Eitan Okun

Dr. Okun received his PhD from Bar Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, in 2006. From 2007 to 2011, he obtained postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health, National Institute on Aging, in the Laboratory of Neurosciences.

In 2011, he moved to the Mina and Everard Goodman faculty of Life Sciences in Bar Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel as a senior lecturer. Here he leads a versatile research team aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and ischemic brain stroke, as well as the molecular mechanisms governing learning and memory processes during aging. These goals are accomplished using state-of-the-art techniques from molecular biology tools to cognitive behavior tasks that allow molecular understanding of complex behaviors in pre-clinical models.

Dr. Okun’s lab develops a vaccine against Alzheimer’s Disease that can be given at a younger age in order to prevent the development of the disease already in its early stages. This approach differs from the the many current experimental therapies that are given to the patients at a late stage of the disease, long after the disease began to impair the brain tissues. So far, their research showed that the vaccine in adult age against amyloid-beta protein in model animals (mice) genetically engineered for the Down syndrome, improved the animals’ cognitive abilities, as well as their brain pathological state. Currently, they examine an improved vaccine that could be effective also when given to aged animals.