Prof. Yoav Henis

Emeritus in Department of Neurobiology
מחלקה לנוירוביולוגיה אמריטוס
Prof. Yoav Henis
Phone: 03-6409053
Fax: 03-6407643
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 704


In 1974 received his B.Sc. Cum Laude in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Hebrew University. In 1978 he completed his doctoral thesis at Hebrew University, under the guidance of Prof. Alexander Levitzki. This thesis won the Hebrew University Kennedy-Lee prize for best thesis of the year. Between 1978 and 1981 he was a post-doctoral fellow under the guidance of Prof. Elliot Elson, first at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and then at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO). Upon his return to Israel in 1981 he became a Faculty member at the Department of Biochemistry, and then the Department of Neurobiology at Tel Aviv University.  Prof. Henis has served as the head of the Committee for acceptance of undergraduate students to the Faculty of Life Sciences (1985-7), the secretary of the Israel Society for Cell Biology (1991-5), the head of the Department of Neurobiochemistry (today named Neurobiology) (1995-8), and was a member in many University and National Committees.


Prof. Henis is one of the leaders in the Cancer Biophysics field. His studies combine cell biology with membrane biophysics to elucidate, in live cells, the action mechanisms of cancer-related proteins. These studies, which deal with the growth-inhibitory transforming growth factor-b receptors and with oncogenic proteins such as Ras and Src, were published in scientific journals of high standing. He is active in scientific organizations in Israel and the USA, and was a member of numerous committees and scientific forums of the Israel Science Foundation and other scientific foundations in Israel. He has won prizes and fellowships from the Bat-Sheva de Rothschild Foundation, the International Union Against Cancer, and the Jacqueline Seroussi Memorial Foundation Award for Cancer Research.




1978-1981 Post-Doctoral Fellow; Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO)
1974-1978 Ph.D.; Hebrew University
1974 B.Sc; Chemistry and Biochemistry, Hebrew University


Academic Appointments:

Present Vice President of Research and Development; Tel Aviv University
1995-1998 Head of Department; Neurobiochemistry, Tel Aviv University 
1991-1995 Secretary; Israeli Society of Cell Biology 
1981-present  Faculty Member; Department of Biochemistry and Department of Neurobiology, Tel Aviv University


Research Interests

Our research focuses on cancer biophysics. We combine biophysical and molecular biology approaches to study the dynamics, organization and interactions of membrane receptors (e.g., TGF-b receptors) and signaling oncoproteins (Ras, Src) at the plasma membrane of living cells, with a major focus on cancer-related proteins. Our emphasis is on interactions of receptors and signaling proteins that regulate cell proliferation and cancer. The systems and topics that we study include:


Mechanism of cell growth inhibition and anti-tumor activity of transforming growth factor-b(TGF-b) receptors;

Disruption of TGF-b signaling by oncogenic Ras proteins and its contribution to cancer;

Biophysical studies on interactions of lipid-anchored oncoproteins Ras and Src with cell membranes and their roles in signaling & transformation;

Endocytosis of TGF-b receptors and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptors and its roles in signaling via specific pathways.


Recent Publications

Publications since 2011.  For a full list of publications, please view them here:


Wolfenson, H., Bershadsky, A., Henis, Y.I. and Geiger, B. (2011) Actomyosin-generated tension controls the molecular kinetics of focal adhesions. J. Cell Sci. 124, 1425-1432.


Sorek, N., Gutman, O., Bar, E., Abu-Abied, M., Feng, X., Running, M.P., Lewinsohn, E.,  Ori, N., Sadot, E., Henis, Y.I. and Yalovsky, S. (2011) Differential effects of prenylation and S-acylation on Type I and II ROPS membrane interaction and function. Plant Physiol. 155, 706-720.


Marom, B., Heining, E., Knaus, P. and Henis, Y.I. (2011) Formation of stable homomeric and transient heteromeric BMP receptor complexes regulates Smad signaling. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 19287-19296.


