NYU Langone Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to Forge Groundbreaking Partnership in Cancer Research

Press Release
Published: Monday, Feb 23, 2015

Drs Bar-Sagi, Ciechanover, and Shalev

The principal collaborative groundwork for the new research partnership between NYU Langone Medical Center and The Technion-Israel Institute for Technology began at a two-day joint workshop, held in New York City in fall 2014, at which researchers from both institutions presented updates on their work and learned of ways in which they could work together. Pictured at the conference are (l. to r.): Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, senior vice president and vice dean for science at NYU Langone and chief science officer at NYU School of Medicine; Aaron Ciechanover, MD, D.Sc., the 2004 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry and Distinguished Research Professor and head of the David and Janet Polak Cancer and Vascular Biology Research Center at the Technion Faculty of Medicine; and Eliezer Shalev, MD, Dean of the Technion Faculty of Medicine

In a groundbreaking step forward to advance global collaboration in the fight against cancer, two of the world’s preeminent academic and research institutions -- NYU Langone Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology -- formally announced a $9 million gift from philanthropists Laura and Isaac Perlmutter that will fund two major, joint research endeavors with potentially far-reaching impact in advancing cancer research. The joint program is positioned to attract additional, world-class support from institutions and individuals who are dedicated to eradicating cancer through focused and efficient research.

The first $3 million of the grant will finance six cancer-focused research projects that will be conducted by teams spearheaded by co-investigators from both NYU Langone and the Technion. The remaining $6 million will be used to establish a state-of-the-art research facility on Technion’s campus in Israel that will support these and other research projects-- and which will have a principal focus on the emerging field of cancer metabolomics.

NYU Langone is a world-renowned leader in the investigation and treatment of cancer. The Technion is one of Israel’s leading academic and research centers and a top-ranked science and technology global research university.

“NYU Langone and the Technion have a shared, longstanding commitment to advancing cancer research,” said Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, senior vice president and vice dean for science at NYU Langone, chief science officer at NYU School of Medicine, and a principal architect of the NYU Langone-Technion partnership.  “We are now at a great moment in our institutions’ illustrious histories, a point from which we can jointly leverage the talent and creativity of our researchers toward accelerating breakthroughs. The foresight and the generosity of the Perlmutters, particularly at this time of financial challenge in funding for basic research, will have tremendous impact.”

“Bringing together the unique expertise of researchers from both NYU and the Technion will hopefully enable us to overcome some of the most difficult challenges in treating cancer patients,” said Technion Distinguished Professor Aaron Ciechanover, MD, D.Sc., the 2004 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, and Distinguished Research Professor and head of the David and Janet Polak Cancer and Vascular Biology Research Center at the Technion Faculty of Medicine.

Internationally Renowned Researchers to Lead the Charge

The latest gift from the Perlmutters coincides with two new appointments at NYU Langone and the Technion that will be integral to the partnership. Renowned cancer biologist Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, an expert in the field of cell signal transduction, recently joined the NYU Langone faculty as director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, and Eyal Gottlieb, PhD, a world leader in cancer metabolism, has been recruited to lead the new research facility at the Technion funded by the Perlmutter gift – and spearhead joint efforts in cancer metabolomics.

Dr. Neel will work closely with Prof. Ciechanover to lead the collaborative cancer research effort between the two institutions.

In addition, Dr. Neel will oversee at NYU Langone the building of world-class translational programs in immunotherapy, cancer genetics/targeted therapies and epigenetics, imaging, as well as expanded programs in clinical care, community outreach and supportive oncology.  Prior to joining NYU Langone, Dr. Neel served as Director of the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Cancer Center, a position he held since 2007.

Dr. Gottlieb currently serves as Director of the Cancer Metabolism Research Unit at the Cancer Research UK, Beatson Institute in Glasgow, Scotland.  His work principally focuses on cancer metabolism and metabolomics, combining analytical chemistry with basic cancer research to explore metabolic adaptations and vulnerabilities of cancer and with it, new potential clinical approaches for cancer treatment.

Champions in the Fight Against Cancer



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