The Research Team

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Prof. Ruth Ashery-Padan

Principal investigator 

Prof. Ashery-Padan completed Bachelor's degree in Biology and Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and continued for MSc and PhD in the Department of Genetics at the Hebrew University. She then joined the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, for postdoctoral training. Since her return to Israel she is heading a research team in the Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine and is a member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience, both at Tel Aviv University, where she also hold the Zucker–Sussman Chair for Glaucoma Research.


She has obtained prestigious grants and has been the recipient of awards including the Alon Fellowship, the Dan David Prize for young investigators, Teva Prize for a research grant, and an award from the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind.


Prof. Ashery-Padan been a member of the national steering committee of The Israel Society for Developmental Biology and head of the Switzerland Institute of Developmental Biology at Tel Aviv University. Prof. Ashery-Padan is the head of the Yoran Institute for Human Genome Research, Tel Aviv University.​

Dr. Ivana Savic Azoulay

Lab manager & Research Associate

Ivana graduated with a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Pharmacology from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Serbia. She continued her studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel and completed PhD and Post Doc in the Department of Cellular Biology and Physiology. During her PhD and post doc, Ivana collaborated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and spent part of her studies in Shanghai.

Ivana is interested in mitochondrial signaling and metabolism of retinal pigmented epithelium and neuronal tissues.

Shai Ovadia

PhD Student

Research Interest:

The role of the chromatin remodeling complex SWI/SNF in the development and differentiation of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)

Mazal Gulkar Cohen

PhD student

Research Interest:

Gene regulatory element in eye development

Nitay Zuk-Bar

Phd Student

Research Interest:

Regulation of gene expression in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)

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Maha Esmaeel

MSc student

Research Interest:

Investigating Pax6 role in lens and cornea development. 

Previous Lab Members