Prof. Charles L. Jaffe, Ph.D.

jaffe personal

Head of Biology and Immunology of Leishmaniasis Laboratory.


1968-1972 B.Sc., Chemistry - Lafayette College, PA, USA.

1972-1975 M.Sc., Chemistry - University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.

1975-1982 Ph.D., Biochemistry - Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.



1980-1980 Visiting Scientist - National Institute for Research, Mill Hill, London,England.

1981-1984 Post-doctoral Fellow - Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital,Boston, MA, USA.

1984-1985 Research Fellow - Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot.

1985-1986 Scientist - Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot.

1986-1992 Senior Scientist -Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot.

1992-2005 Associate Professor - Department of Parasitology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem.

1999-2000 Special Expert - Laboratory for Parasitic Diseases, NIAID, NIH,Bethesda, MD,USA.

2002-2006 Chairperson, Department of Parasitology, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

2005-2006 Head, Graduate Studies Microbiology Program, The hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


Ongoing Research

The leishmaniases are a spectrum of human diseases found in over 88 countries world-wide caused by protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Leishmania. Both cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), caused by Leishmania major and L. tropica, and visceral (VL) leishmanasis, caused by L. infantum, are endemic to Israel. The latter disease is fatal if not rapidly diagnosed and treated. In many areas of the Mediterranean Region where it is strongly associated with AIDS VL is an emerging disease. In Israel it is a zoonotic disease with dogs and wild canids acting as the reservoir hosts. Together with Dr. Gad Baneth of the Kuvin Centre we are carrying out epidemiological work in central Israel on a new focus for VL with several studies underway to identify risk factors for disease in dogs and humans. Longitudinal studies on the immunology of canine VL before and after drug treatment are in progress using experimental models and naturally infected animals. This information will be vital to understanding disease spread and in developing new therapies for this fatal disease. New molecular diagnostic tests for leishmaniasis and other zoonotic diseases are also under development. These assays are used for patient diagnosis, both CL and VL, and studies on emerging CL foci in Israel. Routine identification of Leishmania species causing disease is carried out in our laboratory using an internal transcribed 1 spacer region of the rRNA gene (ITS1) - polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In addition serological and classical parasitological assays for leishmaniasis are also performed.

Other research carried out in my laboratory has focused on the role of leishmanial protein kinases (PK) specifically, cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and casein kinases (CK), in parasite virulence and survival. These PK enable the parasite to sense and respond to the external environment, as well as modify host soluble and cellular proteins. It was shown that some PKs are constitutively released by the parasite, while others are shed only in the presence of potential substrates for these enzymes. The genes for PKA catalytic and regulatory subunits; and casein kinase 1 (CK1) and CK2 isoforms were cloned and characterized. In addition, we have begun to screen PK inhibitors as potential new drugs for treatment of these diseases using fluorescent assays.

Key Publications

Ozbel, Y., Oskam, L., Ozensoy, S., Turgay, N., Alkan, M.Z., Jaffe, C.L. and Ozcel, M.A. (2000). A survey of canine leishmaniasis in western Turkey by parasite, DNA and antibody detection assays. Acta Tropica 74: 1-6.

Baneth, G., Shkap, V., Samish, M. and Jaffe, C.L. (2000). Antigenic analysis of gamonts of Hepatozoon canis purified from leukocytes. J. Parasitol. 86: 289-294.

Marom, D., Offer, I., Tamary, H., Jaffe, C.L., and Garty, B.Z. (2001). Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis associated with visceral leishmaniasis. Pediatric Haemotol. Oncol. 18: 65-70.

Siman-Tov, M.M., Ivens, A.C. and Jaffe, C.L. (2001). Identification and cloning of Lmairk, a member of the Aurora/Ipl1 protein kinase family, from the human protozoan parasite Leishmania. Biochim. Biophys. Acta – Gene Struct. Express. 1519: 241-245.

Duncan, R., Alvarez, R., Jaffe, C.L., Wiese, M., Klutch, M., Shakarian, A., Dwyer, D. and Nakhasi, H.L. (2001). Early response gene expression during differentiation of cultured Leishmania donovani. Parasitol. Res. 87: 897-906.

