About the school


The School of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University, one of the world leaders in pharmacist training and basic research in the pharmaceutical sciences, was established in 1953.
The school prepares its graduates to practice the pharmacy profession, provides them with a scientific and professional foundation, and offers higher studies in pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and pharmacy sciences (M.Sc. and Ph.D.), as well as doctoral studies in clinical pharmacy (Pharm.D.).
Graduates of the school are integrated in community pharmacy (community pharmacies, private and institutional), clinical pharmacy (hospitals and health funds), the pharmaceutical industry, the biological, chemical and biotechnology industries, the pharmacy administration and science and research institutions in Israel and abroad.
The school conducts extensive scientific research in the fields of pharmaceutical sciences and life sciences, and dozens of articles are published each year in the leading press in the world of science.
The School of Pharmacy is part of the Faculty of Medicine, located on the Ein Kerem campus of the Hebrew University and works closely with physicians and researchers from Hadassah Hospital.
 

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The Research Front

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A Novel Sanitizing Technology Invented At The School Of Pharmacy Has Generated A Range Of Products Now In Use In South America

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Prof. Touitou has developed a novel broad spectrum anti-viral and anti-microbial sanitizing technology based on a new concept of action. The mode of action is based on a synergistic combination of ingredients providing high antiviral and antimicrobial activities, yet being non-irritating, quick drying, non-sticky and not drying the skin.  

It prevents the spread of disease by effectively disinfecting hands and surfaces against bacteria, enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. The antimicrobial and antiviral spectrum of the active ingredients include biocidal performance against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, enveloped viruses and non-enveloped viruses.

The novel compositions, tested in leading in FDA and EPA certified GLP labs, exhibited effective anti-viral, anti-microbial and/or anti-fungal activity.

Prof. Elka Touitou Head of Innovative Dermal Transdermal &Transmucosal Delivery Group, Institute of Drug Research School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 

The figures above depict the synergistic antiviral activity of formulations tested for their antiviral activity against Vaccinia virus after 30 & 60 seconds exposure respectively as compared to conventional formulations  

The active ingredients in the products of the novel technology are regarded as safe (GRAS) by the US FDA and are listed in the FDA's EAFUS database. The compositions of the invention can be used in mouthwashes, oral care, hand sanitizing and food Surfaces sanitizers. They can also be used for sanitizing and/or disinfecting surfaces. The new sanitizers are pleasant and non–tacky on the skin.

The IP has been licensed and a range of products are now in use in South America

 

 

The new products answer the unmet medical needs by providing innovative and highly effective sanitizing solution to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

 

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Is Cannabis the Antibiotics of the 21st Century?

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Prof. Doron Steinberg, a researcher and lecturer from the Faculty of Dental Medicine and the Director of the Biofilm Research Lab, says that modern microbiology is not designed to kill viruses but rather to attack the biofilm construction.  In his lab, basic research is combined with clinical applications for a variety of developments and innovations to help combat biofilm as a major cause for infectious diseases like fungal diseases and Cystic Fibrosis that he is currently researching. “My goal is to think of additional applicable applications for cannabinoids, and the possibilities are endless.”

 

Prof. Steinberg says: “We’re involved with a joint study with the head of the Pulmonary Department at Hadassah Ein Kerem, Prof. Malena Cohen.  Cystic Fibrosis is a terminal illness of the biofilm of the lungs with a very rapid morbidity.  Patients are subjected to high levels of all sorts of antibiotics daily which on occasion can be the actual cause of their deaths.  Our hope is to find a cannabinoid that is more effective for the treatment of this condition.”

 

An additional research focus in the joint study, alongside measuring the effectiveness of the cannabinoids, is how they can be best delivered to the lungs.  The team has developed an innovative solution that has already been tested and shown very positive responses.  Last month the team submitted a research grant to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

 

“The next stage that we are already working on, is on more ‘traditional’ infectious diseases, that will be easier to progress with in terms of regulatory issues because if we are successful when it comes to Cystic Fibrosis that these non-terminal diseases should be simpler in that regard.”


