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THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM


The cutting edge of medicine


A futuristic approach to healthcare, including highly tailored patient treatments, is one of the key areas of research taking place at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine


The emerging field of computational medicine, which aims to develop new approaches to understand the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, is transforming global healthcare — and the Hebrew University, whose scientists are leaders in translational research, is at the forefront of its development. While traditional healthcare has adopted a


‘one-size-fits-all’ outlook, whereby all patients with a certain disease receive the same treatment, the medical world is now transitioning to a more personalized approach. Known as precision or translational medicine, it analyzes patients’ individual characteristics — through biomarkers, genetic and epigenetic tests, environmental factors and more — to devise bespoke treatment protocols and assess the risks of developing certain diseases. Translational medicine is already at the


forefront of research taking place at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine, a multidisciplinary campus integrated with the Hadassah Medical Center that trains doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public health experts and occupational therapists. A new Multidisciplinary


Center for Computational Medicine will take this commitment even further, aggregating research on translational medicine and acting as a beacon of academic excellence across disciplines. One of these research projects, undertaken by


Dr Moran Yassour of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Computer Science, is looking at the human microbiome. More specifically, the study analyzes gut bacteria among infants and observes its impact on pediatric health. Dr Yassour joined the Hebrew University’s


combined program for Computer Science and Medicine following her six-year postdoctoral studies at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. Throughout her career, using computational research, she developed tools for analyzing next-generation sequencing data — tools that have been used in hundreds of research laboratories around the world. “Computational approaches are offering


solutions to previously unanswered biological questions,” Dr Yassour says. “Our lab studies the infant gut microbiome from establishment at birth through to development in early age and assesses its impact on pediatric health.”


Out of 25,000 students at the Hebrew University, approximately 3,000 are international, coming from more than 90 countries


FROM LEFT: HUJI researchers in the Nano Center clean room; the Quantum Center; HUJI students next to Jerusalem’s old city walls PREVIOUS PAGE: HUJI students on the Rehovot campus


2021 | Israeli Academia 29


IMAGES: YITZ WOOLF; YOAV DUDKEVITCH; ELAD BRAMI


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