Lee Rubin, PhD

Professor, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
Director of Translational Medicine, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Dr. Lee Rubin received his Ph.D. 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 in both industry and academia and has drug discovery experience in both settings.

As a senior scientist at Athena Neurosciences in South San Francisco, he directed a project that established a new cell culture model of the blood-brain barrier and used it to identify an anti-integrin antibody that blocked lymphocyte adhesion to brain capillary endothelial cells.  This antibody, now marketed by Elan Pharmaceuticals and Biogen IDEC as Tysabri, is an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis.  Later, as Chief Scientific Officer of Ontogeny/Curis, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based biotechnology company, he directed a group that identified the first small molecule antagonists and agonists of the hedgehog signaling pathway.  Last year, Erivedge, an antagonist developed with Genentech, received FDA approval as a treatment for metastatic skin cancer.

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 there 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. To support this work, he has established an extensive range of complex automated small molecule compatible, image-based assays. Some of this work has been published recently in Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Nature Chemical Biology, Developmental Biology and Science.