Abdeen, Z.A., Sawalha, S.S., Eisenberger, C.L., Khanfar, H.M., Greenblatt, C.L., Yousef, O., Schnur, L.F., Azmi, K., Warburg, A., Bader, K.A., Jaffe, C.L. and Baneth, G. (2002). Epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis in the Jeninn district, West Bank, Palestine, 1989 – 1998. Amer. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 66: 329-333.

Siman-Tov, M.M., Ivens, A.C. and Jaffe, C.L. (2002). Molecular cloning and characterization of two new isoforms of the protein kinase A catalytic subunit from the human parasite Leishmania. Gene 288: 65-75.

Ben-Ami, R., Golan, Y., Schnur, L.F., Jaffe, C.L., Mardi, T. and Zeltser, D. (2002). Adult visceral leishmaniasis in Israel caused by parasites resembling Leishmania donovani donovani: a case report and literature review. J. Infection. 44: 181-184.

Vieira, L.L., Sacerdoti-Sierra, N. and Jaffe, C.L. (2002). Effect of pH and temperature on protein kinase release by Leishmania donovani. Int. J. Parasitol. 32:1085-1093.

Bulle, B., Millon, L., Bart, J.M., Gallego, M., Gambarelli, F., Portus, M., Schnur, L., Jaffe, C.L., Alunda, J.M. and Piarroux, R. (2002). Practical approach for typing strains of Leishmania infantum by microsatellite analysis J. Clin Microb. 40: 3391-3397.

Adini, I., Ephros, M., Chen, J. and Jaffe, C.L. (2003). Asymptomatic visceral leishmaniasis in Northern Israel. Emerging Inf. Dis. 9: 397-398.

Jacobson, R. L., Eisenberger, C. L., Svobodova, M., Baneth, G., Sztern, J Carvalho, J., Naseredeen, A., El Fari, M., Shalom, U., Volf, P., Votypka, J., Dedet, J.-P., Pratlong, F., Schonian, G., Schnur, L. F., Jaffe, C. L. and Warburg, A. (2003). Outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Northern Israel. J. Inf. Dis. 188: 1065-1073.

Schonian, G., Nasereddin, A., Dinse, N., Schweynoch, C., Schallig, D.F.H., Presber, W. and Jaffe, C.L. (2003). A PCR method for the diagnosis and characterization of Leishmania in local and imported clinical samples. Diag. Microbiol. Inf. Dis. 47: 349-358.

Enk, C.D., Fritsch, C., Jonas, F., Nasereddin, A., Ingber, A., Jaffe, C.L. and Ruzicka, T. (2003). Treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis with photodynamic therapy (PDT). Arch. Dermatol. 139: 432-434.

Marfurt, J., Nasereddin, A., Niederwieser, I., Jaffe, C.L., Beck, H.P. and Felger, I. (2003). Identification and differentiation of Leishmania species in clinical samples by PCR amplification of the mini-exon sequence and subsequent restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. J. Clin. Microb. 41: 3147-3153.

Jaffe, C.L. and Dwyer, D.M. (2003). Extracellular Release of the Surface Metalloprotease, gp63, from Leishmania and Insect Trypanosomatids. Parasitol. Res. 91: 229-237.

Schnur, L.F., Nasereddin, A., Eisenberger, C. L., Jaffe, C. L., El fari, M., Azmi, K., Anders, G., Killick-Kendrick, M., Killick-Kendrick, R., Dedet, J.-P., Pratlong, F. Kanaan, M., Grossman, T., Jacobson, R.L., Schonian, G. and Warburg, A. (2004). Multifarious characterization of Leishmania tropica from a Judean Desert focus, exposing intraspecific diversity and incriminating Phlebotomus Sergenti as its vector. J. Amer. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 70: 364-372.

Strauss-Ayali, D., Jaffe, C.L., Burshtain, O., Gonen, L. and Baneth, G. (2004). Non-invasive PCR for the detection of Leishmania infantum DNA in dogs. J. Inf. Dis. 189: 1729-1733.

