Mickey Kosloff is the head of the Signal Transduction and Protein Re-design Lab in the Department of Human Biology at the University of Haifa. Prof. Kosloff graduated with a Chemistry BSc in the Amirim Honors program from the Hebrew University and received his PhD from the same institute under the mentorship of the renowned biochemist Zvi Selinger (both degrees awarded Summa Cum Laude). Prof. Kosloff and Professor Selinger founded a start-up company that developed innovative therapies for cancer tumors driven by damaged molecular switches. After training in computational biology with Barry Honig at Columbia University and work with Vadim Arshavsky at the Duke University Medical Center, Prof. Kosloff returned to Israel in 2012 to the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Haifa.
The research at the Kosloff lab addresses a fundamental challenge in the field of signal transduction – deciphering the “specificity code” for protein interactions. This code determines how the 3D structure of proteins encodes for specific recognition of interaction partners, thereby “wiring together” the signal transduction networks that control how all cells function and communicate. Dis-regulation of these signaling networks underlies most diseases, from neurological disorders, through diabetes, to all cancers. Addressing this challenge also has a direct impact on drug design, leading to new therapeutic avenues: identifying specificity determinants at the 3D structural level enables better tuning of drugs to their specific targets, increasing their efficacy, and reducing unwanted side effects.
To achieve this goal, the Kosloff lab combines the accuracy of biochemical and biophysical experiments with the mechanistic insights and scalability of computational approaches. For the last decade, the lab has been developing innovative computational approaches to map precisely protein specificity determinants at the resolution of individual amino acids, combining them with diverse biochemical and biophysical approaches to test predictions experimentally. Such a multi-disciplinary approach can inform personalized medicine efforts by matching detailed genotypes to functional phenotypes and by providing new tools, not only for studying signaling cascades, but also for developing targeted drugs at the cellular level.
Kosloff lab: http://koslofflab.haifa.ac.il/