Vice Dean Pre-Clinical Education

Prof. Moshe Dessau

פרופסור חבר Associate Professor
Vice Dean Pre-Clinical Education
Bar-Ilan Email
Fields of Interest
  • Structural biology
  • Viral entry
  • Enveloped viruses
  • Bunyaviruses
  • Viral evolution
Academic field
Structural Biology
Research field
Structural Biology of Infectious Diseases

    Prof. Moshe Dessau is Vice Dean Pre-Clinical Education and head of the Lab for Structural Biology of Infectious Diseases.


    In our lab we use structural, biophysical, biochemical and cell biology approaches for studying the organization and dynamics of macromolecular assemblies. Our research focuses on determining how protein structure and interactions guide the principles and mechanisms of viral and parasitic infection.

    Our main emphasis is on third-world and poverty-related emerging pathogens. These neglected diseases are a growing concern in many developing countries as well as in the rest of the world. Nevertheless, their prevalence throughout the world is yet to be reflected in the research agenda and resource allocation. Thus, developing communities face vast obstacles in fighting these pathogens that induce illnesses with high mortality rates 

    We generally interested in two different systems:

    How do viruses assemble and how do they enter the cells they infect? Can we exploit our structural understanding of viral entry with progressive methods in biophysics and cell biology to develop novel strategies for vaccine design?

    We are particularly interested in creating a complete structural narrative for the assembly and entry of enveloped viruses into their host-cell at the atomic level. To release their genome into the cytoplasm, enveloped viruses must attach to their host-cell and undergo a membrane fusion step in which the viral membrane fuses with the host-cell membrane. The glycoproteins on the virus surface are key components of these events. Structural analysis of these proteins is at the center of our research. Viral structural proteins are also the major antigens recognized by protective antibodies. Their organization on the virion surface is the key to many neutralization strategies. Therefore, understanding the viral envelope assembly combine with detailed mechanisms of various neutralizing antibodies will allow us to design novel therapeutics and develop better vaccines.




    Izhaki-Tavor SL, Yechezkel IG, Alter J and Dessau M. RNA Encapsulation Mode and Evolutionary Insights From the Crystal Structure of Emaravirus Nucleoprotein. Microbiol Spectr. 2023. ACCEPTED!


    Domovitz T, Ayoub S, Werbner M, Alter J, Izhaki Tavor L, Yahalom-Ronen Y, Tikhonov E, Meirson T, Maman Y, Paran N, Israely T, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M. HCV Infection Increases the Expression of ACE2 Receptor, Leading to Enhanced Entry of Both HCV and SARS-CoV-2 into Hepatocytes and a Coinfection State. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Oct 31:e0115022.

    doi: 10.1128/spectrum.01150-22. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36314945.

    Li R, Mor M, Ma B, Clark AE, Alter J, Werbner M, Lee JC, Leibel SL, Carlin AF, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Croker BA, Xiang Y, Freund NT. Conformational flexibility in neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by naturally elicited anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Commun Biol. 2022 Aug 5;5(1):789. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03739-5. PMID: 35931732; PMCID: PMC9355996.

    Rabinowitz KM, Navon M, Edelman-Klapper H, Zittan E, Bar-Gil Shitrit A, Goren I, Avni-Biron I, Ollech JE, Lichtenstein L, Banai-Eran H, Yanai H, Snir Y, Pauker MH, Friedenberg A, Levy-Barda A, Segal A, Broitman Y, Maoz E, Ovadia B, Aharoni Golan M, Shachar E, Ben-Horin S, Maharshak N, Mor M, Ben Zvi H, Eliakim R, Barkan R, Sharar-Fischler T, Goren S, Krugliak N, Pichinuk E, Mor M, Werbner M, Alter J, Abu-Taha H, Kaboub K, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Cohen D, Freund NT, Dotan I, On Behalf Of The Responses To Covid-Vaccine Israeli Ibd. Anti-TNFα Treatment Impairs Long-Term Immune Responses to COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Jul 26;10(8):1186. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10081186. PMID: 35893835; PMCID: PMC9330864.

