Experimental Biology of Vertebrate Aging and Age-Related Diseases
Lab research areas
The laboratory tries to answer fundamental questions in biology, such as:
What is the molecular basis behind the outstanding diversity of lifespan between different animals (which can reach a 500-fold difference among vertebrates)?
What separates disease from healthy aging?
To explore these questions, the lab uses cutting-edge techniques to develop a variety of disease models, including single-cell technology, mass spectrometry, and genome editing.
Dr. Harel is a member of the Department of Genetics at Hebrew University, part of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences. The Harel lab is a research group combining genetics, vertebrate physiology and cell biology to uncover and characterize the molecular mechanisms that regulate aging in vertebrates. Specifically, Dr. Harel would like to understand why aging is such a potent driver of disease and identify its tissue-specific mechanisms.
For his postdoctoral research at Stanford, Dr. Harel needed to examine aging in an animal with a shorter lifespan than mice and zebrafish, the classic vertebrate models. He turned to the shortest-lived vertebrate, the African turquoise killifish, whose lifespan is 6 times shorter than that of mice and 10 times shorter than zebrafish, and transformed it into a powerful genetic model. Since then, many leading labs around the world have used killifish for aging research. In the summer of 2018, Dr. Harel co-organized an international killifish conference. He looks forward to contributing to the advancement of the Israeli scientific community and to Israeli scientific education.