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Nir London, PhD
Weizmann Institute of Science
American Association for Cancer Research
Goal: To identify new ways to treat triple negative breast cancer.
Impact: Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, with poor prognosis and few treatment options. Dr. London is searching for novel therapeutic strategies to improve outcomes for patients with TNBC.
What’s next: Dr. London has identified several promising drug candidates that he will validate in laboratory studies.
Treatment options for TNBC patients are few and drug development for TNBC has been hampered by a lack of understanding of the molecular events that drives TNBC. To accelerate discovery of new treatment alternatives, Dr. London is applying robotics technology to test a large collection of chemicals to identify candidates that will improve patient outcomes for this group of breast cancer patients.
Full Research Summary
Research area: Identifying new drugs and targets that can lead to novel treatment strategies for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients.
Impact: TNBC are aggressive and treatment options have been hampered by a lack of understanding about the molecular drivers of this disease. In his American Association for Cancer Research project, supported by BCRF. Dr. London is testing a chemical library consisting of 1000 drugs to discover new treatments and biological targets that can lead to the eradication of TNBC cells. His research may lead to the identification of new genes to target and new drugs that can be translated into therapy for TNBC patients in the clinic.
Current research: Dr. London narrowed down his list of 1000 drug candidates to just a few and is focusing his efforts to confirm the robustness of his findings, with plans to bring new treatments to the clinical.
What he’s learned so far: Dr. London discovered that some of these drugs selectively, and very potently, kill TNBC cells. Furthering his findings, he developed additional drug candidates that work through a similar mechanism as those originally identified through his drug screen.
What’s next: Dr. London will continue his search for new drugs that can help TNBC patients.
Dr. Nir London is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Organic Chemistry at Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. He received his B.S. degree in Computer Science and Computational Biology and was awarded a Ph.D. in Computational Structural Biology at The Hebrew University, Israel. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco where he developed computational tools for covalent chemical probes discovery and applied these to inhibitor and substrate discovery. Dr. London has received many awards and published his research in many high impact journals. His lab is focused on understanding molecular interactions and developing computational tools to use in biological and pharmaceutical research.