Yuval Shaked is a member of the Department of Cell Biology and Cancer Science at the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, and head of the Rappaport Technion Integrated Cancer Center (RTICC). His research focuses on tumor cell biology and cancer therapy with the goal of identifying ways to personalize cancer treatments.
Prof. Shaked’s lab pioneered the term “host response to anti-cancer drug,” namely, an individual patient’s response to cancer therapy, which may explain therapy resistance and cancer metastasis. He found that almost any type of anti-cancer drug, including chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, targeted drugs, and even immunotherapy can contribute to cancer cell resistance or spread by provoking the body to protect its cancer cells from the toxic effects of the drugs. This research has paved the way for new cancer treatments that block the body’s protective patterns and increase therapeutic outcome.
Based on his studies in the past decade, Prof. Shaked founded the company OncoHost, a next-generation leader in precision oncology, which utilizes the host response effects to predict a patient’s outcome to therapy. Using data generated by OncoHost, Prof. Shaked published a study in November 2021 predicting lung patients’ response to undergoing immunotherapy.
In 2020, just as the coronavirus was taking hold, Prof. Shaked and researchers at the RTICC investigated the widely held assumption that cancer patients are more at-risk for COVID-19. Their findings suggested most cancer patients are not more likely to become infected than the population at large, and might, in fact, have the same if not better odds of beating the virus’ most severe symptoms. Ongoing studies in this direction supported their initial findings, suggesting that cancer patients can benefit from the vaccine, similar to healthy groups.
In addition to OncoHost, which won the Frost & Sullivan 2021 Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Excellence in Best Practices, Prof. Shaked also co-founded biotech companies Sensit Science Ltd. and RemedyCell Ltd. Both of these companies are aimed at improving health worldwide.
Prof. Shaked earned his bachelor’s degree in medical science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1997, and his doctorate from the Department of Neurology at Hadassah University Hospital in 2002, studying the biochemical aspects of neurodegenerative disorders. He completed six years of postdoctoral training at the University of Toronto and joined the Technion in 2008 as a Landau Fellow in the Leaders in Science and Technology Program.
A prolific author, Prof. Shaked has published more than 140 scientific papers. He holds more than 10 U.S. patents, and has received numerous scholarships, awards, and research grants including the Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research.