Gal Bitan, Ph.D.

Headshot photo

Associate Professor, Neurology, Neuroscience IDP, Department of Neurology David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Bitan’s laboratory focuses on developing new therapeutic and diagnostic tools for diseases related to protein misfolding and aggregation, particularly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The laboratory synthesizes novel molecules and explores their potential for diagnostic and therapeutic uses. These efforts are guided by structural knowledge that is obtained though multifaceted, collaborative experimental and theoretical studies. The techniques and methodologies used in the laboratory are interdisciplinary in nature, ranging from peptide chemistry, through biochemistry and biophysics, to molecular, cell, and animal biology.

Dr. Bitan received both his B.S. and Ph.D. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Funded Research

Project Description Researchers Funding
Optimization of Pharmacalogic Properties of Molecular Tweezers

Molecular tweezers (MTs) are compounds that act as Misfolded-Protein Clearance Enhancers (MPCEs) using a unique mechanism. They remodel the self-assembly of amyloidogenic proteins into formation of non-toxic and non-amyloidogenic structures that can be degraded efficiently by the natural clearance mechanisms. A lead MT called CLR01 has been found to prevent the self-assembly of multiple amyloid proteins into toxic oligomers and aggregates, including the proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—amyloid β-protein (Abeta) and tau.

Molecular Tweezers—Novel Inhibitors of Amyloidogenic Proteins and Promising Drug Candidates for Alzheimer’s Disease

The goal of this project is to plan expanded in vivo characterization of the efficacy of “molecular tweezers” toward development of disease-modifying therapy for AD and related diseases.


Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.
Attar A, Liu T, Chan WT, Hayes J, Nejad M, Lei K, Bitan G, A shortened Barnes maze protocol reveals memory deficits at 4-months of age in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, PLOS ONE, 8(11), November 13, 2013
Aida Attar, Cristian Ripoli, Elisa Riccardi, Panchanan Maiti, Domenica D. Li Puma, Tingyu Liu, Jane Hayes, Mychica R. Jones, Kristin Lichti-Kaiser, Fusheng Yang, Greg D. Gale, Chi-hong Tseng, Miao Tan, Cui-Wei Xie, Jeffrey L. Straudinger, Frank-Gerrit Klarner, Thomas Schrader, Sally A. Frautschy, Claudio Grassi and Gal Bitan, Protection of primary neurons and mouse brain from Alzheimer’s pathology by molecular tweezers, Brain, A Journal of Neurology, doi:10.1093/brain/aws289, November 26, 2012, 3735-48