Faculty of Medicine Newsletter 71 (February 2023)

PDF for easier reading, here.

Ilanit Conference

The tenth Ilanit/FISEB (Federation of the Israel Societies for Experimental Biology) conference took place in Eilat from February 20-23, 2023. Bar-Ilan University sent a large delegation to this important event – with the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine prominently represented (16 PIs-principal investigators, and 23 graduate students actively attended).Ilanit

Among the lectures: Exploring biology through chemistry and computation, Structural biology at the forefront of novel drug development, Genome stability & DNA repair, Microenvironment effects on endocrine function, and more.

Pictured here, Dr. Ron Piran with his students.

For more information see here and the FISEB conference website here.

White Coat Ceremony – 12th Three-Year Track

The White Coat Ceremony is always an uplifting event. After the largely frontal pre-clinical studies, this marks the transition to clinical studies in the hospital.White Coat

Excited and proud students received their white coats on February 15, 2023 at the exciting ceremony at the Faculty, well attended by family and friends. More here.

BIU Open House

Bar-Ilan University held a university-wide Open House on February 10, 2023. We were there for potential students, to answer questions and offer a healthy snack! Hoping to see many more excellent students in Safed next academic year.Open House

Healthy Lifestyle at the Faculty

On January 24, 2023, Dr. Lilach Malatskey and Dr. Jumanah Essa-Hadad organized a lifestyle day for the three-year track students.  The purpose of the day was to increase the students' knowledge of the importance of lifestyle behavior in preventing and treating disease, and to provide them with tools and strategies to improve their own lifestyle behaviors. Evidence shows that doctors who engage in a healthy lifestyle are more likely to provide lifestyle medicine counselling to their patients. 

The day consisted of educational lectures on lifestyle medicine and prevention, physical activity, nutrition, and stress and burnout.  Students had the opportunity to participate in experiential sessions, including a healthy cooking workshop and a Tabata workout session.Healthy Lifestyle

In addition, as part of the MAHAR (Medical Social Responsibility) course, co-coordinated by Dr. Jumanah Essa-Hadad and Dr. Sivan Spitzer, the healthy Faculty group implemented their first active break for their fellow students, also on January 24, 2023.  Students from the Faculty had the opportunity to participate in a yoga session and enjoyed healthy snacks.  The Healthy Faculty Student Wellness Leaders consists of 10 first year medical students who organize and implement health-promoting activities under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Jumanah Essa-Hadad and Dr. Lilach Malatskey.

Visits to the Faculty this Month

  • On February 21, 2023 the Faculty welcomed Sandra Goodstein and Meyer Koplow of the Harvey Goodstein Charitable Foundation. They met with Prof. Eric Shinwell, Associate Dean, Medical Education; Prof. Michael Edelstein, Head of Public Health and Epidemiology Lab; and Dr. Sivan Spitzer, Deputy Director, SPHERE, and Head of Population Health Education and Principal Investigator of HEAL–Health Equity Advancement Lab. The group also visited the "Beit Kita" building(to right).Koplow Goodstein
  • The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine welcomed the BIU Research Authority (Dr. Yossi Kalifa and team) for meetings and campus tour, on February 12, 2023.
  • The Faculty also hosted senior BIU Management on January 31, 2023. The impressive delegation were given a tour of the campus and its facilities and met researchers (to right).BIU management
  • High school biology teachers from the North along with the regional supervisor Dr. Irit Sadeh met at the Faculty on January 31, 2023. The organizer Irit Keidar made a point of mentioning how nicely the Faculty hosted the group and how appropriate it is for the biology teachers to meet at the Faculty.

Prof. Putterman and Prof. Barhoum Speak at DBS LaunchBarhoum Putterman

Prof. Masad Barhoum, CEO of the Galilee Medical Center and Prof. Chaim Putterman, Acting Dean of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine (to right), spoke at the GMC launch of its new DBS service (electrical stimulation of the brain).


Congratulations to Prof. Jean Soustiel (Associate Dean, Faculty Advancement, to right) on his appointment to the Israeli National Academy of Science in Medicine.


Please note: All upcoming Faculty Seminars for the 2022-23 academic year can be seen here.

