Zvi Yaari, PhD
Dr. Zvi Yaari is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, (MSKCC) New York City, NY in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel A. Heller. Dr. Yaari received his B.Sc., M.Sc and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. During his Ph.D studies, Dr. Yaari rationally designed a high-throughput screening technology for matching cancer patients with the most potent anticancer agent in a personalized manner. The technology is based on barcoded liposomes that contain various anticancer agents and a unique dsDNA as a barcode that correlates with the drug activity. This technology allows screening various of drugs simultaneously inside the patient body and has a single cell resolution. Dr. Yaari realized that the goal of his life is to harness his engineering skills to create new technologies for improving cancer care in general and help cancer patients in particular. For him, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) was the ultimate institution to achieve this goal.
Dr. Yaari’s current research focus is on developing an implantable nanosensor for early-stage detection of ovarian cancer. He is designing a nano sensor that is based on Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs). The SWCNTs allow detection in very high sensitivity and precision due to their unique photoluminescence properties in the near infrared (NIR) range. Currently he is studying how the interactions of the SWCNTs with various of ovarian cancer biomarkers can cause a shift in the emitted wavelengths or affect the emitted intensity. The goal is to implant the sensor inside an intrauterine device (IUD) and to monitor the initiation and progression of ovarian cancer. Dr. Yaari is mentoring graduate students and collaborating with clinicians and product engineers.
Dr. Yaari received several awards for his graduate work, including the Dan David Prize, Rappaport Prize, Jacobs Excellence Award, Prize for Excellence in Science from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the 1st Prize for outstanding graduate research from The Israeli Chapter of the Controlled Release Society (ICRS).