The Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Noah Isakov is the Joseph H. Krupp Professor in Cancer Immunobiology at the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics, the Goldman Medical School, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in Beer Sheva, Israel. He has completed his B.Sc. in Biology from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, in the year 1974 and M.Sc. in immunology from The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel in the year 1976. Later in 1981, he has received his Ph.D in Immunology from The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Dr. Isakov has published more than 150 papers in reputed journals and has participated in several international conferences. His major interest is in signal transduction mechanisms in normal and transformed cells, predominantly in the immune system. He was involved in the discovery and characterization of new signaling molecules in T lymphocytes and continues studying the intricate signaling pathways that regulate T lymphocyte functions and T lymphocyte-mediated immune responses.
Our main research interest focuses on T-cell antigen receptor (TCR)-directed signal transduction pathways in T lymphocytes, as well as a comparative analysis of signal transduction mechanisms in normal versus transformed cells. We aim at identifying and characterizing the mechanism of action of several important effector molecules in T lymphocytes and study their role in the immunological synapse. Among the proteins that we study are protein kinase C theta (PKCθ), ZAP-70, Crk and PICOT. PKCθ and ZAP-70 are essential for the regulation of T lymphocyte activation and differentiation, are key molecules in the immunological synapse of TCR triggered T cells, and their absence leads to immune deficiencies. The Crk adaptor proteins are involved in the regulation of signaling mechanisms downstream of the TCR, while PICOT, which associates with PKCθ in T lymphocytes and was found to be essential for embryonic development is highly expressed in several types of malignancies, including human leukemia, although its exact biological role is still enigmatic.