Yaron Fuchs. (American Technion Society)

The Technion researcher’s findings are opening the door to new approaches in regenerative medicine and treatment for cancerous tumors and other wounds.

Israel’s Technion Faculty of Biology assistant professor Yaron Fuchs was selected by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) as one of 27 scientists from all over the world to receive a “Young Investigators” award. The only Israeli on the list, Yaron received the prestigious recognition for his achievements in “harnessing stem cell apoptosis for driving tissue regeneration.”

EMBO Director Maria Leptin said, according to the Technion, that the researchers on the list work at the “highest level.” She also recognized the challenges that Young Investigators face.

“The first years as an independent researcher can be a particularly challenging time in a scientist’s career and we look forward to supporting these twenty-seven researchers in establishing their independent careers,” she said.

Though many studies focus on stem-cell self renewal and differentiation, Fuchs’ area of expertise has barely been explored. “Prof. Fuchs deals with planned suicide (apoptosis) in stem cells – unique and relatively rare cells that produce different types of cells and therefore renew different tissues in the body,” explained the report.

His team “demonstrated that the apoptotic process can be harnessed to accelerate tissue healing after injury and reduce scar formation.”

They “also managed to create mini organs (organoids) in a dish, which can be used for transplantation and drug screening platforms,” according to the Technion. “These discoveries pave the way for more effective treatment of various diseases and improved healing.”

Fuchs’ research opens the door to new approaches in regenerative medicine, treating wounds and healing cancerous tumors.

Scientists selected to be part of the EMBO team participate in a four-year program where they are provided with financial support, professional relationships, mentoring by veteran researchers, leadership training and access to the research infrastructure of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.