  • PhD Seminar: SMURF2 regulates nuclear shape and genomic integrity maintenance through ubiquitination of Lamin A on lysine32 (Venkata Kadali supervised by Prof. Michael Blank)
  • Faculty Workshop: Considerations when using inbred strains for modeling human disease (Prof. Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell, University of Colorado)

Upcoming Conference

Upcoming conference: Annual Sphere Conference 2023 in honor of Ruth Salzman (May 3, 2023, Golden Crown Hotel, Nazareth) – abstracts due by March 15, 2023

Barash Lecture

If you missed Dr. Alon Barash speak on January 31, 2023 about the new and exciting use of virtual reality in the teaching of anatomy at the Faculty (among other things!), the link is here. Worth watching!

Happy HourHappy

With thanks to the Maman Lab!


BIU Website Profiles Azrieli Activity

The Bar-Ilan University website has been generously profiling Azrieli Faculty of Medicine activities, research, and personalities.

Follow the BIU Facebook page for more pleasant surprises.

MD Application Season

We wish the best of luck to the Three-Year Track applicants who came to campus for their interviews this month.

And good luck to the Four-Year Track applicants who applied this month.


Condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Guy Journo on his passing. Guy received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine.

Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE

To keep abreast of SPHERE activity, please see their Facebook page here. In addition, please see their "Save the Date" at the end of this newsletter.

Meet Our MD/PhD Student: Tomer BernstineTomer

Thank you, Tomer, for being so open and honest with us. We wish you only success, and you make us proud!

I was very happy when I was accepted to the 4-year track MD program at Bar-Ilan University. I knew that I would study for four years and at the end, be a doctor. During the first year of my studies I fell in love with the north, and the learning was great. In the first course in public health, they emphasized to us the importance of research for the promotion of health and specifically, the importance of health among the population of the Galilee. I was fascinated by the field of epidemiology and wanted to explore the possibility of doing research in this field. Together with Prof. Michael Edelstein (Faculty epidemiology researcher and head of the Ziv Hospital research center) and Dr. Danna Krupik (Director of the Pediatric ER at Ziv Hospital) we chose a topic, formulated a research question, submitted a Helsinki application, collected data, analyzed it, and in the end, I discovered that research is something that I really like. As a result, I applied for the MD/PhD program and was accepted!


I had some concerns – do I really want to invest 3 years in research, and how can I leave my classmates to whom I felt very connected. However, I now see that the program makes me happy, is exciting, and different from anything else I have ever done. The mentoring and personal support aspect is stressed, with the door always open for questions and consultation. And since research and the clinic go hand in hand in the world of medicine, we always ask ourselves how the study will affect and be relevant to our future patient. We are also taught the importance of critical reading and analysis, to try and understand how the statistical significance translates into clinical support for our patient.

Already during our pre-clinical studies, we were exposed to all the advanced research being carried out at the Faculty, and then get to choose where we would like to carry out our three years of PhD research. I chose Prof. Edelstein and Dr. Sivan Spitzer, in the field of public health. I believe that with the help of in-depth research, major changes can occur that will improve the health of the population in Israel and specifically in the Galilee. I was happy to discover two very attentive, supportive supervisors with a strong passion for research and health promotion. In fact, I feel that the entire management backs us up.

This year I began the research component of the track. I am exposed to new statistical methods, to a deeper understanding of research, how research at the highest level should be conducted, and to my delight I will perform a combination of mixed methods - quantitative and qualitative research - which I am very excited to learn about. I will also be able to expand my knowledge on various topics thanks to courses offered at Bar-Ilan. But I will also still be at the hospital, every two weeks at various affiliated departments. This is perfect for my aspiration - to be a clinical doctor who also deals with public health.

Regarding my concerns - they have dissipated, the research is very exciting to me, I am in close contact with my friends from the clinical years, I have formed new and deep connections with my friends in the track, and when I consider the whole experience as a student in the MD/PhD track, I think I could not have chosen anything better!

Azrieli Alumni Please Note

Please help us spread the word to Azrieli alumni that we want to keep in touch. We want to hear from them, from you. Go to our “Request for Information” page, here.

Note that currently we are expending special efforts to build the MD graduate alumni organization.

All graduates are encouraged to take advantage of the Bar-Ilan University Alumni Association, here.

Website: What’s New? 


Reminder that publications by Azrieli faculty are generally posted in chronological order based on publication date, per PubMed listings. If you have published an article recently that appears on PubMed but that was not listed in a Newsletter, I apologize, and please do let me know.