Ya’ari, A., Jaffe, C.L. and Garty, B.Z. (2004). Visceral leishmaniasis in Israel. Israel Med. Ass. J. 6: 205-208.

Ehrenfreund-Kleinmam, T., Domb, A.J., Jaffe, C.L., Nasereddin, A ., Leshem, B. and Golenser, J. (2005). Effect of Amphotericin B Derivatives on Leishmania and Immune Functions. J. Parasitol. 91:158-163.

Strauss-Ayali, D., Baneth, G., Shor, S., Okano, F. and Jaffe, C.L. (2005). Interleukin-12 augments a Th1-type immune response manifested as lymphocyte proliferation and interferon gamma production in Leishmania infantum - infected dogs. Internat. J. Parasitol. 35:63-73.

Shani-Adir, A., Kamil, S., Rozenman, D., Schwartz, E., Ramon, M., Zalman, L., Nasereddin, A., Jaffe, C.L. and Ephros, M. (2005). Leishmania tropica in northern Israel– a clinical overview of an emerging focus. J Amer Acad Dermatol. I53:810-815.

Nasereddin, A., Ereqat, S., Azmi, K., Baneth, G., Jaffe, C.L. and Abdeen, Z. (2005). Serological survey with PCR validation for canine visceral leishmaniasis in Northern Palestine. J. Parasitol. In press.

Schwenkenbecher, J.M, Wirth, T., Schnur, L.F., Jaffe, C.L., Schallig, H., Al-Jawabreh, A., Hamarsheh, O., Azmi, K., Pratlong, F. and Schoenian, G. (2005). Microsatellite analysis reveals genetic structure of Leishmania tropica. Int. J. Parasitol. In press.

Nasereddin, A., Baneth, G., Schonian, G., Kanaan, M. and Jaffe, C.L. (2005). Molecular fingerprinting of Leishmania infantum strains following an outbreak of visceral leishmaniasis in Central Israel. J. Clin. Microbiol. In press.



Hamid Sahibi, IAV Hassan II, Morocco. “Vaccination against visceral leishmaniasis.”

1998-2005 Z. Abdeen, Al-Quds University, Palestinian authority. "Leishmaniasis in Israel and the West Bank" and “A tool for research and diagnosis of zoonotic diseases in Israel and the West Bank”.

1998-2005 G. Schonian, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. "Leishmaniasis in Israel and the West Bank".

1998-2002 J.M. Alunda, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Hans-Peter Beck, Swiss Tropical Institute, Switzerland; Renaud Piarroux, Universite de Franche-Comte, France and Montserrat Portus Vinyeta, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain. “Development of an early diagnostic system and vaccine for canine leishmaniasis.”

2004-2005 Jean-Claude Dujardin, Prins Leopold Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde, Belgium and 20 other partners . “Monitoring risk factors of spread of leishmaniasis around the Mediterranean Basin.”

2004-2005 Raimo K. Tuominen, University of Helsinki, Finland and 22 additional partners.“Screening for drug candidates targeting aberrant molecular signaling in protein phosphorylation pathways.”

2005-2005 Chitra Mandal, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, India. “Proteomics of Sialoglycans on Host Cells and Leishmania and their clinical applications.”


Selected Research Support

1998-2004 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) German-Palestinian-Israeli trilateral project on leishmaniasis in Israel and the West Bank.

2002-2005 Israel Academy of Sciences. Role of shed protein kinases in the survival of the human protozoan parasites Leishmania.

2004-2005 US-AID MERC project - A tool for research and diagnosis of zoonotic diseases in Israel and the West Bank.

2004-2005 INCO-MED, Commission of the European Communities (CEC) - Monitoring risk factors of spread of leishmaniasis around the Mediterranean Basin.

2004-2005 Integrated project, Commission of the European Communities (CEC) - Screening for drug candidates targeting aberrant molecular signaling in protein phosphorylation pathways.

2004-2005 Center for Emerging Diseases - Strategies for the treatment and prophylaxis of visceral leishmaniasis, an emerging disease in Central Israel.