HU Professor Shares News on Autism and Alzheimer’s Research

On Tuesday, January 31, breakthroughs in autism and Alzheimer’s Disease were shared during an event, “Toward the Groundbreaking Development of Therapeutic Drugs for Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease,” presented by Haitham Amal, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Drug Research, Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The dinner event, hosted by American Friends of the Hebrew University and Cyma and Ed Satell, was held at Satell’s home in Jupiter, Florida. 

The Amal Lab’s focuses on biomarkers and drug discovery for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other neurological disorders. Prof. Amal pointed out that little is understood about autism’s origins, triggers, or location in the brain. His research team has made significant progress in identifying genetically based autism—estimated to be 20% of all cases—but the causes of most autism cases remain a mystery.  Prof. Amal’s lab is conducting research into possible pre-natal and environmental factors, and working on new diagnostic tools to diagnose and identify autism early on. With the number of autism cases now standing at one in 30 births in the U.S. and one in 50 in Israel, hope for further progress is strong. 

Prof. Amal also spoke of his team’s success in Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, the Amal Lab found novel shared mechanisms between autism and Alzheimer’s. Prof. Amal believes these findings may lead to new treatments for autism and Alzheimer’s patients. 

With his record of success, Prof. Amal remains optimistic, believing that further advances may be within our grasp. He shared with event attendees a timely update on this important research topic and his vision for treatment. 

American Friends of the Hebrew University is proud to host in-person and online events that feature updates on Hebrew University research and highlight the university’s globally recognized expertise in research and innovation.