Prof. Yosef Yarden, Department of Biological Regulation
Much of Prof. Yosef Yarden’s research is centered on EGFR, a family of growth factor receptors that play a critical role in tumor progression. As a result of his work, several strategies for blocking these receptors were devised and approved for use with cancer patients. Most recently, the Yarden lab has been investigating strategies for circumventing the resistance that some patients develop to anti-cancer immunotherapy. Working with Prof. Valery Krizhanovsky, Prof. Yarden has demonstrated how a specific mixture of antibodies can preempt repeated cycles of treatment caused by the re-emergence of resistance. The formulation devised by Profs. Yarden and Krizhanovsky triggers a molecular response leading to cellular senescence—a “zombie-like” state of the body’s cells in which they permanently stop dividing, yet don’t die. This new methodology may someday form the basis of tailor-made, personalized strategies for combating cancer in humans.