2019 Recipient — Guy Katz, MD, PhD

Guy Katz, MD, PhD

Therapeutic miRNA Targeting for Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

This project proposes a novel treatment approach in OC. Having previously identified miR-517 as a key regulator of OC, we now aim to test the pre-clinical potential of this strategy and potentially uncover new molecular circuits involved in OC.

MicroRNA (miRNAs) are small molecules, residing in our cells, which regulate gene expression and cell activity in both health and disease, including cancer. Accordingly, numerous studies have shown that active modulation of miRNA levels in cancer cells can affect cancer growth and progression. For instance, by introducing certain types of miRNA, researchers can halt the growth and progression of OC.

Nonetheless, it is extremely hard to deliver miRNAs into cancer cells, since these molecules possess a negative electrical charge, making it difficult for them to penetrate cell membranes.
Previous studies in our lab have suggested that this can be overcome by using nanoparticles (NP), into which the miRNAs can be inserted. These particles are sphere-shaped structures, designed to be recognized by human cells as particles that need to be inserted into the cells. This way, it is possible to administer miRNAs into any cell, including cancer cells.

The objective of this project is to determine the therapeutic potential of NP-delivered miR-517 in OC. We believe that selective delivery of miR-517 via NP is an effective treatment for OC.

Areas of Research: ,


Dr. Guy Katz, is a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Anil K. Sood at the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Katz earned his MD, and completed a PhD at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel. He got his PhD from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, on the subject of the physiological mechanism and potential treatments for a lethal hereditary heart disease. Dr. Katz has completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology from the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer hospital, Israel, in 2018.

Dr. Katz has received several awards during his doctoral research years, among them, The Jan J. Kellerman Young Investigator in Cardiology Award and The Foulkes Foundation Fellowships from the Israel Science Academy. Since 2013 Dr. Katz is a member of the “Talpiot” excellence program for physicians/scientists, at the Sheba Medical Center. His research project objective is to determine the therapeutic potential of modulating the level of specific microRNAs in ovarian cancer by utilizing a unique nano-technology approach.