Dr. Alexander Binshtok

Dr. Ben Katz


2003 B.Sc. Mathematics and Philosophy at the Hebrew University

2003 Pre-requisite courses in Biology at the Hebrew University

2005 M.Sc. Neurobiology under the supervision of Prof. Baruch Minke at the Hebrew University

2012 PhD in Medical Neurobiology (summa cum laude) entitled: Structural and Molecular dynamics in Drosophila photoreceptors”, under the supervision of Prof. Baruch Minke at the Hebrew University

2015 Postdoc training in Medical Neurobiology under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Binshtok at the Hebrew University


Research interest:

Ben is interested in the molecular dynamics of sensory transduction in invertebrate and the mammalian nervous system. One of his goals is to understand the participation and activation mechanism of specific types of ion channels in invertebrate vision and mammalian somatosensation - the process whereby we experience touch, pain and temperature. One could ask of the connection between invertebrate vision and mammalian somatosensation? The answer is that in both systems the Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels play a central role in the transduction process.

Currently, Ben is working on a unique human loss-of-function mutation in the TRPV1 channel.

TRPV1 channels are the primary detectors of noxious heat, acidic condition and capsaicin the hot ingredient of chili pepper. Using biochemical, molecular and electrophysiological tools, He is studying the physiological aspects of a human loss-of-function mutation in the TRPV1 channel. Furthermore, Ben is trying to understand the molecular aberration caused by this unique mutation, which renders the channel inactive. As this mutation is located at a specific channel domain which was not investigated in the activation process (gating) of TRPV1 channels, he expects to achieve novel insights into this intriguing process of channel opening.

 

Supported by TEVA NNE grant