Hani Atamna PhD, MSc

Hani Atamna

Contact Information
Email: AtamnaH@calmedu.org

Faculty Appointment

Professor of Biochemistry, Neuroscience and Medical Education

Administrative Appointments

Associate Dean of Basic Research


Bachelor of Science (Biology): The Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) 1989
Master of Science (M.Sc.) (Biological Chemistry): The Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) 1991
Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry/Biochemistry: The Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) 1997
Certificate in Science Education: The Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) 1991


Dr. Atamna was awarded his Doctoral degree in Biological Chemistry (Biochemistry) from the Hebrew University at Jerusalem. He completed his Post-Doctoral training at the MCB department of the University of California at Berkeley. In year 2000 he Joined Children's Hospital Research Institute (CHORI) as a research scientist, where he advanced to become a principle investigator in 2003. Until this point of his career, Dr. Atamna concentrated on research and students mentoring at the laboratory settings. In 2008, Dr. Atamna joined the Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC, currently “Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine or GCSOM) where he combined his research interest with teaching interest. He taught medical students as well as master students. Dr. Atamna research has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), as well as by the Ames foundation.

Research Interests

  • Molecular mechanisms of aging, cellular senescence, and anti-senescence therapy.
  • Neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s Disease, redox metabolism, and Mitochondria.
  • The emerging role of Regulatory (Free) Heme in gene regulation, normal metabolism, and disease.

Research Description

Dr. Atamna's research is directed at understanding the mechanism of cellular senescence and to develop strategies to delay this process. He discovered the anti-senescence activity of diaminophenothiazines (e.g., methylene blue, MB), its effect on complex-IV, and mitochondrial biogenesis. MB prevented the age-related decline in cognitive function and muscle strength. Furthermore, Dr. Atamna studies on the mechanism of neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease (AD) identified a heme-binding domain in Amyloid-β, which may explain some of the cytopathologies of AD (e.g., decline in complex-IV). He is interested in developing novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to delay AD and cell senescence in hope to improve the quality of life with age.

Student Research Opportunities

Students are very important for the research in my lab. I enjoy the interaction with the students since the research experience in my lab is the most practical method to demonstrate and train for life-long learning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. I utilize research and active learning to ignite in my students the interest in science, beyond the grade, and to enhance their success in their future career ambitions.