The Neuroscience Research Centers on Glutamate Ion Channel Receptors (iGluRs). These receptors mediate synaptic neurotransmission and are indispensable in brain activity, such as memory and learning. Upon binding to glutamate, the glutamate receptor rapidly changes its conformation and opens its ion channel pore to allow small cations such as sodium ions to flow across the cellular membrane, transmitting an electrical signal between neurons. Moreover, research will concern the membrane proteins on the cell surface. The activity of virtually every cell is regulated by extracellular signals, such as neurotransmitters, hormones, and sensory stimuli. These signals are transmitted into the cell interior via membrane receptor proteins. Understanding how these membrane proteins mediate signal transmission and transduction is the primary research interest in the neuroscience laboratory. We are particularly interested in the structure and function relationship, the kinetic and molecular mechanism of protein function by protein-protein and protein-drug interactions. We also attempt to develop better inhibitor/potentiators to regulate membrane protein functions. In the long term, we hope that our research will provide not only insight into the mechanisms of action of these molecular machines but also clues for the design of molecular devices, which can be used (i) for studying signal transduction pathways and (ii) as diagnostic/detection tools for disease treatment. We use an interdisciplinary approach in our research, including rapid kinetic techniques suitable for membrane proteins, biochemical and biophysical chemistry, molecular biology, electrophysiology, and neuroscience.Neuroscience Center
Conducts basic, translational, and clinical research to develop novel drugs to assist the body in killing cancer cells and develop optimal conditions to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues.
The aim is to translate findings into clinical trials that make a difference in the lives of patients (from bench to bedside) as we work in tandem with academic and industry colleagues.
The goals are to identify critical genes and pathways that distinguish cancer from normal (stem) cells, isolate tissue-specific stem cells and define the conditions that are required to repair damaged tissues, develop novel drugs for cancer therapy and regenerative medicine, fix defective, disease-causing genes (gene therapy) and re-growth of damaged tissues (body parts).An-Najah Center for Cancer and Stem Cell Research
The Microbiology Lab allows students to isolate culture and identify many of pathological bacteria from different sites in addition to some pathological fungi. Moreover, students learn to do many immunological tests that diagnose some immunological diseases.
In the Clinical Biochemistry Lab, the students learn how to test the body chemistry such as measuring blood glucose level, urea level, lipid profile, and enzymatic level in order to understand the metabolic reactions that occur inside the body cells.
The Laboratory of Physiology serves students of medicine and pharmacy in their second year. It aims through its practical course material to strengthen the relationship between theory and applied materials in physiology. In order to achieve that, this laboratory has provided many of the instruments and tools that enrich the learning process and increase the capabilities of students to conduct practical physiological experiments. Blood pressure manometer, electrocardiogram, spirometer, glucometer and centrifuge are some of these tools and instruments.
In the Pathology Lab, the students learn how to diagnose different body tissues from real body organs and learn how to take a biopsy and test it under the microscope in order to see different histological diseases.
The recent progresses on the research field of biomedical sciences and its different areas necessitates providing the infrastructure and services needed to keep pace with the advances in the different scientific disciplines. To achieve that, An-Najah National University offers its medical students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences the central research laboratory, which is well-prepared and equipped with the latest tools and devices needed for the scientific research.
The central research laboratory consists of the following labs:
First: Genetic Research and Cell Transplant Lab : It aims to carry out research regarding genetics, molecular biochemistry, and cell transplant in terms of:
- Discovering genetic mutations and their relation to genetic diseases.
- Molecular Medicine Science, which studies infectious and chronic diseases at the molecular level.
- Studying the impact of medicines, plants, and organic compounds on the different cells and tissues through a special discrete unit.
- Studying cellular signs and means of regulating them in normal cases as well as diseases.
Second: Microbiology and Physiology research lab: It is concerned with the following:
- Research in relation to Microbiology: these researches fully study microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.) in terms of:
- Appearance by using different dyes.
- Cultivation and development in different nutritional environments.
- Conducting biochemical tests to distinguish them from one another.