  • Moti Ben-Shabat, Yaseen Awad-Igbaria, Shifra Sela, Bella Gross, Eilam Palzur: Predisposition to cortical neurodegenerative changes in brains of hypertension prone rats (J Transl Med . )
  • Ziv Gil: Extracellular vesicle fusion visualized by cryo-electron microscopy (PNAS Nexus . )
  • Anthony Riches, Menahem Neuman, Jacob Bornstein: The Light-weight Mid-urethral Sling Implant for Female Stress Urinary Incontinence Treatment: A One-Year Postoperative Follow-up Study (Isr Med Assoc J .)
  • Tal Zadok, Otzem Chasid: Comparison of Biometry Measurements and Intraocular Lens Power Prediction Between Two Swept-source Based OCT Biometers (J Cataract Refract Surg .)
  • Lior Segev, Abraham O Samson: The Risk of Breakthrough Bleeding Justifies the Use of Combined Hormonal Contraception Over Progesterone-Only Pills While Breastfeeding (Breastfeed Med . )
  • Ran Katz, Muhamad Sabih Abu Ahmed, Ali Safadi: The Butterfly: A Novel Minimally Invasive Transurethral Retraction Device for Benign Hypertrophy of the Prostate (Urol Int . )
  • Chaim Putterman: Progress and unmet needs in understanding fundamental mechanisms of autoimmunity (J Autoimmun . )
  • Maria Naama, Shahar Telpaz, Aya Awad, Shira Ben-Simon, Sarina Harshuk-Shabso, Sonia Modilevsky, Elad Rubin, Jasmin Sawaed, Lilach Zelik, Mor Zigdon, Nofar Asulin, Sondra Turjeman, Michal Werbner, Meital Nuriel-Ohayon, Shai Bel: Autophagy controls mucus secretion from intestinal goblet cells by alleviating ER stress (Cell Host Microbe . )
  • Ariel Weiner, Sondra Turjeman, Omry Koren: Gut microbes and host behavior: The forgotten members of the gut-microbiome (Neuropharmacology .)
  • Maya Paritsky: High prevalence of MUTYH associated polyposis among minority populations in Israel, due to rare founder pathogenic variants (Dig Liver Dis . )
  • Fadi Hassan, Firas Sabbah, Mohammad E Naffaa: Normotensive scleroderma renal crisis as the presenting symptom of systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma: A case report (J Scleroderma Relat Disord . )
  • Raymond Farah, Tony Hanna, Gadi Levin: Is there a link between atrial fibrillation and Helicobacter pylori infections? (Minerva Gastroenterol (Torino) . )
  • Sondra Turjeman: Advances in the study of microbiota in reproductive biology: A short review of recent studies, following Leclaire et al. (2022) (Mol Ecol .)
  • Tamar Hareuveni-Blum, Nakhoul Nakhoul: Retinal vascular occlusions in ocular Behçet disease - a comparative analysis (Acta Ophthalmol .)
  • Elon Glassberg, Avi Benov: Prehospital Tranexamic Acid Administration in Pediatric Trauma Patients: A Propensity-Matched Analysis of the Israeli Defense Forces Registry (Pediatr Crit Care Med .)
  • Khalaf Kridin, Ralf J Ludwig: Risk of infections in patients with pemphigus treated with rituximab versus azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil: A large-scale global cohort study (Br J Dermatol . )
  • Naaem Simaan, Tamer Jubeh, Karine Beiruti Wiegler, Adi Sharabi-Nov,  Radi Shahien: Comparison of Doppler Ultrasound and Computerized Tomographic Angiography in Evaluation of Cervical Arteries Stenosis in Stroke Patients, a Retrospective Single-Center Study (Diagnostics (Basel) .)
  • Ibrahim Marai, Rabea Haddad, Nizar Andria, Wadi Kinany, Yevgeni Hazanov , Bruce M Kleinberg, Edo Birati, Shemy Carasso: Left Ventricular "Longitudinal Rotation" and Conduction Abnormalities-A New Outlook on Dyssynchrony (J Clin Med . )
  • Basheer M, Naffaa Me, Assy N: Non-invasive biomarkers of liver fibrosis in NAFLD (Clin Mol Hepatol . )
  • Galia Stemer: Lymphoid aggregates in the bone marrow biopsies of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes - A potential prognostic marker? (Front Oncol . )
