Lee L. Rubin

Current Institution
Harvard University and Harvard School of Public Health
Director of Translational Medicine , Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Scholar: 1981

Awarded Institution
The Rockefeller University


Research Interests

Dr. 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 was then an Assistant and Associate Professor at Rockefeller University. Subsequently, he joined Athena Neurosciences (now Elan Pharmaceuticals) as head of their blood-brain barrier (BBB) and multiple sclerosis groups, ultimately initiating a project to discover an antibody that blocks lymphocyte trafficking across the BBB. This work successfully identified an anti-integrin antibody, now known as Tysabri, which has been approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis and more recently, for Crohn's disease. After leaving Athena, he became Professor of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at University College London and Director of the Eisai London Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Disease. This institute was sponsored by Eisai Co., a major Japanese pharmaceutical company, and focused on discovering novel therapeutic approaches for diseases of the nervous system. In 1998, he returned to Boston as Chief Scientific Officer of Ontogeny, Inc (now Curis, Inc) a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA, founded by Dr. Douglas Melton, a well-known stem cell and developmental biologist. Dr. Rubin's work there centered on the hedgehog (Hh) pathway and its involvement in cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Potent small molecule Hh antagonists were identified and partnered with Genentech for clinical development. Two INDs were submitted, and one phase II study is currently underway for an orally available Hh antagonist used to treat solid tumors. Small molecule Hh agonists were also identified and partnered with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for development, with stroke as the initial lead indication. In July 2006, Dr. Rubin moved to Harvard University. He is now Director of Translational Medicine at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a member of the new Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology.