Prof. Yoram Etzion

Prof. Yoram Etzion Profile

M.D., 2000; Ph.D, 2001

Department : Physiology and Cell Biology
Room :
Phone : 972-74-7795223
Email :
Office Hours :  
Basic Cardiac Research


  • 1993 B.A. (with honors), Pre-clinical studies to an M.D. degree, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. 1995 M.Med.Sc. (with honors),Dept. of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. Advisor: Prof. Yoram Grossman. 2000 M.D., The Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. 2001 Ph.D., Dept. of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. Advisor: Prof. Yoram Grossman. Thesis title: "High pressure effects on Purkinje cell firing and excitatory synaptic transmission in the guinea-pig cerebellum."

Research Interests

  • The Etzion laboratory has broad interest in cardiac biology. We are currently working on three main clinically-oriented topics:
  • (a) Pacing and arrhythmia research: our group developed unique tools for long-term pacing and arrhythmia studies in conscious rodents. We utilize these novel methodologies to study molecular mechanisms involved in atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia in humans, as well as the molecular effects of electromechanical dyssynchrony, a major factor in heart failure progression.
  • (b) Cardiac repair and regeneration: The laboratory is involved in studies in collaboration with leading researchers from the department of biotechnology engineering. Our group utilizes cutting-edge methodologies to induce ischemic-cardiomyopathy and assess cardiac function following newly developed treatment modalities.
  • (c) Human-genetics studies: The laboratory collaborates with leading BGU researchers in this field and is involved in projects on newly identified mutations leading to dilated cardiomyopathy and atrial arrhythmias. Our main focus in these projects is to utilize in-vivo and in-vitro models (including iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes) to understand the molecular mechanisms leading to the human phenotype.

Research Topics

  • Cardiac physiology \ electrophysiology
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias
  • Rodent models of cardiac pacing & electrophysiology
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Human Cardiac genetics; Dilated cardiomyopathy 
  • Cardiac tissue regeneration

Major expertise and techniques in the lab

  • In-vivo models of cardiac pacing & electrophysiology in rodent models
  • Ex-vivo models of cardiac physiology (Isolated rat\mice heart)
  • Calcium & Contractility measurements in isolated cardiomyocytes.
  • Neonatal cardiomyocytes in culture & cardiomyocyte cell line (HL-1)

Publications and funding summary / representative publications and grants

 Selected publications:

Etzion Y, Hackett A, Proctor MB, Ren J, Nolan B, Ellenberger T, and  Muslin AJ. An Unbiased Chemical Biology Screen Identifies Agents That Modulate Uptake of Oxidized LDL by Macrophages. Circ. Res. 2009, Jul 17;105(2):148-57


Etzion Y and Muslin AJ. The Application of Phenotypic High-Throughput Screening Techniques to Cardiovascular Research (review). Trends in Cardiovasc Med. 2009 Aug;19(6):207-12.


Dvir T, Kedem A, Ruvinov E, Levy O, Freeman I, Landa N, Holbova R, Feinberg MS, Dror S, Etzion Y, Leor J & Cohen S. Pre-vascularization of cardiac patch on the omentum improves its therapeutic outcome. PNAS. 2009, Sep 1;106(35):14990-5


Shiry Levy, Ofer Beharier, Yoram Etzion, Merav Mor, Liat Buzaglo, Lior Shaltiel, Levi A Gaber, Anthony J Muslin, Amos Katz, Daniel Gitler and Arie Moran. The molecular basis for ZnT-1 action as an endogenous inhibitor of L-type calcium channels Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), 2009 Nov 20;284(47):32434-43.


Etzion S, Etzion Y, Debosch B, Crawford PA, Muslin AJ. Akt2 deficiency promotes cardiac induction of Rab4a and myocardial ?-adrenergic hypersensitivity.  J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2010, Dec;49(6):931-40.


Zigel Y, Mor M, Zvi E, Zviling V, Gil O, Katz A and Etzion Y. A surface ECG-based algorithm to determine the atrial refractoriness of rodents during electrophysiological study. Cardiovasc. Engineering and Technol.  2011. Volume 2, Number 4, 388-398.


Beharier, O, Dror S, Levy S, Kahn J, Mor M, Etzion S, Gitler D, Muslin AJ,  Katz A, Moran A and Etzion Y. ZnT-1 protects HL-1 cells from simulated Ischemia-Reperfusion through activation of Ras-ERK signaling. J. Molecular Med. 2012 Feb;90(2):127-38.


Mor M, Beharier O, Levy S, Kahn J, Dror S, Blumenthal D, Gheber LA, Peretz A, Katz A, Moran A, Etzion Y. ZnT-1 Enhances the activity and surface expression of T-type calcium channels through activation of Ras-ERK signaling. Am J Physiol – Cell Physiology. 2012 Jul;303(2):C192-203..


Etzion Y. Editorial: A stimulating environment for the atrial kick: Spinal cord stimulation can inhibit atrial fibrillation. Heart Rhythm. 2012 Sep;9(9):1434-5


Mor M, Shalev A, Dror S, Pikovsky O, Beharier O, Moran A, Katz A, Etzion Y. INO-8875, a Highly-Selective A1 Adenosine Receptor Agonist: Evaluation of Chronotropic, Dromotropic and Hemodynamic Effects in Rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2013 Jan;344(1):59-67.


Mor M, Mulla W, Elyason S, , Gabay H, Dror S, Etzion Y*, Liel-Cohen N*.   Speckle-tracking echocardiography elucidates the effect of pacing site on left ventricular synchronization in the normal and infarcted rat myocardium . Plos One. 2014 June; 10;9(6):e99191. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099191


Levitas A , Konstantino Y , Muhammad E , Afawi Z , Weinstein J , Amit G , Etzion Y , Parvari R . D117N in Cypher/ZASP does not appear to be a causative mutation for dilated cardiomyopathy and ventricular arrhythmias in Bedouin families. European Journal of Human Genetics. 2015 Sep 30. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2015.19.