  • Khalaf Kridin: Risk factors and sequelae of epidermolysis bullosa acquisita: A propensity-matched global study in 1,344 patients (Front Immunol . )
  • Paul Kuodi: Antimicrobial prescription patterns in East Africa: a systematic review (Syst Rev . )
  • Inshirah Sgayer, Yara Nakhleh Francis, Vered Fleisher Sheffer, Hagai Rechnitzer, Lior Lowenstein, Maya Frank Wolf: Compared perinatal outcomes of two prophylactic antibiotic regimens for preterm pre-labor rupture of membranes: A randomized controlled trial (Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. )
  • Tarek Taha: First-line programmed death-1 inhibitor treatment for locoregionally advanced or metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma - A real-world experience from Israel (Front Oncol . )
  • Afif Nakhleh, Rizan Sakhnini, Naim Shehadeh: Cardiometabolic risk factors among children and adolescents with overweight and Class 1 obesity: A cross-sectional study. Insights from stratification of Class 1 obesity (Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) .)
  • Nomy Dickman: Academic integrity in the HyFlex learning environment (Heliyon . )
  • Meral Aias, Maya Azrad, Gewa Saad, Tamar Leshem, Zohar Hamo, Layan Abu Rahmoun, Avi Peretz: Different bile acids have versatile effects on sporulation, toxin levels and biofilm formation of different Clostridioides difficile strains (J Microbiol Methods )
  • Arnon Blum: Gender differences in vascular ageing and in coronary artery disease pathophysiology (QJM .)
  • Yaron Berkovich, Eden Wiestov, David E Rothem: Cross-sectional Analysis Study Between SIGMA Knee System and ATTUNE in a Cruciate-Retaining Fixed-Bearing Total Knee Replacement, with no Patellar Resurfacing (Indian J Orthop .)
  • Hashem Bishara, Amer Saffouri: Latent Tuberculosis Treatment among Hard-to-Reach Ethiopian Immigrants: Nurse-Managed Directly Observed versus Self-Administered Isoniazid Therapy (Trop Med Infect Dis . )
  • Michael Edelstein: Linked poliovirus incidents in the UK, USA and Israel: Silent transmission or missed warnings of vaccine inequity? (Vaccine .)
  • Hannan Rohana, Anat Hager-Cohen, Maya Azrad, Avi Peretz: Trend of Changes in Chloramphenicol Resistance during the Years 2017-2020: A Retrospective Report from Israel (Antibiotics (Basel) .)
  • Shemy Carasso: The Role of Hand-Held Cardiac Ultrasound in Patients with COVID-19 (Biomedicines . )
  • Tamar Hareuveni-Blum, Nakhoul Nakhoul: Ocular Behçet Disease-Clinical Manifestations, Treatments and Outcomes According to Age at Disease Onset (Biomedicines .)
  • Ohad Ronen: Neck Surgery for Non-Well Differentiated Thyroid Malignancies: Variations in Strategy According to Histopathology (Cancers (Basel) . )
  • Ohad Ronen: The Role of Vitamin D in Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases: A Narrative Review (J Clin Med . )
  • Samih Badarny: Tardive Syndrome Is a Mysterious Phenomenon with Different Clinical Manifestations-Review (J Clin Med .)
  • Khalaf Kridin: Reply to: "Interpreting with Caution the Lack of Association between Isotretinoin, Depression, and Suicide" (J Am Acad Dermatol . )
  • Nizar Horrany, Wadie Abu Dahoud, Yara Moallem, Taleb Hajouj, Merna Zreik, Arnon Blum: The Effect of Metformin on Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Stroke (Isr Med Assoc J . )
  • Gassan Moady, Alexander Shturman, Elias Daud, Gal Rubinstein, Shaul Atar: Late Onset Takotsubo Following Surgery of Tricuspid Valve Fibroelastoma (Isr Med Assoc J . )

Faculty News 

Faculty Press Exposure 

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כאן 11: סבתא מתמחה: בגיל 55 - אורנית הגשימה את החלום להיות רופאה (ד"ר אורנית נחמני)


Image Gallery

Three-Year Track White Coat Ceremony (February 2023)White Coat


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