The laboratory deals with molecular cell research and focuses on the genetical control of cell division and growth by the TOR protein kinase-dependent signaling pathway. Signaling pathways consist a chain of proteins; at the head of the chain are proteins that can sense environmental changes, followed by proteins that prepare the cell for these changes from the point of view of metabolism, gene expression and control of the cell cycle. The TOR-dependent signaling pathway was discovered relatively late compared to other pathways, and was found to have a major function in controlling the growth and division of cells, as well as in ageing. Mutations in the TOR pathway can cause various diseases such as diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. In the laboratory use is made of yeast cells as a model system that enables use of advanced genetic and biochemical methods in order to understand major evolutionary conserved processes. The laboratory’s main contribution includes identification and characterization the TOR encoding genes in the S. pombe yeast and research that teaches about the influence of the TOR proteins on the reaction to damage in DNA and about genomic and epigenomic stability.
Prof. Ronit Weisman is hosted in Prof. Martin Kupiec's laboratory in the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, in Tel Aviv University.