Prof. Eitan Okun

The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life-Sciences

Learning, memory and neurodegenerative disorders

Prof. Eitan Okun has conducted his Post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Mark P. Mattson at the Neuroscience laboratory at the National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health. He then moved on 2012 to a senior lecturer position at Bar Ilan University, where as of 2017 he is an associate Professor.

Prof. Eitan Okun is heading the Paul Feder research laboratory on Alzheimer’s disease research at the Mina and Everard Goodman faculty of life sciences. He is also affiliated with the Gonda Multidisciplinary brain research center at Bar Ilan University.

Age-related neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease chief amongst them, are currently incurable due to several critical reasons, such as the lack of early diagnosis capabilities, or the apparent heterogeneity between patients. The latter in-fact calls for the development of personalized medicine tools and approaches. As a result of that, our laboratory is focused on the following research directions:

  • Developing a biomarker for an earlier diagnosis of protein-aggregation diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As different patients exhibit different pathology severities, that are differentially spread throughout the brain, It is critical to develop a biomarker that will provide information on both aspects of this pathology to devise appropriate treatment.
  • Developing vaccination strategies that target Amyloid beta. This is done in both Alzheimer’s disease models as well as in Down-syndrome models which exhibit Amyloid-beta related pathology.
  • Assessing causal and correlational links between Down-syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Another line of research in our laboratory aims to understand the mechanism(s) behind the beneficial effect of aerobic exercise on cognitive learning and neurogenesis. We use various cognitive tasks and precise measurements of the formation of new neurons in the brain to understand what is the mechanism behind aerobic exercise, in an effort to translate findings to cognitive enhancement.

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