Faculty of Medicine Newsletter 78 (September 2023)

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Warmest Wishes for a Shana Tova

And Successful New Academic Year

shana tova


This Newsletter is dedicated to all those who made this year's Research Retreat such a success and, of course, to its participants.


First Azrieli Faculty of Medicine Research Retreat

Taking advantage of the late summer lingering warm weather, the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine held its first Research Retreat at the beautiful Pastoral Hotel in Kfar Blum on September 10-11, 2023.retreat

With the attendance of over 200 graduate students, doctors, researchers, and Faculty staff, the retreat was a success – both academically, professionally, and socially.

Special thanks to those who made it all possible: Ilana Bar-Sabag, Yehiel Dahan and his staff, Prof. Michael Edelstein, Prof. Evan Elliott, Prof. Tzipora FalikZaccai, Dan Hinenzon and his staff, Nurit Maor, Dr. Eyla Maoz, Belal Mari, Dr. Ron Orbach, Hadas Oren, Dr. Dorit Raviv Shay, Noam David Reshelbach, Dr. Moran Yadid – and to our sponsors:












Read more here.


Two conferences took place September 5-7, 2023:

Appointments and Promotions

  • Congratulations to Prof. Raymond Farah upon his promotion to Full Clinical Professor
  • Congratulations to Prof. Lior Lowenstein upon his appointment to Full Clinical Professor


  • Congratulations to Prof. Avi Peretz who was accepted to the Ministry of Health "Inbar" leadership program. Inbar is a joint venture of the Ministry of Health and the Maoz organization, aiming to "create a common language around the core challenges of the health care system, to increase trust between the senior players in the various centers of influence of the system, to develop managerial and leadership skills, and to create a network of leadership and leaders who bring about significant changes in the public health care system in Israel."
  • Congratulations to Dr. Amitai Oberman who was chosen by the Israeli Medical Association Medical Council to receive an award of excellence for medical education. The council explains, "The award is presented to outstanding people whose main occupation is in the field of medical education. Medical education is an important pillar in the activity of the Scientific Council and its affiliates, and to doctors in the State of Israel."


  • β-cell stabilization to facilitate efficient β-cell neogenesis in diabetics (Yara Hamshaw, supervised by Dr. Ron Piran)

Preparing for the New Academic Year

In preparation for the opening of the new academic year, the Faculty has been working very hard. Below is a taste of a few examples of the activities that have taken place this month:

  • The Faculty's management met to discuss, among other things, the new six-year MD program. The meeting was attended by the Vice Dean for Pre-Clinical Education, Prof. Moshe Dessau and the Vice Dean for Strategic Planning, Dr. David Enshell-Seijffers, as well as medical school course coordinators.
  • Graduate students and researchers/advisors met over a friendly lunch, before the start of the new year. The Dean, Prof. Orly Avni, as well as Associate Dean of Research, Prof. Gal Tanamy, joined.


Condolences to Dr. Ron Orbach on the passing of his father.


Meet Our Researchers: Prof. Evan Elliott and Dr. Julie Carmel

Prof. Evan Elliot is the head of the neuroscience laboratory at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, and the founder of the IRBA-Israel Registry and Biobank of Autism project. Prof. Elliott completed his post-doc at Weizmann Institute in 2011 and immediately began building his lab at the Faculty. Ninety percent of the lab work is devoted to investigation of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Julie Carmel joined Prof. Elliot in 2015, as Research Manager of the IRBA. She completed her doctorate at the Technion Faculty of Medicine, continued for a post doc at Haifa University, and was lab manager in the Liver Unit at Rambam Medical Center. Evan Elliott

The main goal of the IRBA is to build the infrastructure necessary to make critical advances in the research of autism. To do this, we maintain constant contact with patients' families, with doctors, and with medical authorities – among other things, collecting biological samples from people diagnosed with autism and from their siblings. These samples have already been used in our lab, in collaboration with Prof. Omry Koren, to find critical new insights into the role of microbiome in autism. At the same time, our collection is open for other scientists, and we have a fruitful collaboration with Weizmann institute and the Galilee Medical Center. The central part of our research today is the human microbiome and its potential for ASD therapy. An additional aspect of our work is education and research promotion in ASD families, as autistic disorder still has unclear biology and there is a lot of false information about this. Julie Carmel
We recently organized a few ASD conferences and meetings in Hebrew and in Russian for parents and professionals. Thanks to our hands-on "work with families," we have the opportunity to meet and enroll others in our project. We enjoy working in Safed, which has a rich, interesting history and at the same time benefit from the scenery – mountains and the Kinneret. This creates a special environment – an ancient city and beautiful nature from one side, and modern medical laboratory from the other.

