Prof. Bilha Fischer

Department of Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory 

With 110 peer-reviewed articles and 12 patents to her name, Prof. Fischer leads a medicinal chemistry laboratory at the department of Chemistry, BIU. She is an alumnus of Bar-Ilan and has served in a variety of leadership positions within the university as well as national and international positions. She has won several prizes including the Teva Prize for excellent young scientists, the Juludan Prize for the Application of Exact Sciences to Medicine, and was selected as one of 50 most influential women for the year 2014 (Globes magazine).

Prof. Fischer believes that nature is economic, efficient, and elegant. Indeed, a limited number of small molecules play numerous functions in life. Therefore, in her research she has selected natural mononucleotides, di-nucleotides, nucleoside-bisphosphates, and oligonucleotides as scaffolds for the development of innovative building blocks and novel drug candidates. Those new molecules were applied for diagnosis and drug development (treatment of type 2 diabetes, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, osteoarthritis, and innovative siRNAs for silencing gene expression).


Together with Prof. Yaron Shav-Tal (Life Science Faculty), Prof. Fischer develops probes for diagnosis of subtypes of breast cancer towards personalized medicine. Since current methods of molecular-level breast cancer diagnosis toward personalized medicine are less than optimal, they target the development of innovative oligonucleotide (ON) and peptide nucleic acids (PNA) probes to detect breast cancer mRNA markers for the identification of breast cancer subtype.

The probes incorporate fluorescent intercalators, inspired by naturally occurring fluorescent molecules. To obtain a useful fluorescent probe that has an excellent signal/ background ratio and also excellent brightness, the Fischer group synthesizes various chromophores covalently bound to a nucleoside or PNA via a flexible spacer. These nucleosides are incorporated into ss-ON/PNA probes targeting specific mRNA markers. Targets include HER2, BRCA1/2, ER, and PR mRNA breast cancer markers, tested in live cells by the Shav-Tal group. Ultimately, they target the application of these probes to patients’ biopsies. This project serves as a stepping stone toward the diagnosis of breast cancer sub-type in patients and toward personalized medicine.

2017 All rights to Dangoor Centre for Personalized Medicine, Bar-ilan University.