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Current Research

ICA receives hundreds of requests annually for financial support of cancer research projects. These requests are presented to the ICA Scientific Research Committee for evaluation; approval of funding is based on merit.

Fellowships Funded in 2017:

Professor Avi Schroeder of the Technion, developed a new diagnostic technology to find the best cancer treatments geared to specific patients. By using 100 nm liposomes, loaded with various cancer drugs and corresponding synthetic DNA barcodes, he found a correlation between the cell viability and the drug it was exposed to, according to the matching barcodes. This research could lead to customized treatments for cancer patients that are more efficient and accurate than treatments currently offered.

ICA is proud to have supported this important and promising research, published in November, 2016 in Nature Communications Journal, “Theranostic Barcoded Nanoparticles for Personalized Cancer Medicine.”

Professor Gal Markel has received cancer research grants through ICA USA.  He is an Associate Professor at Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and has served as the Chief Scientist of the Ella Lemelbaum Institute of Melanoma at Sheba Medical Center since 2008. He is an expert in translational tumor immunology and clinical immuno-oncology. He was the scientific founder and Chief Scientific Officer of cCAM biotherapeutics, which identified CEACAM1 as an immune checkpoint and developed an anti-CEACAM1 antibody (a tumor suppressor) all the way to human clinical trials.


Professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro is Chair of Sackler’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Tel Aviv University. Her research focuses on the design and characterization of novel drug delivery platforms and her vision is that novel approaches to target anticancer, anti-angiogenic drugs, miRNA and siRNAs to endothelial and tumor cells to potentially treat angiogenesis dependent diseases could transform cancer into a chronologically manageable disease.

The Israel Cancer Association, with the support of ICA USA, has assisted Professor Satchi by providing her with Research Fellowships over the years.

Professor Zelig Eshar of the Weizmann Institute is a 2015 Israel Prize in Life Sciences recipient, who at the outset of his career received ICA research grants. His work has been the basis of the development of a cancer immunotherapy involving genetic modifications of T lymphocytes extracted from a cancer patient to produce chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T –Cells. His scientific discoveries led to the development of an anticancer vaccine that suppresses tumors and has led to the significant recovery of patients who have participated in clinical trials.


Dr.Carmit Levy of the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University discovered in her ICA-funded research, that direct contact of melanoma cells with the remote epidural layer triggers vertical invasion via Notch signaling activation, the latter inhibiting MITF function (MITF helps control the development and function of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes). The research study results, published in the Journal, “Molecular Cell”, may direct melanoma prevention opportunities via targeting specific microenvironments.



Professor Ofer Mandelboim of the Immunology and Cancer Research department, at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is an ICA-funded scientist. His research interests are development of novel approaches for cancer therapy and molecular immunology of human NK (Natural Killer) cells. In 2015 Professor  Mandelboim won The Hebrew University’s prestigious Kaye Innovation Award.




Professor Sarit Larish of Haifa University developed molecules that mimic the ARTS protein, which helps to selectively activate a cell death mechanism in cancerous cells. Based on this discovery, made through an ICA-finded study, the research group was accepted into Merck’s Bioincubator fund.

Fellowships Funded in 2016:

Research Title: Deciphering activities of novel mutations of the estrogen receptor in endocrine resistant breast cancer
Applicant: Dr. Ido Wolf
Institute: Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
In Memory and Honor of Gail Benjamin, the late wife of ICA USA Executive Committee Member Arthur E. Benjamin
#20160053 (outstanding research grant) $37,000

Research Title: Identification of lung cancer secreted microRNAs involved in tumor-host interactions leading to stromal mTOR activation, Hdm2 elevation and enhanced tumor invasion
Name of Applicant: Dr. Jair Bar
Institute: Sheba – Academic Medical Center Hospital
In Memory and Honor of Trudy Katz, the late mother of ICA USA Board Member, Gail Worth
#20160126 $22,000

Research Title: Microbial signatures for the early identification of pancreatic cancer
Applicant: Prof. Uri Gophna
Institute: Tel Aviv University
In Memory and Honor of Martin A. Saginor, the late Father of ICA USA Executive Committee Member, Phyllis Liss
#20160060 $22,000

Research Title: Role of MALAT1 in tumor progression in ovarian carcinoma
Applicant: Prof. Reuven Reich
Institute: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
In Honor of Irene G. Ostroff, Founding Director of ICA USA
#20160077 $22,000

Research Title: A Phase 1b study of combination chemo-immunotherapy with Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (PLD) and Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in metastatic breast and ovarian cancer patients.
Applicant: Prof. Alberto Gabizon
Institute: Shaare Zedek Medical Center
In Honor of Longtime ICA USA Supporter and Generous Donor, Celia Jacobs
#20160109 $22,000