Moran Dvela-Levitt joins the Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan University after a PhD in Basic Medical Sciences in the Department of Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research-Israel-Canada at The Hebrew University; and a postdoc at the Kidney Disease Initiative, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
In her lab, Dr. Dvela-Levitt studies the cellular network of protein trafficking, an essential process required for the proper functioning of all cells and systems of the human body. Dysfunction of the trafficking machinery leads to cellular “traffic jams,” a hallmark of many devastating diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and cystic fibrosis. Using high-content imaging techniques, Dr. Dvela-Levitt aspires to learn more about protein trafficking machineries and to identify new therapeutic strategies.
In her PhD, she elucidated a novel biological role for cardiac steroids—as essential growth factors—and identified this steroid family as a potential therapy for traumatic brain injury. Her postdoctoral research investigated a rare genetic kidney disease, revealing a novel molecular mechanism for the entrapment of misfolded proteins, which she has shown to be involved in other disorders as well. She also identified a small molecule that clears misfolded protein accumulation and therefore has promising therapeutic potential.
Dr. Dvela-Levitt established the volunteering program S.A.H.I. in Jerusalem, a weekly youth activity that engages at-risk teens from Israel’s periphery, helping them to become “giving ambassadors” in their own communities.