Muhammad E , Levitas A , Singh SR , Braiman A , Ofir R , Etzion S , Sheffield VC ,

Etzion Y, Carrier L , Parvari R . PLEKHM2 mutation leads to abnormal localization of lysosomes, impaired autophagy flux and associates with recessive dilated cardiomyopathy and left ventricular noncompaction. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Dec 20;24(25):7227-40. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddv423.


Rotenberg M , Gabay H , Etzion Y *, Cohen S *. Feasibility of Leadless Cardiac Pacing Using Injectable Magnetic Microparticles. Sci Rep. 2016, 6:24635; doi: 10.1038/srep24635.


Shiyovich A , Matot R , Elyagon S , Liel-Cohen N , Rosman Y , Shrot S , Kassirer M , Katz A , and Etzion Y . QT prolongation as an isolated long-term cardiac manifestation of dichlorvos organophosphate poisoning in rats. Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2017 May 16. doi: 10.1007/s12012-017-9409-z.


Mulla W, Etzion S, Elyagon S, Gillis R, Murninkas M , Konstantino Y, Mannhardt I, Eschenhagen T, Liel-Cohen N and Etzion Y. Prominent differences in left ventricular performance and myocardial properties between right ventricular and left ventricular-based pacing modes in rats. Sci Rep. 2017, Jul 19;7(1):5931. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06197-w.


Mulla W , Gillis R , Murninkas M , klapper-goldstein H , Gabay H , Mor M , Elyagon S , Liel-Cohen N , Bernus O , Etzion Y . Unanesthetized rodents demonstrate insensitivity of QT interval and ventricular refractory period to pacing cycle length. Front. Physiol., 11 July 2018


Bejerano T, Etzion S,  Elyagon S, Etzion Y and Cohen S. Nanoparticle Delivery of miRNA-21 Mimic to Cardiac Macrophages Improves Myocardial Remodeling after Myocardial Infarction. Nano Lett. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02578


Drabkin M, Zilberberg N, Menahem S, Mulla W, Halperin D, Yogev Y, Wormser O, Perez Y, Kadir R, Etzion Y, Katz A  and  Birk O. Gain of function mutation in the cardiac Kv4.2 potassium channel underlies paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. Nov 2018, in-press.


Aspit L, Levitas A, Etzion S, Krymko H, Slanovic S,Zarivach R, Etzion Y and Parvari R. CAP2 mutation leads to impaired actin dynamics and associates with supraventricular tachycardia and dilated cardiomyopathy. J. Medical Genetics (JMG). Nov 2018, in-press.



Research support (selected):


2013      PI, Israel Science Foundation (ISF - 510/13). Title: Murine atrial pacing, a novel tool to explore the molecular biology of atrial fibrillation


2013      PI, Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Title: Characterization of long-term myocardial effects following organophosphate poisoning in a rat model; emphasis on possible therapeutic options. In collaboration with: Arthur Scinovich, Shai Shirot and Amos Katz.


2013      PI, Competitive internal grant FOHS ("Heznek-2" program). Title: From gene to Heart. In collaboration with Drs' Ruti Parvari, Aviva Lavitas, Guy Amit and Jean Marc Wienstein.




2014      PI, Kamin, Israel Israeli Ministry of Industry. In collaboration with Smadar Cohen (PI) Title: Leadless pacing Device for Immediate control of cardiac Arrhythmias.


2015      PI, Research Grant\Award of the Israeli Cardiology Society. Title: Atrial fibrillation susceptibility in rat model combining atrial burst pacing and arterial hypertension.


2015      PI, Internal Research Grant. National Institute of Biotechnology (NIBN). In collaboration with Ruti Parvari (PI) Title: Identification of new drug targets for heart failure treatment using murine cardiac-specific Dock10 KO


2015      Secondary Partner, MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN - Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITNETN). Proposal No: 675351 - AFib-TrainNet - MSCA-ITN-ETN. Total Budget for the network 4.1M Eur / 2 Years


2016      PI, GIF- German Israeli Research Foundation (Proposal No. I-127-201.2-2014).  In collaboration with Thomas Eschenhagen, Hamburg, Germany. Title: Electromechanical dyssynchrony and resynchronization; New cellular and molecular insight using in-vivo and in-vitro rat models.


2016      PI, Competitive multi-disciplinary internal grant, Ben-Gurion University. In collaboration with Noah Liel, Roni Shneck & Moshe Gottlieb. Title: Development of miniature electrodes for long-term cardiac pacing in rodents.



2016      PI, Gesner foundation for medical research . In collaboration with Ruti Parvari. Title: Role of Dock10 in cardiac biology.


2016      PI, Internal Research Grant. National Institute of Biotechnology (NIBN). In collaboration with Varda Shoshan-Barmatz (PI) Title: A new therapeutic avenue for the treatment of atrial fibrillation: inhibiting apoptosis with novel compounds targeting VDAC1.


2018      PI, Research without border competitive grant. A collaborative program between Ben-Gurion University and St. Boniface Hospital, University of Manitoba, Canada. In collaboration with Hope Anderson (PI) Title: Protective mechanisms of cannabinoid receptor signaling in atrial fibrillation.


2018      PI, Israel Science Foundation (ISF - 2211/18), Basic Equipment, High-resolution ultrasonographic imaging platform for biomedical studies in rodent models (In collaboration with Smadar Cohen, Alon Monsonego)