Ifat Rubin-Bejerano is the Director of Translational Research Programs at Harvard Medical School, where she is excited to leverage her experience as an entrepreneur-scientist and to work with HMS professors and postdocs to translate their innovative post-discovery, pre-proof-of-concept ideas into therapies. Ifat co-founded ImmuneXcite, an immunotherapy start-up, and in her capacities as its CSO and Head of Research, led the translation of basic academic science into a commercial platform technology as well as the company’s intellectual property strategy – while also being heavily involved in developing partnerships with pharma and fundraising.
The start-up was based on research Ifat conducted during her postdoctoral studies at MIT’s Whitehead Institute with Prof. Gerald R. Fink, where her interest in the host-pathogen interaction between fungi and immune cells led to her identification of a fungal carbohydrate that recruits and activates neutrophils. She then linked this carbohydrate to cancer-specific antibodies in order to initiate a targeted anti-fungal immune response towards tumors. Ifat holds a Ph.D. and a B.Sc. magna cum laude from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.