The CooksLab focuses on various aspects of the tumor microenvironment, particularly cell-to-cell communication via extracellular vesicles. Amongst many hallmarks of cancer, an ‘in-depth’ spotlight is dedicated to mutations in the tumor suppressor TP53 gene and the plethora of interactions this molecular event facilitates. These include cancer cells communicating with their surroundings (including the stroma, the immune compartment and the microbiome). In addition, the CooksLab constantly strives to use innovative translational approaches for the benefit of cancer patients. Therefore, we combine the knowledge and toolset of the lab with the pioneering Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy (DaRT), enabling us to provide insights about molecular traits with fundamental relevance to clinical decision-making.
TOMER COOKS, PH.D.
While awarded "The most sarcastic PI in the world" for 5 years in a row, Tomer genuinely believes in precision medicine approaches that will advance a better quality of treatment for many cancer patients worldwide. His Ph.D. was conducted in the Tel-Aviv University after which he moved to the Weizmann Institute and later to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Tomer heads a research group in the department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics, the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Currently the group consists 15 scientists including a research associate, seven Ph.D. students, several M.Sc. students as well as research assistants.