Nir London, PhD

Weizmann Institute of Science

Nir London, PhD PhD

Weizmann Institute of Science

Nir London, PhD
Weizmann Institute of Science
ICRF Research Career Development Award Recipient

Dr. Nir London is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The research in his lab involves the identification of viable new targets for cancer therapeutics.

Dr. London and his team have developed new computational and experimental methods for the discovery of compounds that are able to form covalent bonds — meaning that they form chemical bonds by sharing electrons between atoms — with specific protein targets. These highly-reactive compounds have been avoided in drug development because they were considered “promiscuous” — they might bind to too many targets and generate too many false positives. However, he found that covalent compounds are one of the strongest chemical bonds that exist, and can lead to stronger, more selective, and more potent candidates for therapeutic drugs.

The London lab now aims to use their research technology to target ‘difficult-to-treat’ melanomas, through two complimentary approaches. The first direction is to search for an inhibitor for a protein named Rac1. They will try to develop the first inhibitors of Rac1, which may serve, in the distant future, as starting points for new melanoma therapeutics. In their second approach, they will ‘fish’ for new potential therapeutic targets in melanoma cell lines. Ultimately, through either approach, Dr. London hopes to lay the foundation for innovative melanoma drugs that will offer hope to patients who do not respond to current therapies. Additionally, his research techniques could lead to more effective treatments for a wide variety of diseases and disorders.

Dr. London and his wife, Abigail, live on the campus of The Weizmann Institute of Science with their two young daughters.

Help End the Suffering Caused By Cancer

Support groundbreaking cancer research in Israel today: