Dr. Eli Keshet
Hadassah Medical School
I consider the ICRF a true partner of my research career. In fact, my first research grant as an independent scientist was by the ICRF! This ‘starter’ grant, received shortly after my return from a post-doctoral training in the US, has had a great impact on my career considering how difficult it is to win a competitive grant at a time where you still need to prove your qualifications as an independent scientist.
The ICRF was an important companion in my career development, granting me a Research Career Development Award (RCDA). ICRF’s valuable contribution to my research as an established scientist still continues in the form of very generous Professorship Award. I find it truly remarkable for a philanthropic funding agency to have such a strong impact along all phases of one’s scientific career.
Cancer research is by nature very dynamic, constantly embedding new technological and conceptual advents.
This is also reflected in my ICRF-funded projects,with my starter grant, back in the 1980s, focusing on cancer- causing viruses, and my more recent grants dealing with tumor blood vessels as the target for anti-cancer treatment.
The latter is based on the realization that growing tumors require an adequate blood supply in order to thrive, and hence, compromising their ability to recruit blood
vessels should ‘starve’ them to death. Research on this anti-cancer strategy has indeed culminated in the development of novel cancer treatments known as ‘anit-angiogenic’ cancer treatments. Most of these treatments target the key factors promoting and orchestrating growth of blood vessels, namely Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). VEGF has been the focus of our research for the past two decades, and we would like to believe that our research has indeed contributed to the collective worldwide efforts that have led to this remarkable achievement.