). These approaches can now be translated to additional neurological disorders. Importantly, I have recently established a fully functional iPS-core facility at Ben Gurion University (BGU), aiming to create new models for the many rare neurological disorders that are frequently discovered at the Soroka Medical Center, located in the adjacent campus.