Ehrlich, M., Horbelt, D., Marom, B., Knaus, P. and Henis, Y.I. (2011) Homomeric and heteromeric complexes among TGF-b and BMP receptors and their roles in signaling. Cell. Signal. 23, 1424-1432.


Eisenberg, S., Beckett, A.J., Prior, I.A., Dekker, F.J., Hedberg, C., Waldmann, H., Ehrlich, M. and Henis, Y.I. (2011) Raft protein clustering alters N-Ras membrane interactions and activation pattern. Mol. Cell Biol. 31, 3938-3952.


Berkovich, R., Wolfenson, H., Eisenberg, S., Ehrlich, M., Weiss, M., Klafter, J., Henis, Y.I. and Urbakh, M. (2011) Accurate quantification of diffusion and binding kinetics of non-integral membrane proteins by FRAP. Traffic 12, 1648-1657.


Sorek, N., Henis, Y.I. and Yalovsky, S. (2011) How prenylation and S-acylation regulate subcellular targeting and function of ROP GTPases. Plant Signal. Behav. 6, 1026-1029.


Heining, E., Bhushan, R., Paarmann, P., Henis, Y.I. and Knaus, P. (2011) Spatial segregation of BMP/Smad signaling affects osteoblast differentiation in C2C12 cells. PLoS One 6, e25163.


Ehrlich, M., Gutman, O., Knaus, P. and Henis, Y.I. (2012) Oligomeric interactions of TGF-b and BMP receptors. FEBS Lett. 586, 1885-1896.


Nevo-Yassaf, I., Yaffe, Y., Asher, M., Ravid, O., Eizenberg, S., Henis, Y. I., Nahmias, Y., Hirschberg, K. and Sklan, E. H. (2012) A role for TBC1D20 and Rab1 in Hepatitis C virus replication via interaction with lipid droplet-bound nonstructural protein 5A. J. Virol. 86, 6491-6502.


Shapira, K.E., Gross, A., Ehrlich, M. and Henis, Y.I. (2012) Coated pit-mediated endocytosis of the type I transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b) receptor depends on a di-leucine family signal and is not required for signaling. J. Biol. Chem. 287, 26876-26889.


Eisenberg, S., Laude, A.J., Beckett, A.J., Mageean, C.J., Aran, V., Hernandez-Valladares, M., Henis, Y.I. and Prior, I.A. (2013) The role of palmitoylation in regulating Ras localization and function. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 41, 79-83.


Tazat, K., Harsat, M., Goldshmid-Shagal, A., Ehrlich, M. and Henis, Y.I. (2013) Dual effects of Ral-activated pathways on p27 localization and TGF-b signaling. Mol. Biol. Cell 24, 1812-1824.


Lavelin, I., Wolfenson, H., Patla, I., Henis, Y.I., Medalia, O., Volberg, T., Livne, A., Kam, Z. and Geiger, B. (2013) Differential effect of actomyosin relaxation on the dynamic properties of focal adhesion proteins. PLoS One 8:e73549.


Gottlieb-Abraham, E., Shvartsman, D.E., Donaldson, J.C., Ehrlich, M., Gutman, O., Martin, G.S. and Henis, Y.I. (2013) Src-mediated caveolin-1 phosphorylation affects the targeting of active Src to specific membrane sites. Mol. Biol. Cell 24, 3881-3895.


Shapira, K.E., Hirschhorn, T., Barzilay, L., Smorodinsky, N.I., Henis, Y.I. and Ehrlich, M. (2014) Dab2 inhibits the cholesterol-dependent activation of JNK by TGF-beta. Mol. Biol. Cell
25, 1620-1628.


Burgess, A.W., Henis, Y.I., Hynes, N.E., Jovin, T., Levitzki, A., Pinkas-Kramarski, R. and Yarden, Y. (2014) EGF receptor family: twisting targets for improved cancer therapies.
Growth Factors 32, 74-81.


Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>