Dr Shai Izraeli – 2007
Dr Shai Izraeli, who is the head of childhood cancer research at the Cancer Research Centre, Safra Childrenís Hospital, Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Hashomer, and a senior lecturer in paediatrics, haematology ñ oncology and genetics at Tel Aviv University.
A graduate of the Hebrew University Medical School, Dr. Izraeli trained in Pediatrics in Israel and in Pediatric Hematology – Oncology in the Pediatric Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). His basic research training was in Dr. Ilan Kirschís laboratory at the NCI. He is the co-chair of the Israeli National Childhood Leukemia Study Group. He chairs the biology and diagnosis committee of the BFM, the largest international study group of childhood leukemia.
Dr Izraeli spoke about his studies of the leukaemia of Down Syndrome as a model for leukaemogenesis. Patients with Down Syndrome are at a much higher risk of developing leukemia during their early childhood, suggesting that trisomy 21 is leukaemogenic. As extra copies of chromosome 21 are frequently observed in leukaemic cells of otherwise normal children, deciphering the leukaemogenic pathways in Down Syndrome is relevant to the general study of childhood leukaemia.