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.


The Research Front


Grant from the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology

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Significant Achievement for our School! 8 Researchers were awarded the highly competitive Science Upfront grant from the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology! Notably 4 of the awardees are young PIs that join our institute in the past 3 years! Congratulations to Boaz Tirosh, Eylon Yavin, Ofra Benny, Reuven Reich, Raphael Benhamou, Gali Umschweif, Katy Margulis and Tawfeeq Shekh Ahmad!



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Recent Publications

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.
Yoel Goldstein, Sarah Spitz, Keren Turjeman, Florian Selinger, Yechezkel Barenholz, Peter Ertl, Ofra Benny, and Danny Bavli. 2021. “Breaking the third wall: Implementing 3d-printing technics to expand the complexity and abilities of multi-organ-on-a-chip devices.” Micromachines, 12, 6. Abstract
The understanding that systemic context and tissue crosstalk are essential keys for bridg-ing the gap between in vitro models and in vivo conditions led to a growing effort in the last decade to develop advanced multi-organ-on-a-chip devices. However, many of the proposed devices have failed to implement the means to allow for conditions tailored to each organ individually, a crucial aspect in cell functionality. Here, we present two 3D-print-based fabrication methods for a generic multi-organ-on-a-chip device: One with a PDMS microfluidic core unit and one based on 3D-printed units. The device was designed for culturing different tissues in separate compartments by integrating individual pairs of inlets and outlets, thus enabling tissue-specific perfusion rates that facilitate the generation of individual tissue-adapted perfusion profiles. The device allowed tissue crosstalk using microchannel configuration and permeable membranes used as barriers between individual cell culture compartments. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation confirmed the capability to generate significant differences in shear stress between the two individual culture compartments, each with a selective shear force. In addition, we provide preliminary findings that indicate the feasibility for biological compatibility for cell culture and long-term incubation in 3D-printed wells. Finally, we offer a cost-effective, accessible protocol enabling the design and fabrication of advanced multi-organ-on-a-chip devices.
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