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July 29, 2022

Niv Papo, PhD

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

ICRF Project Grant Recipient

Prof. Niv Papo of Ben-Gurion University develops high affinity proteins using a combination of experimental and computational methodologies to bind to and antagonize a variety of disease-related targets.

Funded by an ICRF Project Grant, the goal of Prof. Papo’s project is to engineer novel inhibitors targeting individual Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs), which comprise a large family of enzymes whose abnormal activities have been well-established in cancer progression. To do so, Prof. Papo and his team will screen large compound libraries for inhibitors that are selective for one or a subset of MMPs, and carry out computational analysis of binding specificity. This analysis will use tools they have developed that make this a one-step, cost-effective process. They will evaluate the ability of these engineered inhibitors to function as MMP antagonists using in vitro, cell-based and pre-clinical studies. Based on these results, they will devise approaches to enhance specificity that make these inhibitors useful in the clinic.

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