The Israel Prize is Israel’s annual national award and is regarded as the country’s highest award. It is given to those who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields or who have made significant contributions to the nation of Israel. Usually, the President of Israel, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Knesset and the President of the Supreme Court attend the award ceremony.
Professor Eli Keshet is a pioneer in the field of vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF research. He also discovered the cause of neonatal jaundice, laying the groundwork for finding a revolutionary clinical solution that will benefit millions of newborn children. As early as 1992, Prof. Keshet published an article in Nature demonstrating that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is an important regulator of VEGF. He made an outstanding contribution to the use of VEGF as a target and a drug by thoroughly investigating the role of VEGF in disease. Prof. Keshet’s team has published more than 180 articles with more than 30,000 total citations and several high impact factor papers in top academic journals such as Nature, Cell, Nature Medicine, PNAS, and Cell Metabolism. For his pioneering contributions to VEGF research and regulation of angiogenesis, Professor Eli Keshet previously received two prestigious industry awards: the 2006 EMET Life Sciences Excellence Award in Israel and the 2015 NAVBO Piaget-Bendit Award in the US.
VEGF research has made “delayed aging” and “healthy aging” no longer a dream
Perhaps you are wondering what VEGF is? Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the most important pro-angiogenic factor that induces neovascularization in vivo. With continuous research, it has been found that VEGF mainly has the following functions: (1) immunosuppression (2) promotion of wound healing (3) neuroprotection (4) promotion of blood vessel formation in tumors, and (5) maintenance of the stability of the internal bone environment. In the past 30 years, research on VEGF has exploded, and as of December 13, 2020, there were 81,969 articles in PubMed with VEGF as the keyword and 794 VEGF-related studies were registered on Clinicaltrials.gov. As a leading expert in the field of VEFG research, Prof. Keshet’s lab is currently conducting a study on the application of VEGF to “healthy aging” with the support of RunYoung’s team and has already made breakthroughs.
Life is a process of development, maturation, and then gradual aging, and aging is the natural law of human development. As living standards improve and as life expectancy increases, individuals are in poor health for longer periods of time and aging-related diseases and poor health are a major social burden.
Current strategies to prevent aging suboptimal health and disease are focused on specific aging-related processes, including metabolic intervention through a healthy diet, delaying cellular aging through senolytic drugs, and seeking to increase the number of stem cells to improve their ability to regenerate and differentiate. In fact, vascular aging is one of the most neglected aging processes in humans. Professor Keshet’s research has demonstrated that modulation of vascular growth factor signaling can achieve a delay in the aging process of the vascular system.
The research by Professor Keshet and his team has been validated in mouse models. By slightly increasing the circulating levels of VEGF, mice treated with VEGF maintained a “youthful” metabolic profile and metabolic flexibility in old age, significant reductions in age-induced fatty liver (steatosis) and hepatocyte damage, and improvement in osteoporosis conditions. Next, with the financial support of the RunYoung Investment, Professor Keshet and his experimental team will focus on the study of vascular growth factor dosing and drug-forming properties.
Yigong Shi’s appeal, which is being followed by RunYoung
“Our universities could be stronger in basic research transformation, not for lack of transformation capabilities, but because we don’t have the basic research to transform!” Some time ago, an appeal from Professor Yigong Shi, president of Westlake University, pointed out that the lack of basic research capability in China’s universities is the biggest crisis lurking in China.
A group of scholars like Prof. Eli Keshet is what Yigong Shi refers to as scientists devoted to basic research. China’s ability to improve basic scientific research is not a one-step solution and RunYoung’s vision is to build a bridge from reality to the future through our platform. Today, although we lack independent and transformable research, we are gradually transitioning from following to independent and innovative research by introducing basic research from the best international scientists and learning from their research ideas. Accordingly, RunYoung invests in at least 3-5 overseas basic research projects every year hoping to contribute to China’s current critical shortage of basic research. At the same time, we believe that support for such a group of dedicated and accomplished scientists, like planting saplings, will eventually bear the most fruitful results.