About Us

The Hadassah Organoid Center

The Hadassah Organoid Center was founded at The Hadassah University Medical Center in October 2020.

Our mission is to improve human health by advancing personalized medicine, thereby enabling every patient to receive optimal therapy in a timely manner.

Our vision is to establish a platform in which the innovative organoids technology serves as a tool to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical practice for disease modeling and drug discovery.

The First Organoid Biobank in Israel

Within The Hadassah Organoid Center, we founded the first organoid biobank in Israel, able to support the scientific community, in Israel and worldwide. This biobank provides a comprehensive bio-repository of human tissue-derived organoids. The availability of these samples plays a crucial role in the advancement of basic and translational science as well as precision medicine.

Team Members

Myriam Grunewald, PhD

Head and Scientific Director

Dr. Myriam Grunewald is the Head and the Scientific Director of the Hadassah Organoid Center. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and was trained as a vascular biologist in the laboratory of Prof. Eli Keshet. She is a senior scientist and a lecturer in the Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research at the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and brings her deep experience in managing large research projects.

Liron Birimberg-Schwartz, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Birimberg-Schwartz is currently a clinician scientist at The Hadassah Medical Center; she is the Medical Director of the Hadassah Organoid Center and a pediatric gastroenterologist focusing on gastrointestinal manifestations in Cystic Fibrosis. Dr. Birimberg-Schwartz received her MD from The Hebrew University. After completing her internship at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in 2011, and her residency in pediatric medicine in 2016, she began her sub-specialty fellowship in the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Her fellowship focused on pediatric pancreatic diseases and gastrointestinal manifestations of Cystic Fibrosis, and that is where she acquired her experience with the use of organoid cultures in translational medicine.

Tirtsa Toledano, PhD

Staff Scientist

Dr. Toledano studied biology in France at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Cachan where she completed her MSc and a degree for biology teaching. Dr. Toledano completed her PhD at the Hebrew University in the lab of Prof. Ofer Mandelboim, where she worked on regulation of Natural Killer cells. Dr. Toledano joined our team in May 2021 and focuses on developing patient derived-organoids models as a tool for personalized clinical research. She is developing co-culture models including organoids and other patient-derived components such as immune cells, in order to create a more physiological in vitro model.

Naama Sznadjer, PhD

Staff Scientist

Dr. Sznadjer completed the first and second year of BSc in Biology, Physics and Chemistry at the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France. She then completed an engineering degree in biotechnology at the European School of the Higher Rhine Universities, and a MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dr. Sznadjer completed her PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Genetics department under the supervision of Prof. Ruth Sperling. Later, Dr. Sznadjer worked for nine years as a researcher at the Neonatology and NICU lab of Prof. Cathy Hammerman at the Shaare Tzedek Medical Center where she worked on diagnostic tools as well as biomarkers for pathologies of neonates and premature babies. Dr. Sznadjer joined our team in October 2021. She has mastered the organoid technique and is leading multiple research projects mainly based on the intestinal organoid technology.

Deborah Duran, MSc

MSc Student

Dr. Duran holds a BSc. in Biomedical Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a MSc. in Engineering and Chemistry of Biomolecules from the University of Paris Descartes. She joined our team in March 2021 and her main project is on the development of retinal organoids from human fibroblast derived iPSCs.

Widad Samman, BSc

MSc student

Ms. Samman studied Biomedical Sciences (MSc) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ms. Samman joined our team in February 2022 and her main project is focused on the understanding of telocyte function in breast cancer and normal breast tissue using organoids as a model.

Tom Kedar

Research Coordinator

Mr. Kedar, married to Liat and a father to Rephael and Avigail, works at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital since 2021 as a Research Coordinator and Scientific Program Administrator for the 16th AASNS Congress of Neurosurgeons. He joined our team in April 2022 and leads the regulatory process, patient recruitment and consent, sample collection and clinical data retrieval.
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