 

 

Prof. Steinberg’s most recent findings on cannabinoids research were published in the journal Scientific Reports.  Hebrew University is home to a Cannabinoids Research Center that is a global leader in this field and enjoys working partnerships with leading Israeli companies that are investing in new developments in this area as well as via the “Maadan” track of the Ministry of Health that has a vested interest in developing Israeli interests in science and healthcare.

 

For media publications: 
News1
ישראל היום

 

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Use of gold nano-particles to help drugs penetrate via the skin

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A Discovery That May Change The Very Way We Take Our Medications

As Published on Ynet: Use of gold nano-particles to help drugs penetrate via the skin

 

 

Researchers from Hebrew University said that the discovery offers the potential to help in future drug development and enhance not just treatment of skin diseases but to change the way we all take drugs for all sorts of illnesses.

Researchers have found out how to engineer physical characteristics of nano-particles of gold in order to help them penetrate the skin via hair follicles.  The discovery paves the way for drug companies to develop all sorts of new drugs, not just for skin diseases, but that can be administered quickly and effectively. This is according to a new study that was conducted by a team of researchers led by Prof. Ofra Benny and doctoral student Netanel Friedman from the School of Pharmacy of the Faculty of Medicine at Hebrew University together with doctors from Hadassah Medical Center, Dr. Sharon Merims and Dr. Yonatan Alaya.

 

The researchers explained that nano-particles, miniscule particles that can be viewed only under a very specialized and powerful microscope, are known to provide substantial promise to advance pharmaceutical care, because they improve the chances for the drugs to penetrate to more tissues.  While the ability of these nano-particles to penetrate via the hair follicles was already known, what was less known was which particular nano-particles could best penetrate tissue. 

 

Prof. Ofra Benny, an expert in the field of nano-medicine and pharmaceuticals, utilized a combination of bioengineering with engineered tissues and set out to better understand the physical properties based on size and performance that could best penetrate via the follicles and allowed the best treatment possibilities when reaching the patient’s tissue.

 

 

According to the researchers, the long-term impact of this study can have critical importance for how we get drugs into our bodies.  In the future, drug development through advanced means like nano-technology can allow for benefits that respond directly to specific medical needs.  This will benefit not only diseases that affect the surface of the skin but any disease that is treated by accessing the blood stream.  “We thought about a concept like a nicotine strip, for example.  By introducing an advanced approach of drug delivery via nano-particles, we would be able to receive many drugs via this means.  It’s very simple to affix a sticker or to spread a cream as opposed to oral delivery or injection which is the traditional means in place today,” explains Prof. Benny.

For media publications: YNET

 

 

