Hasnis Lab

תמונה ראשית- Hasnis Lab

The Hasnis Lab

Novel Key Drivers of Aggressive Phenotype in Pancreatic Cancer

Principal Investigators: Dr. Hasnis Erez

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease, characterized by universal resistance to therapeutic regimens and aggressive biology with early metastatic seeding. Dr. Hasnis’ research addresses those challenges by identifying gene expression signatures associated with the aggressive and resistant phenotype of the disease in different models. The researchers in the Hasnis lab use a unique mouse model, in which early pancreatic cancer is resected and removed, only to allow later development of liver metastasis. High-throughput analyses are then used to compare cells from the primary tumor and cells from the liver metastases, in order to identify traits that support metastatic fitness. This approach has identified several novel genes that are critical for the development of metastatic disease in pancreatic cancer patients.

The research being carried out in Dr. Hasnis’ laboratory aims to evaluate the function of those genes in the local and distant spread of this horrific disease. Pancreatic cancer is also notorious for its resistance to immune therapy. Related studies in the lab examine mechanisms underlying the escape of pancreatic tumor cells from immune surveillance. Factors that support evasion from the immune system are expected to serve as novel targets to increase efficacy of immune therapy in pancreatic cancer, thus reducing tumor aggression and prolonging patient survival.

Meet the Hasnis Lab Team>


The Hasnis Lab

Dr. Hasnis Erez

Erez Hasnis is Senior Physician, Department of Internal Medicine D and Gastointestinal Malignancy Prevention Unit, Institute of Gastroenterology at Rambam Health Care Campus.

Dr. Hasnis graduated from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, Haifa, where he completed both his MD and PhD degrees. His Phd research focused on activation of the nuclear factor-B in human lymphocytes by reactive nitrogen species, under the supervision of Prof. Abraham Reznick. After army service as a physician, he completed his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Rambam in 2017. Upon completion of his medical training he joined a research fellowship at the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, CA, under the supervision of Prof. Ze’ev Ronai, where he focused on the role of the E3-ubiquitin ligase RNF125 in growth and differentiation of pancreatic cancer.

Since his return to Rambam, Dr. Hasnis focuses his clinical work in the field of screening for and early detection of pancreatic cancer in high-risk families and individuals with specific germline mutation or a suggestive family history. In addition, Dr. Hasnis provides general GI and internal medicine care in the gastroenterology institute and the internal medicine ward.

In the scientific aspect of his work, Dr. Hasnis is a member of the Clinical Research Institute at Rambam. His research group focuses on identifying novel drivers of the aggressive and therapy resistant phenotype in pancreatic cancer, that can be targeted and manipulated as a therapeutic mean. He is also interested in genetic evolution of colorectal adenomas, and predictive markers for the development of GI malignancies in the general population.

He is the recipient of numerous grants to study different targets in pancreatic cancer, including the ISRF Gesher award, the Israel Cancer Association grant, the Israel Science Foundation grant  for physician researchers, and the Dhalia Greidinger grant. He is the author of several scientific publications in the field of pancreatic and colorectal cancer, and performs peer review for gastroenterology and oncology journals.