    Hexner-Erlichman Z, Fichtman B, Zehavi Y, Khayat M, Jabaly-Habib H, Izhaki-Tavor LS, Dessau M, Elpeleg O, Spiegel R. A Novel Homozygous Missense Variant in the LRRC32 Gene Is Associated With a New Syndrome of Cleft Palate, Progressive Vitreoretinopathy, Growth Retardation, and Developmental Delay. Front Pediatr. 2022 May 17;10:859034. doi: 10.3389/fped.2022.859034. PMID: 35656379; PMCID: PMC9152136.

    Ashur I, Alter J, Werbner M, Ogungbile A, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Vernick S. Rapid electrochemical immunodetection of SARS-CoV-2 using a pseudo-typed vesicular stomatitis virus model. Talanta. 2022 Mar 1;239:123147.

    doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2021.123147. Epub 2021 Dec 13. PMID: 34920254; PMCID: PMC8667521.

    Edelman-Klapper H, Zittan E, Bar-Gil Shitrit A, Rabinowitz KM, Goren I, Avni-Biron I, Ollech JE, Lichtenstein L, Banai-Eran H, Yanai H, Snir Y, Pauker MH, Friedenberg A, Levy-Barda A, Segal A, Broitman Y, Maoz E, Ovadia B, Golan MA, Shachar E, Ben-Horin S, Perets TT, Ben Zvi H, Eliakim R, Barkan R, Goren S, Navon M, Krugliak N, Werbner M, Alter J, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Freund NT, Cohen D, Dotan I; REsponses to COVid-19 vaccinE IsRaeli IBD group (RECOVER). Lower Serologic Response to COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Treated With Anti-TNFα. Gastroenterology. 2022 Feb;162(2):454-467. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.10.029. Epub 2021 Oct 28. PMID: 34717923; PMCID: PMC8552587.


    Rosenberg-Friedman M, Kigel A, Bahar Y, Werbner M, Alter J, Yogev Y, Dror Y, Lubetzky R, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Many A, Wine Y. BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine elicited antibody response in blood and milk of breastfeeding womenNat Commun. 2021 Oct 28;12(1):6222. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26507-1. PMID: 34711825; PMCID: PMC8553805.

    Ashur I, Alter J, Werbner M, Ogungbile A, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Vernick S. Rapid electrochemical immunodetection of SARS-CoV-2 using a pseudo-typed vesicular stomatitis virus model. Talanta. 2022 Mar 1;239:123147. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2021.123147. Epub 2021 Dec 13. PMID: 34920254; PMCID: PMC8667521.

    Manoj Kumar, Prasanth Padala, Jamal Fahoum, Fouad Hassouna, Tomer Tsaban, Guy Zoltsman, Sayanika Banerjee, Einav Cohen-Kfir, Moshe Dessau, Rina Rosenzweig, Michail Isupov, Ora Schueler-Furman, and Reuven Wiener (2021). Structural basis for UFM1 transfer from UBA5 to UFC1Nature Commun., ​PMID: 34588452, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-25994-6

    Mor M, Werbner M, Alter J, Safra M, Chomsky E, Hada-Neeman S, Polonsky K, Nowell CJ, Clark AE, Roitburd-Berman A, Shalom N Ben, Navon M, Rafael D, Sharim H, Kiner E, Griffis E, Gershoni JM, Kobiler O, Leibel SL, Zimhony O, Carlin AF, Yaari G, Dessau M, Gal-Tanamy M, Hagin D, Croker BA, Freund NT. (2021) Multi-clonal SARS-CoV-2 neutralization by antibodies isolated from severe COVID-19 convalescent donorsPLoS Pathog 17(2): e1009165.

    Zehavi Y, Saada A, Jabaly-Habib H, Dessau M, Shaag A, Elpeleg O, Spiegel R. (2021) A novel de novo heterozygous pathogenic variant in the SDHA gene results in childhood onset bilateral optic atrophy and cognitive impairment. Metab Brain Dis. Jan 20. doi: 10.1007/s11011-021-00671-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33471299.


    Ines Zucker, Yaal Lester, Joel Alter, Michal Werbner, Yinon Yecheskel ,Meital Gal-Tanamy and Moshe Dessau. 2020. Use of Pseudoviruses for the Assessment of Corona-Virus Disinfection by Gaseous OzoneEnviron. Chem. Letters, doi: 10.1007/s10311-020-01160-0 

    Izhaki-Tavor and Moshe Dessau (2020). ATP-dependent RNA helicase domain of the ZC3H41 protein from Trypanosoma brucei: expression, purification and crystallization. Acta Cryst.F  F76 

    Sporny M, Guez-Haddad J, Khazma T, Yaron A, Dessau M, Shkolnisky Y, Mim C, Isupov MN, Zalk R, Hons M, Opatowsky Y. Structural basis for SARM1 inhibition and activation under energetic stressElife. 2020 Nov 13;9:e62021. doi: 10.7554/eLife.62021. PMID: 33185189.

    Bahat Y, Alter J, Dessau M. Crystal structure of tomato spotted wilt virus Gn reveals a dimer complex formation and evolutionary link to animal-infecting virusesProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2020) :202004657. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2004657117


    Chen, M. Dessau, D. Rotenberg, D. A. Rasmussen, A. E. Whitfield. Entry of bunyaviruses into plants and vectors. Advances in virus research, 2019 vol. 104, pp. 65–96. doi: 10.1016/bs.aivir.2019.07.001


    Willensky S, Bar-Rogovsky H, Bignon EA, Tischler ND, Modis Y and Moshe Dessau (2016) Crystal Structure of Glycoprotein C from a Hantavirus in the Post-fusion ConformationPLoS Pathog 12(10): e1005948. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005948

    2013 and earlier
    Dessau, M., and Modis, Y. (2013). Crystal structure of glycoprotein C from Rift Valley fever virusProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1696-1701.

    Dessau M., Goldhill D., McBride R.L., Turner P.E., and Modis Y. (2012). Selective pressure causes an RNA virus to trade reproductive fitness for increased structural and thermal stability of a viral enzymePLoS Genet 8, e1003102.

    Kotiguda G.G., Weinberg D., Dessau M., Salvi C., Serino G., Chamovitz D.A., and Hirsch J.A. (2012). The Organization of a CSN5-containing Subcomplex of the COP9 SignalosomeJ Biol Chem 287, 42031-42041.

    Dessau MA, Modis Y. Protein crystallization for X-ray crystallographyJ Vis Exp. 2011 Jan 16;(47):2285. doi: 10.3791/2285. PMID: 21304455; PMCID: PMC3182643.

    Halimi Y., Dessau M., Pollak S., Ast T., Erez T., Livnat-Levanon N., Karniol B., Hirsch J.A., and Chamovitz D.A. (2011). COP9 signalosome subunit 7 from Arabidopsis interacts with and regulates the small subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR2)Plant Mol Biol 77, 77-89.

    Nayak V., Dessau M., Kucera K., Anthony K., Ledizet M., and Modis Y. (2009). Crystal structure of dengue virus type 1 envelope protein in the postfusion conformation and its implications for membrane fusionJ Virol 83, 4338-4344.

    Dessau M., Halimi Y., Erez T., Chomsky-Hecht O., Chamovitz D.A., and Hirsch J.A. (2008). The Arabidopsis COP9 signalosome subunit 7 is a model PCI domain protein with subdomains involved in COP9 signalosome assemblyPlant Cell 20, 2815-2834.
    Dessau M., Chamovitz D.A., and Hirsch J.A. (2006). Expression, purification and crystallization of a PCI domain from the COP9 signalosome subunit 7 (CSN7). Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun 62, 1138-1140.

    Last Updated Date : 23/07/2023