Prof. Yoram Groner has led pioneering studies of chromosome 21. An extra copy of this chromosome causes Down syndrome. One of the genes on this chromosome carries the code for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, or SOD. Groner was the first to clone the human SOD gene and to produce a genetically engineered bacterium containing it.
Genetically engineered human SOD, manufactured based on Groner’s research, is now undergoing clinical trials. The goal: to prevent lung damage common in premature infants. The compound is produced by Biotechnology General in Kiryat Weizmann.