- Conducting sensitivity tests by using antibiotics in order to measure their effectiveness on such microbes.
- Methods of killing such microbes by using different sterilizations.
- Molecular Microbiology, which is concerned with studying such microbes at the molecular genetic and protein levels in order to find out which antibiotics are effectively needed for them, and design accurate tests to distinguish between them.
- Studying the effect of the different medicines, plants, and organic compounds on different microbes (bacteria, fungi, .etc.)
2. Research on Physiology: the laboratory is equipped with many devices specialized in studying the functions of the different human body organs in terms of:
- The effect of different organic compounds on the body organs.
- Measuring the functions of the respiratory system (spirometer).
Third: Animals Lab
- In accordance with the latest international standards and criteria, this unit is fully equipped with the latest equipment and tools needed to develop and carry out scientific research. It includes families of the new hybridized mice. Since the genetic maps of these mice are available and well-known, this makes them powerful means of research to uncover the genes that cause different diseases – infectious or non-infectious, chronic or non-chronic, genetic or non-genetic. It should be noted that such type of mice is available only in five countries of the world.
- In this lab, students conduct scientific research projects to know the pathogens of infectious and chronic diseases, and genes that cause these diseases in human body. Based on the fact that the genetics of mammals, mainly mice, are 95% close to those of human, experiments and research usually start with mice then they are translated to human.
- In 2004, a project to develop new species of mice started, and it aimed at producing 1000 new types in an international project called Collaborative Cross (CC). The project has produced 350 new species of hybridized mice. Through this project, we can discover the genetics that cause diseases within a year or less compared to discovering them using traditional species of mice, which require 20 years.
- In a considerable achievement not only for Palestine, but also for the Arab World, An-Najah National University has assigned 30 of the new hybridized families of mice, and soon there will be 50 new species in the University’s Animals Lab. It should be mentioned that conducting experiment on 50 mice equals conducting it on 5000 humans.
The anatomy laboratory is used to teach various anatomy courses, such as anatomy of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis, anatomy of the back and limbs, and anatomy of the head and neck in addition to the embryology course. The laboratory provides students with plastic models of various body organs, skeletons, muscles, and cross-sections of different areas of the human body. Moreover, the laboratory could also be used to dissect some animal organs that are similar to human body organs and present them to students in order to further enhance the educational process.
- The virtual anatomy lab aims to apply the theoretical aspect of the anatomy course to facilitate the educational process.
- This purpose is met with the use of the Anatomage Table- Virtual Anatomy Dissection Table which is an advanced 3D anatomy visualization system for anatomy and physiology education and is being adopted by many of the world’s leading medical schools and institutions.
- It displays the human body in a three-dimensional image and provides students the opportunity to virtually dissect a human body and learn about each of its layers. Using the device, students are introduced to a novel way of teaching where organs, muscles, bones, blood vessels, and nerves are displayed in a three-dimensional and interactive manner.
- Anatomage Table - Virtual Anatomy Dissection Table is a device thet was newly imported by An-Najah National University in 2020.
- The device allows exploration and learning of human anatomy beyond what any cadaver could offer.
In an interactive 3D image, the device displays:
- Multilayer interactive 3D images of human specimens that can be cut and viewed along any plane, enlarged or rotated on any axis for better viewing.
- All human systems (the skeletal system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular system, etc.).
- Different human organs.
- The blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries) and the direction of the blood in them.
- Nerves and nerve plexuses.
- Well-dissected human specimens (Prosections).
- Miscellaneous X-ray images.
- Histological sections of different organs and areas of the body.
- Various anatomical variations and a large number of pathological differences
The animal lab is a service unit. It was established in 2016 with the primary mission to breed specific laboratory animals free of pathogens for research and education purposes, mainly for the faculty of medicine and health sciences, although animals are also provided for other departments and units of the university. The lab also provides advice on matters related to laboratory animal science.
The lab is divided into three main parts:
- Stock room, which includes mice (Balb/c & C57) and hamsters, where reproduction is made upon request.
- Research room, where the mice are separated according to protocols and scientific research.