Prof. Elliott is married to Vered, a father of five, and lives in Katzrin. Evan is one of the original founding researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and is the head of the Brain and Mind medical course and head of the Graduate Studies Committee. 
Dr. Carmel lives in Haifa, is married to Ilan, and they have three children. Julie shares her time between work at the University and work in kindergartens with autistic children doing Dog Assistant Therapy. "I am a professional dog trainer and, suddenly, I got an opportunity to combine all my skills together. My 'dog knowledge' gives me an opportunity to help ASD children and to see how happy they are with dogs, and how dogs can be useful In ASD therapy. And my work in the kindergartens helps me to promote our investigation. Meanwhile, I learned that canis therapy (dog therapy) in ASD has a very strong biological and genetic base, and microbiome may be a part of it. So, I hope that in ten years from now, we will have some explanation of neuronal changes in ASD and maybe will be able to offer treatment that will not be pharmacology but some mild nature agents such as probiotics and dog therapy."

Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE

Full details about SPHERE activities can be found on their Facebook page here as well as on LinkdIn here.  A few teasers are below:

  • Registration is still open for the advanced course in treating obesity, being offered in collaboration with the Techion's School of Continuing Studies.
  • SPHERE management - Prof. Naim Shehadeh, Dr. Sivan Spitzer, and Martin Duifhuizen – participated in the first official meeting of the Danish-Israeli task force for chronic diseases, an international catalyst for equity in health for patients with chronic conditions. Thanks to the New Zealand FIERS and the Denmark Tel Aviv Innovation Center.
  • After a successful visit of colleagues from Taiwan to Israel last July, Dr. Sivan Spitzer, Prof. David Schwartz from Bar-Ilan University, and Dr. Michael Khalemsky from Hadassah Academic College made a reciprocal visit to Taiwan. This visit is part of an ongoing research collaboration supported by the ministries of science in Israel and Taiwan, with an emphasis on digital health technologies.
  • On September 11, 2023, an inaugural meeting was held in Rosh Pina for the pre-diabetes program of Maccabi North District and Safed area SPHERE.
  • The pre-diabetes program services in the city of Tamra, in cooperation with Clalit Health, launched on September 14, 2023.









Website: What’s New?


