Avi Ashkenazi

Avi Ashkenazi

Dr Avi Ashkenazi received his PhD in Biochemistry in 1986 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. From 1986 to 1989 he trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and the biotechnology company, Genentech. As a postdoc, he helped identify the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor gene family and deciphered its interactions with specific G proteins - work that in 1988 earned him and two of his colleagues the first prize of the Boehringer Ingelheim Award. In 1989 Dr Ashkenazi joined Genentech as s Scientist and progressed through the ranks to become Senior Staff Scientist and Director, most recently within the Research Oncology division. In the early 1990’s he contributed to the development and translation of a technology to fuse immunoglobulin Fc domains to other proteins, now used in numerous research laboratories and in important biotechnology drugs including Enbrel® and Eylea®. Subsequently, Dr Ashkenazi’s laboratory discovered several novel members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, most notably, the apoptosis-inducing ligand Apo2L/TRAIL and its “death” and “decoy” receptors. Dr Ashkenazi’s basic research has focused on the mechanisms of apoptosis signaling by death receptors, and his translational work in this area pioneered the clinical development of pro-apoptotic receptor agonists (PARAs) for cancer therapy. To date, Dr Ashkenazi has published 110 research papers and 31 review articles and has co-edited a book on antibody fusion proteins. His top 5 publications have been cited in sum over 11,000 times. His work on death receptors is highlighted in the textbook: “The biology of Cancer” by Robert A. Weinberg. He has presented 99 lectures at scientific institutions and conferences and is a named inventor on 59 issued US patents. Dr Ashkenazi co-chaired the international TNF conference in 2007 and has served or serves on the editorial boards of Current Biology, Clinical Cancer Research, Nature Reviews Cancer, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Cancer Biology & Therapy, Cell Death & Differentiation and Molecular Cancer Therapy.

Affiliations and Expertise

Oncology, Genentech Inc, CA, USA