The Kirk Center for Childhood Cancer and Immunological Disorders
Benjamin Geiger, Director (until July 2010)
The Professor Erwin Neter Professorial Chair of Cell and Tumor Biology
Michal Neeman, Director (from August 2010)
The Helen and Morris Mauerberger Professorial Chair in Biological Sciences
The Kirk Center for Childhood Cancer and Immunological Disorders was founded in 2006. Its primary objectives are to advance our understanding of childhood diseases such as cancer (e.g., leukemias), and immunological disorders such as asthma, allergies, acquired immunodeficiencies, and various aspects of inflammation and immune system deregulation.
At the Weizmann Institute of Science, investigations into these topics are particularly promising, both due to their potential to highlight the mechanisms underlying these diseases, thereby enabling the design of effective therapeutic approaches, and the possibility of joining forces with clinicians, and contributing to the development of novel therapies and diagnostic approaches.
To contribute to these important goals, the Kirk Center supports early stage, cutting-edge research related to childhood diseases and immunological disorders, enabling the purchase of vital instrumentation, and covering the cost of conferences addressing a range of topics in pediatric research. In 2009-2010, the Kirk Center financed the following research projects, courses and conferences:
- Prof. Yosef Yarden "Novel EGFR mutants of pediatric brain cancer: molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis"
- Prof. Yair Reisner "Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation"
- Prof. Avri Ben-Zeev "Nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) signaling and ezrin are essential for L1-meiated colon cancer cell metastasis".
- Prof. Lea Eisenbach "Split immunity: immune inhibition of a lethal brain tumors preclinical models"
- Prof. Avi Ben-Nun "artificial multi-myelin epitope protein and adult neural stem/progenitor cells for myelin/neuronal repair and treatment of chronic MS-like disease"
- Prof. Yair Reisner The course "Highlights in Immunology" - This bi-yearly course which covers hot topics in immunology, involves leading immunologists from Europe and the US.
- Prof. Steffen Jung and Prof. Idit Shachar "Immunity in context - Development and Survival Signals in the Immune System" Meeting
- Prof. Benny Geiger "The Myeloma Days", 2009-2010, combining scientific gathering and a direct interactions with MM patients.
- Prof. Atan Gross Mito 2010" meeting on "Mitochondria: Function and Dysfunction"