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Recent Publications

Bruno V.S. Valiate, Celso M. Queiroz-Junior, Francesca Levi-Schaffer, Izabela Galvão, and Mauro M. Teixeira. 2021. “CD300a contributes to the resolution of articular inflammation triggered by MSU crystals by controlling neutrophil apoptosis.” Immunology. Abstract
Gout is an inflammatory disease triggered by deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in the joints, resulting in high neutrophil influx and pain. Here, we studied the role of the inhibitory receptor CD300a in the resolution process in a murine model of gout. We found increased CD300a expression on neutrophils emigrated to the joint. When compared to WT mice, CD300a−/− mice had persistent neutrophil influx till 24 hr after MSU injection. This was associated with increased concentration of IL-1$\beta$ and greater tissue damage in the joints of CD300a−/− mice. There was an increase in the percentage of apoptotic neutrophils in the synovial lavage of WT mice, as compared to CD300a−/− mice. This difference was reflected in the decline of efferocytic events in the synovial cavity of CD300a−/− mice 24 hr after MSU injection. A CD300a agonistic antibody was shown, for the first time, to increase apoptosis of human neutrophils, and this was associated with cleavage of caspase-8. In conclusion, our results reveal an important role of CD300a in the control of leucocyte infiltration, IL-1$\beta$ production and caspase-8 cleavage in neutrophils, contributing to the resolution of inflammation triggered by MSU injection.
Igor Khaliulin, Raimondo Ascione, Leonid N. Maslov, Haitham Amal, and M. Saadeh Suleiman. 2021. “Preconditioning or Postconditioning with 8-Br-cAMP-AM Protects the Heart against Regional Ischemia and Reperfusion: A Role for Mitochondrial Permeability Transition.” Cells, 10, 5. Abstract
The cAMP analogue 8-Br-cAMP-AM (8-Br) confers marked protection against global ischaemia/reperfusion of isolated perfused heart. We tested the hypothesis that 8-Br is also protective under clinically relevant conditions (regional ischaemia) when applied either before ischemia or at the beginning of reperfusion, and this effect is associated with the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). 8-Br (10 $μ$M) was administered to Langendorff-perfused rat hearts for 5 min either before or at the end of 30 min regional ischaemia. Ca2+-induced mitochondria swelling (a measure of MPTP opening) and binding of hexokinase II (HKII) to mitochondria were assessed following the drug treatment at preischaemia. Haemodynamic function and ventricular arrhythmias were monitored during ischaemia and 2 h reperfusion. Infarct size was evaluated at the end of reperfusion. 8-Br administered before ischaemia attenuated ventricular arrhythmias, improved haemodynamic function, and reduced infarct size during ischaemia/reperfusion. Application of 8-Br at the end of ischaemia protected the heart during reperfusion. 8-Br promoted binding of HKII to the mitochondria and reduced Ca2+-induced mitochondria swelling. Thus, 8-Br protects the heart when administered before regional ischaemia or at the beginning of reperfusion. This effect is associated with inhibition of MPTP via binding of HKII to mitochondria, which may underlie the protective mechanism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder manifested in repetitive behavior, abnormalities in social interactions, and communication. The pathogenesis of this disorder is not clear, and no effective treatment is currently available. Protein S-nitrosylation (SNO), the nitric oxide (NO)-mediated posttranslational modification, targets key proteins implicated in synaptic and neuronal functions. Previously, we have shown that NO and SNO are involved in the ASD mouse model based on the Shank3 mutation. The energy supply to the brain mostly relies on oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria. Recent studies show that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are involved in ASD pathology. In this work, we performed SNO prote-omics analysis of cortical tissues of the Shank3 mouse model of ASD with the focus on mitochondrial proteins and processes. The study was based on the SNOTRAP technology followed by systems biology analysis. This work revealed that 63 mitochondrial proteins were S-nitrosylated and that several mitochondria-related processes, including those associated with oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis, were enriched. This study implies that aberrant SNO signaling induced by the Shank3 mutation can target a wide range of mitochondria-related proteins and processes that may contribute to the ASD pathology. It is the first study to investigate the role of NO-dependent mitochondrial functions in ASD.
Nethanel Friedman, Arie Dagan, Jhonathan Elia, Sharon Merims, and Ofra Benny. 2021. “Physical properties of gold nanoparticles affect skin penetration via hair follicles.” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 36. Abstract
Drug penetration through the skin is significant for both transdermal and dermal delivery. One mechanism that has attracted attention over the last two decades is the transport pathway of nanoparticles via hair follicle, through the epidermis, directly to the pilosebaceous unit and blood vessels. Studies demonstrate that particle size is an important factor for drug penetration. However, in order to gain more information for the purpose of improving this mode of drug delivery, a thorough understanding of the optimal physical particle properties is needed. In this study, we fabricated fluorescently labeled gold nanoparticles (GNP) with a tight control over the size and shape. The effect of the particles' physical parameters on follicular penetration was evaluated histologically. We used horizontal human skin sections and found that the optimal size for polymeric particles is 0.25 $μ$m. In addition, shape penetration experiments revealed gold nanostars' superiority over spherical particles. Our findings suggest the importance of the particles' physical properties in the design of nanocarriers delivered to the pilosebaceous unit.
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