Research – Molecular & Cellular Cancer Biology

Our Research

The curremt main focus in our laboratory is on SMURF2 – the ubiquitously expressed and conserved E3 ubiquitin ligase and recently discovered tumor suppressor, that prevents cell transformation and carcinogenesis under the stress of ageing (Blank M et al., Nature Medicine 2012).



1. To delineate the spectrum of molecular mechanisms operating under SMURF2 jurisdiction, and which determine tumor cell sensitivity to anticancer therapies. The primary focus is on the following interconnected and frequently deregulated in tumor cells pathways:

  • Chromatin organization, dynamics and chromosome inheritance
  • Nuclear structure and shape
  • DNA damage response and repair
  • Gene expression
  • Cell cycle regulation
  • Cell survival and death

2. To identify molecular mechanisms operating upstream of SMURF2 and regulating Smurf2 cellular localization and functions in human normal and cancer cells under physiological and stress-induced conditions.

3. To identify chemical compounds that can selectively target and modify SMURF2-interactor/s axis and develop these into clinically viable anticancer treatments.


Aging Diseases

Our research interests also encompass elucidation and characterization of biochemical and molecular mechanisms and pathways operating under SMURF2 control and regulating the onset, progression and therapeutic response of other than cancer age-related diseases (i.e. HGPS).  


Research Support (past & present):

  • Israel Science Foundation (ISF)
  • Marie Curie CIG (FP-7), EU
  • Israel Cancer Association (ICA)
  • Sasson and Morris Dayan Family Foundation, Brasil
  • Gassner Fund for Medical Research, Israel
  • Morris Kahn Foundation, USA
  • Emanuel Kirschner Foundation, USA
  • Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, USA
  • Dorothy and Harold Greenwald Foundation, USA
  • The Roland and Dawn Arnall Foundation, USA