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Ehud Herbst, PhD

Ehud Herbst, PhD

Grant Status
Active

Institution
Weizmann Institute of Science

Grant Type
Postdoctoral Fellowship

Project Title
Combining genetics and natural product chemistry towards biomining novel anticancer drugs

Tumor Types

Research Topics
BacterioOncology


About the Investigator:

Dr. Herbst’s research focuses on how molecules that microbes make to fight their enemies can be put to use as novel therapies for cancer. He received his MSc from Tel Aviv University and his PhD from Columbia University in New York City. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

About the Research:

In order to survive harsh and diverse environments, bacteria have to fend off a frightful set of enemies. Like humans, bacteria are also threatened by viruses that infect them and hijack their cells to replicate. Also like humans, bacteria have immune systems that enable them to combat infecting viruses. It was recently discovered that two compounds that have been in use for decades as frontline cancer therapies are produced by bacteria as part of their own anti-viral defense pathways. This suggests that there may be new drugs to be discovered among the molecules that bacteria naturally make to fight off viruses. The goal of Dr. Herbst’s postdoctoral research is to identify new molecules that function in bacterial anti-viral pathways and to develop anticancer drugs based on them. Dr. Herbst brings to this project deep expertise in macromolecular synthesis, developed during his PhD training. He will pursue this project in the laboratory of Professor Rotem Sorek, a leader in detection and characterization of bacteria anti-viral defense systems. Together, they hope to bring molecules that bacteria developed over millions of years of evolution to cancer treatment.

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