Targeted Drug-carrying Filamentous Phage Nanomedicines
Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Itai Benhar—Associate Professor at Tel-Aviv University, Israel received in 1992 a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School Jerusalem, Israel, where he studied control of bacterial gene expression. Dr. Benhar did his post doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, working with Dr. Ira Pastan on recombinant immunotoxins.
In 1995, Dr. Benhar joined the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences as a tenure-track assistant professor. Dr. Benhar received tenure at 2002, and became an associate professor in 2005. In 2007 Dr. Benhar was appointed as Department Chairman.
Dr. Benhar’s main field of expertise is antibody engineering, and over the years he prepared several phage display libraries from which antibodies against numerous targets were isolated. Research in Dr. Benhar’s group if currently focused on three major topics: 1) evaluation of novel formats of antibody-toxin fusion proteins as potential anti-cancer agents. 2) Evaluation of death switches that are activated by viral proteases for potential eradication of virus-infected cells. 3) Application of filamentous phages as targeted drug-carrying nanomedicines. Research in Dr. Benhar’s lab has been currently funded with grants from the Israeli Health ministry, the Israel Cancer Association and the Israel Science Foundation.
Speaking in the special symposium on Phage Nanobiotechnology.