top TOP
Grant Recipients Home

Meir Shamay, PhD

Meir Shamay, PhD

Grant Status

Bar-Ilan University

Grant Type
Project Grant

Project Title
A novel assay for drugs that inhibit KSHV latency in primary effusion lymphoma

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Blood Cancers, Drug Mechanisms and Development, Lymphoma, Sarcoma

Named Grant:

Dr. Jerry Gross Memorial Project Grant

About the Investigator:

Dr. Shamay’s research interests are to study the functional interactions between viral proteins and the cellular machinery, which control both the viral life cycle and tumorigenesis. He received his BSc degree from Tel Aviv University, and his PhD in Molecular Genetics from the Weizmann Institute of Science. After postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, he returned to Bar-Ilan University, where he is now an Associate Professor in the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine.

About the Research:

Dr. Shamay studies viruses that are associated with human malignancies: Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus, which is associated with pleural effusion lymphoma and another lymphproliferative disorder, Castelman disease; and Epstein-Barr virus, which is linked to Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The goal of his research is to develop drugs that specifically target virally-infected cells and to use these drugs in therapy.

His lab has recently developed a novel assay that enables them to identify specific cellular proteins that interact with and recruit other proteins. Using this method, they found that Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus cannot maintain latent infection in cells expressing a mutant form of the protein MeCP2, because MeCP2 cannot recruit a viral protein, LANA, that is necessary for infection. Drugs that disrupt the interaction between LANA and normal MeCP2 protein are, therefore, predicted to prevent infection. They plan to screen for such drugs and develop them for use in therapy. Drugs thus identified will prevent KSHV-associated malignancy by clearing KSHV-infected cells in the early stages of disease, and inhibit the proliferation of malignant cells in patients with KSHV-associated cancers, such as plural effusion lymphoma. Success in this project will provide proof-in-principle for application of their novel assay to identification of drugs for treatment of other virus-associated human malignancies.


Help End the Suffering Caused By Cancer

The answer to cancer is research. Support groundbreaking cancer research in Israel today: