Posted on October 19, 2016 · Posted in AFBSF

Carmit Levy, Ph.D.

Five years ago, Dr. Carmit Levy, a molecular genetics and biochemistry specialist at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School, was looking to explore the causes of melanoma, one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer.

Recognizing the promise of her work, BSF provided Dr. Levy with startup funding to look further into how melanoma spreads, and what can be done about it. Today, she and a team of doctors have made potentially transformative discoveries about the causes of melanoma and what can be done to advance treatment of this form of cancer, which, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, kills one person somewhere in the world every 52 minutes.

Dr. Levy told the Times of Israel that the threat of melanoma is not in the initial tumor that appears on the skin, but rather in its metastasis — in the tumor cells sent off to colonize vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver and bones. She and her team have discovered how the cancer spreads to distant organs and found ways to stop the process before it reaches the metastatic stage.

Dr. Carmit Levy of the human molecular genetics and biochemistry department at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School.

The findings have gained wide-spread attention in the media and in the scientific community, including a paper published in the prestigious journal Nature Cell Biology, and articles in publications such as the Times of Israel, Haaretz and ScienceDaily.

As it has been for so many scientists and researchers in the United States and Israel, BSF was there for Dr. Levy at the beginning of the research that led to these scientific discoveries. She is very appreciative of BSF’s support.

“I am very grateful to BSF for the early funding they provided,” Dr. Levy said. “It can be very hard to get funding when a research project begins, and I am thankful that BSF saw the potential in what I was trying to accomplish.”