The Youdim Prize Committee is pleased to announce the second recipient of the Youdim Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research: Professor Yuval Shaked, PhD, Assistant Professor and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology of the Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-IIT, Haifa, Israel.
Professor Eliezer Shalev nominated Dr. Shaked for the Youdim Prize in recognition of his groundbreaking research discoveries pertaining to the role of the host microenvironment on the action of anti-cancer drugs; these discoveries constitute the basis for new anti-cancer therapy regimens.
Professor Shaked’s research focuses on tumor cell biology and therapy. Specifically, he studies tumor relapse and acquired resistance to different therapies, and how different therapies impact the metastatic process. Some of his studies focus on the interactions between tumor cells and host cells at the tumor microenvironment, especially following anti-cancer drug therapy. The goal of his lab is to broaden the knowledge in this area in order to offer new options for combined treatment modalities that will enhance efficacy of currently used and future developed targeted anti-cancer drugs. Recently, he pioneered studies which demonstrate that in addition to the anti-tumor activity of almost any given anti-cancer drug, it may also promote tumor re-growth and metastasis by inducing host pro-tumorigenic and pro-metastatic effects in response to therapy.
Currently, Professor Shaked’s laboratory has 14 members; half of them are students for PhD and MSc degrees and the rest are clinicians, post-doctoral fellows and lab technicians, all of whom work on different aspects of the interactions between the host and tumor cells at the tumor microenvironment especially following therapy.
He has obtained funds from highly competitive grant agencies such as the European Research Council, as well as funds from several pharmaceutical companies, and provides expert scientific consultation to numerous pharmaceutical companies, specifically relating with how to improve anti-cancer treatments and avoid drug resistance.
Professor Shaked has authored more than 85 original publications, some of which have appeared in highly ranked journals such as Science, Cancer Cell, Nature Reviews Cancer, The Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, and Cancer Research. He holds four patents on new targets for cancer or drug combinations to improve cancer therapy. Professor Shaked also serves as Chief Editor for the newly launched journal, Clinical Cancer Drugs, and serves as Associate Editor for four other cancer-related journals. He is a member of several international cancer research associations, and serves as a committee member in the Israel Society for Cancer Research.
Professor Shaked is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Igal Allon Fellowship for Promising Young Investigators, and the Krill Prize given by the Wolf Foundation to outstanding young Israeli investigators who have not yet received tenure.