Dr. Yossi Tam, D.M.D, Ph.D., heads the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Drug Research and is Director of the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research. The Multidisciplinary Center is focused on developing cannabinoid-based therapies to alleviate pain, treat traumatic brain injuries, and to address a broad spectrum of diseases. Dr. Tam, who works closely with Hebrew University Professor Emeritus Raphael Mechoulam, a world leader in the field of cannabis research, serves on the scientific board of Kalytera Therapeutics. Kalytera is developing cannabinoid-like and endocannaboid-like medicines for conditions ranging from osteoporosis to Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disease.
Dr. Tam earned his Ph.D. at Hebrew University and received his D.M.D. from the Faculty of Dental Medicine. He launched his research in the area of bone biology, pursuing this work under the auspices of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and the School of Pharmacy. Dr. Tam explored the clinical phenomenon whereby traumatic brain injury induces a systemic stimulation of bone formation, leading to excessive accumulation of bone. Dr. Tam demonstrated a critical role for the eCB system in regulating bone mass, identifying a novel brain-to-bone pathway. His work was recognized with the prestigious Young Investigator Award by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Dr. Tam conducted his postdoctoral research fellowship in the U.S. at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he examined the biological mechanisms underlying obesity and metabolic syndrome. His research demonstrated the therapeutic potential of the first peripherally restricted, potent and selective CB1 blockers in biological models of obesity/metabolic syndrome. His preclinical findings showed that this class of compounds had strong clinical promise for treating obesity.
Dr. Tam joined the Hebrew University in 2014. His recent research investigates the peripheral eCB system in the development of obesity. His laboratory uses multidisciplinary approaches to study the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of metabolic syndrome. He has won numerous awards for his pioneering work, among these the Jacob Metzner’s Young Investigators Award and the FARE Award from the NIH.