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Hava Gil-Henn, PhD

Hava Gil-Henn, PhD

Grant Status

Bar-Ilan University

Grant Type
Project Grant

Project Title
A peptide-based approach for blocking breast cancer metastasis

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Animal Modes of Cancer, Cancer Metastasis, Cell Signaling, Proteomics and Protein Structures, Women's Cancers

Named Grant:

The ICRF – Redhill Foundation Project Grant

About the Investigator:

Born in Israel, Dr. Gil-Henn obtained her PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and then performed postdoctoral research at Yale University. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University.

About the Research:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women, and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The primary tumor originates from a host of different genetic causes, making it difficult to generalize treatment for all individuals. Metastasis, on the other hand, is the common cause of mortality from this disease; and, therefore, serves as an important, primary target for therapeutic intervention.

Metastatic cancer cells invade surrounding tissues and blood vessels by forming feet-like protrusions called invadopodia that enable cell movement to other sites within the body. The Gil-Henn lab has recently identified a signaling pathway that regulates invadopodia formation and function in breast tumor cells and consequent breast cancer metastasis. Based on these findings, they designed a cell-permeable peptide that can inhibit this interaction in invadopodia and potentially block breast tumor metastatic dissemination.

In the proposed research project, Dr. Gil-Henn and her team aim to characterize the molecular and structural mechanisms of the specific interactions involved in this signaling pathway, and to test the potential of their peptide to block breast cancer metastasis in a clinically-relevant mouse model. The suggested studies may lead to the development of a novel strategy for preventing metastatic dissemination of primary breast tumors that are predicted to be highly metastatic at the time of diagnosis, and of secondary tumors that have already spread to other parts of the body


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