The laboratory focuses on understanding how bariatric surgery works, which presents opportunities for both understanding organismal physiology as well as identifying new clinical approaches for diabetes and obesity. Lab researchers collaborate closely with physicians, make use of mouse models for metabolic diseases and bariatric surgery, and apply mathematical tools to interpret results and design new experiments.
For his PhD in Life Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Dr. Ben-Zvi asked the question: How does an embryo coordinate its developmental patterning processes with its actual size? The question was an old one, but his experiments led to a new mathematical model for how patterning scales with size that is now part of developmental biology textbooks.
During his subsequent training at Harvard, where he was a Fulbright and Rothschild postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Ben-Zvi switched fields. He studied the new physiology that ensues after bariatric (“weight loss”) surgeries, leading to rapid diabetes resolution and sustained weight loss. Today Dr. Ben-Zvi is an assistant professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical School, and he continues to study how bariatric surgeries affect metabolism and physiology. His long-term goal is to discover how to achieve the positive effects of bariatric surgery without surgical intervention, potentially leading to a cure for type 2 diabetes and to reversing obesity.
Dr. Ben-Zvi is a Major (Reserves) in the Israel Intelligence Corps, having done his undergraduate studies through Talpiot, the Israel Defense Forces’ elite academic program.