Assistant Professor Miki Rahat

Research Interests:
Immunotherapy of malignant tumors and inflammatory diseases.

Short Synopsis:
We investigate the interaction between macrophages and tumor or tissue cells in the context of cancer or in inflammatory diseases. We monitor the activation and function of macrophages, and the regulation of their interactions with other cell types in the changing microenvironment (e.g. ischemia/hypoxia). We focus on the role of macrophages in angiogenesis and invasiveness/metastasis, as manifested by several effector molecules, such as TNF, nitric oxide (NO), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), VEGF and EMMPRIN. We focus on these areas:
1) Development of immunotherapy for treatment of cancer and malignant metastases.
2) The involvement of EMMPRIN in angiogenesis and metastasis, its effect on the expression of MMPs and VEGF, and its regulation by microRNA.
3) The role of NO in angiogenesis and life/death decisions, and its regulation by microRNA.

8. Lahat N, Bitterman H, Weiss-Cerem L, Rahat MA. Hypoxia increases the membranal and secreted forms of HLA-DR in endothelial cells and renders them capable of activating T cells. Transplat. Int. 2011, 24(10):1018-26
9. Amir O, Spyvak I, Lavi I, Rahat MA. Changes in the monocytic subsets CD14dimCD16+ and CD14++CD16- in chronic systolic heart failure patients. Mediators of Inflammation 2012, 89(3): 201-209.
10. Amit-Cohen BC, Rahat MM, Rahat MA. Tumor cell-macrophage interactions increase angiogenesis through secretion of EMMPRIN. Frontiers in Vascular Physiology 2013 (submitted).
11. Rahat MA, Bitterman H, Lahat N. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Macrophage Response to Hypoxia. Frontiers in Immunology 2011, 2:45.
12. Rahat MA and Hemmerlein B. Macrophage-tumor cell interactions regulate the function of nitric oxide. Frontiers in Vascular Physiology 2013 (submitted).