Lee L. Rubin, PhD
Dr. Rubin received his PhD in Neuroscience from The Rockefeller University and completed postdoctoral fellowships in Pharmacology from Harvard Medical School and in Neurobiology from Stanford University School of Medicine. He has worked both in academia and in industry. Notably, at Athena Neurosciences (now Elan Pharmaceuticals), he initiated a project that lead to the discovery of an antibody that blocks lymphocyte trafficking across the BBB. This work culminated in the development of an anti-integrin antibody, now known as Tysabri, which has been approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis. Subsequently, he became Chief Scientific Officer of Ontogeny, Inc (now Curis, Inc), a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA, founded by Dr. Douglas Melton. Dr. Rubin's work there centered on the hedgehog (Hh) pathway and its involvement in cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Potent small molecule Hh antagonists were identified and partnered with Genentech where they were modified chemically, and, one, Erivedge, was recently approved as an oral treatment for invasive basal cell carcinoma. Numerous other phase II solid tumor studies are currently underway.
Dr. Rubin is currently Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and Director of Translational Medicine at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Much of his effort is devoted to identifying therapeutics for orphan neural disorders such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, using new kinds of stem cell-based screens. His lab also explores different chemical biology approaches for manipulating cell fate. Some of this work has been published recently in Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Nature Chemical Biology, Developmental Biology, and Science.