Dr Ilan Bank – 2010

Dr Ilan Bank
(Director, Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Sheba Medical Centre; Associate Professor of Medicine, Tel Aviv University)

The saga of gammadelta T cells: discovery to use as anti cancer therapy.

Chai Cancer Care
Thursday 4th November 2010, 19:00

Dr Ilan Bank directs the immunoregulation laboratory and is a senior physician at Sheba Medical Centre. He is an associate professor of medicine at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University.

Dr Bank graduated magna cum laude from Tel Aviv University in 1977, and specialised in internal medicine and rheumatology in Tel Aviv and at Columbia University in New York. While at Columbia he played a major role in identifying a new subset of lymphocytes, known as gamma delta T cells; and in defining the molecules that lymphocytes use to interact with the tissues through which they have to migrate. Subsequently he has shown the practical importance of these observations in clinical studies not only in rheumatology but also in dermatology (psoriasis), neuroimmunology (multiple sclerosis) and haematology.

In his Sam Cohen Memorial Lecture Dr Ilan Bank recalled his fond memories of the late Prof Cohen, and of the friendship between his parents, Prof Cohen, and Dr Vivienne Cohen (who was present at the lecture along with other family members). He took the Association through the remarkable story of the discovery of a unique subset of T cells, resulting from work done while he was on a fellowship at Columbia (New York), and explained how today this work was being translated into Phase 1 trials involving patients with advanced cancer.

Before Dr Bank’s talk Abigail Martyn told the audience about her Jewish Medical Association (UK) funded elective which took her across the USA, exploring different types of Psychiatric Care. The Association was welcomed to the Chai Cancer Care Centre by Mrs Louise Hager, who showed those present the new Garden Room facilities, which will enable Chai to expand its actviities further, and to strengthen its links with hospitals and hospices involved in treatement.


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