Prof. Gideon Schreiber
For many years we have been interested in understanding how proteins bind specifically in the crowded environment of the cell, and what is the structure/sequence distance between binding an non-binding. To address this, we adopted a multidisciplinary approach including: wet biophysical bench work, protein-design and engineering, bioinformatics and in vitro evolution. We apply the gained knowledge and techniques to address biological questions. Cytokine signaling are biological systems where protein-interactions are central. For many years we are investigating differential activities initiated by type I interferons. Here, binding of ligands to the same receptor activate different outcomes. We investigate how differential activating is possible using structure/function tools, high-throughput omics and protein engineering. More recently, we started to address the puzzling observation of how input by different cytokines, which activate the same signaling components work together in the cell and result a large range of different activities. Since the start of COVID-19 we used our knowledge in protein engineering to follow the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We succeeded to predict, using in vitro evolution methods all the main variants of the virus. Now, we are working on predicting future potential variants. In parallel, we also developed a drug that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection and showed its efficacy in animal models. Protein-drugs, also termed biological, were for the last 20 years in the forefront of drug development. The success of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine has increased tremendously the interest in the development of other RNA molecules as drugs. We initiated a program of development of RNA based drugs delivered through exosomes, towards various lund maladies.