  • Tawfik Khoury: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation for solid pseudopapillary neoplasm of the pancreas (Endoscopy .)
  • Sondra Turjeman, Efrat Sharon, Gila Gamliel, Omry Koren: Signs of aging in midlife: physical function and sex differences in microbiota (Geroscience)
  • Maamoun Basheer, Elias Saad, Helena Jeries, Nimer Assy: Liver Fat Storage Is a Better Predictor of Coronary Artery Disease than Visceral Fat (Metabolites .)
  • Enav Yefet, Aviv Bejerano, Tal Zilberman Kimhi: The Association between Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Infections in Pregnancy-Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (Microorganisms . )
  • Amir Mari, Vincenzo Savarino: Encouraging appropriate use of proton pump inhibitors: existing initiatives and proposals for the future (Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol . )
  • Amir Mari, Loay Ghantous, Helal Said Ahmad, Tawfik Khoury: Quality of life and severity of symptoms among patients with various degrees of reflux esophagitis: a prospective study (Sci Rep .)
  • Moran Yadid: Inducing Mechanical Stimuli to Tissues Grown on a Magnetic Gel Allows Deconvoluting the Forces Leading to Traumatic Brain Injury (Neurotrauma Rep . )
  • Jawad Abed, Iris Slutzky-Goldberg: The consequences of orthodontic extrusion on previously intruded permanent incisors-A retrospective study (Dent Traumatol .)
  • Khalaf Kridin, Erez Onn: A history of asthma is associated with susceptibility to hidradenitis suppurativa: a population-based longitudinal study (Arch Dermatol Res . )
  • Alper Adir, Andrei Braester, Perelstein Natalia, Dally Najib, Luiza Akria, Celia Suriu, Barhoum Masad, Waksman Igor: The role of blood inflammatory markers in the preoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis (Int J Lab Hematol .)
  • Michael Edelstein: Long COVID in low-income and middle-income countries: the hidden public health crisis (Lancet . )
  • Maria Elias, Samar Gani, Yana Lerner, Katreen Yamin, Chen Tor, Adarsh Patel, Avi Matityahu, Moshe Dessau, Nir Qvit, Itay Onn: Developing a peptide to disrupt cohesin head domain interactions (iScience .)
  • Elon Glassberg: Low-titer group O whole blood in military ground ambulances: Lessons from the Israel Defense Forces initial experience (Transfus Med . )
  • Boris Fichtman, Amnon Harel: A single filament biomechanical study of the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Type III secretion system reveals a high elastic aspect ratio (Nanoscale . )
  • Naim Shehadeh: Unmet Needs in the Treatment of Childhood Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review (Adv Ther .)
  • Ala Aiob: Rate of occult atypical hyperplasia or endometrial cancer in women of older age groups with nonatypical endometrial hyperplasia (KGOG 2026) (J Obstet Gynaecol Res . )
  • Firas Sabbah, Mohammad E Naffaa: Outcomes in progressive systemic sclerosis treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation compared with combination therapy (Rheumatology (Oxford) . )
  • Maya Frank Wolf, Ronen Sloma, Luiza Akria, Michal Carmiel Haggai, Lior Lowenstein: Azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine-induced intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy: Case report and review of the literature (Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol . )
  • Cohen Yuval, Chassid Otzem: Evaluating the Effect of a Myopia Control Spectacle Lens Among Children in Israel: 12-Month Results (Am J Ophthalmol .)
  • Rotem Kahalon: Effects of attachment security priming on women's math performance (Front Psychol .)
  • Rola Khamisy-Farah: Probing the genomic landscape of human sexuality: a critical systematic review of the literature (Front Genet . )
  • Eric S Shinwell: Two-Year Outcomes After Minimally Invasive Surfactant Therapy in Preterm Infants: Follow-Up of the OPTIMIST-A Randomized Clinical Trial (JAMA .)
  • Wisam Sbeit, Nidaa Abu Hanna, Livoff Alejandro, Tawfik Khoury: The yield of cytology and histology obtained by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration and biopsy needles in the diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma (Cytopathology .)
  • Shelley Cohn: Perioperative Morbidity and Long-term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery in Patients with Severe Obesity (Isr Med Assoc J . )
  • Netanel Eisenbach, Yoav Hoffman, Tatyana Arzumanov, Eyal Sela, Maayan Gruber: Tension Pneumothorax Complicating Routine Pediatric Adenoid Surgery: A Case Report (Isr Med Assoc J . )
  • Tawfik Khoury, Wisam Sbeit: Safety and Efficacy of Endoscopic Ultrasound-guided Radiofrequency Ablation for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (Dig Endosc . )
  • Khalaf Kridin: Corrigendum: S2k guidelines on the management of paraneoplastic pemphigus/paraneoplastic autoimmune multiorgan syndrome initiated by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) (J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol .)
  • Najib Dally, Myriam Baranes, Luiza Akria, Marat Kashlikov, Khalil Tarabia, Adi Sharabi-Nov, Celia Suriu, Andrei Braester: Ethnic disparities in presentation but not outcome in multiple myeloma patients: a multicenter retrospective study in Northern Israel (Leuk Lymphoma . )
  • Hadas Shasha-Lavsky, Karl Skorecki, Kamal Hassan, Etty Kruzel, Khaled Khazim, Ronit Geron, Irit Weisman, Anaam Hanut, Farid Nakhoul, Gidi Rechavi: Genetic Markers Among the Israeli Druze Minority Population With End-Stage Kidney Disease (Am J Kidney Dis .)
  • Nomy Dickman, Basem Hijazi, Abraham O. Samson, Lea Even: "Tutors Matter: The Relationship between Medical Students’ Satisfaction from Their Tutor and Their Overall Satisfaction from Clinical Rotations" (International Medical Education)

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