Dr. Benjamin Izar Recipient of the 2023 Pershing Square Sohn Prize
Brain metastasis is a common clinical challenge in patients with advanced melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Mechanisms that are important during each step of the brain-metastatic cascade, in particular the interaction of cancer cells with niche- and immune cells, are poorly understood. We developed a series of experimental and analytical innovations to enable spatio-temporal molecular profiling and dissection of cellular interactions during this intricate cascade – starting with the first cell all the way to a fully developed brain metastasis. Our vision is to leverage molecular mechanisms gleaned from these approaches to develop improved therapies for affected patients and thus address a major unmet need.