Prof. Gideon Gross

Prof. Gideon Gross
Associate professor
Principal investigator
Research Group Leader

We develop new genes for the immunotherapy of human diseases. In the late 80's, together with Z. Eshhar at the Weizmann Institute of Science, I created the first chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), demonstrating that it is possible to genetically redirect T cell specificity at will. In the past several years anti-tumor CARs produce excellent clinical results. In Dec. 2013 Science magazine selected the field of cancer immunotherapy and CARs as 'Breakthrough of the year'. Undoubtedly, the use of genes for immunotherapy has gained great appreciation in recent years.
We have created genes for boosting the tumor-killing ability of T cells employed in different approaches for cancer therapy, such as CARs and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Indeed, in all experiments we performed so far these genetic adjuvants exerted multiple effects of exceptional magnitude on human T cells, including anti-melanoma TILs.
Redirecting T cell specificity at will through genetic engineering is the theme of additional two studies in our lab. In autoimmune, or type 1 diabetes (T1D) we selectively immunotarget pathogenic T cells, obtaining good results in a mouse model for the disease. In inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) we aim at reprogramming 'regulatory' T cells to act selectively at the inflamed gut tissue and suppress the ongoing immune response.
In the field of cancer vaccines we take advantage of a new genetic platform we created which allows the robust priming of anti-tumor T cells into becoming potent killers of tumor cells. Studying two mouse model systems for melanoma we recently demonstrated that our vaccines confer tumor protection and lead to tumor regression.
In a more 'basic science' orientation we are exploring the contribution of a fundamental quality control process functioning in all cells of our body to the immunological identity of the cells.


Ph.D. 1990, Chemical Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science
M.Sc. 1986, Chemical Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science

Academic and research experience
1991: research fellow, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, USA.
1991-1993: post-doctoral fellow, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cambridge, UK.
1993-1995: MIGAL, research associate
1995-present: MIGAL, Head of the Immunology Lab
1995-present: faculty member, Tel-Hai College
2003: research associate, Stanford University School of Medicine
2009: associate professor in life sciences, Tel Hai College
2005-2010: Head of the Biotechnology Dept., Tel Hai College
2010-2014: Dean of the Faculty of Sciences & Technology ,Tel Hai College

Honors and awards

Genetic reprogramming of T cells for targeted delivery of new therapeutics to the tumor site, German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research & Development (GIF)
Genetically-modified T cells for the protection of regenerated β-cells in type 1 diabetes, BIRAX (The Britain Israeli Research and Academic Exchange Partnership Regenerative Medicine Initiative)
Enhancing T cell reactivity in adoptive cell therapy of cancer ICA (Israel Cancer Association)
New genes for improving adoptive cell therapy of melanoma with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, ISF (Israel Science Foundation)
Selective immunotargeting of pathogenic CD8 T cells of type 1 diabetes patients by genetically engineered autologous T cells Adm. for Biomedical Research in the Galilee
Redirecting regulatory T cells against diabetogenic T cells, ISF-JDRF (Juvenile)

Scientific Publications

Combined expression of genetic adjuvants exerts multiple immunostimulatory effects on antitumor T cells.

Weinstein-Marom, H., Levin, N., Pato, A., Peretz, T., Eisenberg, G., Lotem, M., Itzhaki, O., Besser, M.J. and Gross, G.
J. Immunother. 42, 43-50. 2019

Endowing human CD8 T cells with a veto-like recognition capacity via the electroporation of MHC-I/CD3zeta mRNA.

Weissberg, O. and Gross, G.

Transpl. Immuno., Aug;55:101202, 2019

MHC-I presentation of distinct antigenic peptides derived from protein products of the pioneer round of translation

Weinstein-Marom, H., Hendel, L., Avigad-Laron, E., Margalit, A. and Gross, G.
FASEB. J. 33, 11458-11468.

MHC-I presentation of distinct antigenic peptides derived from protein products of the pioneer round of translation

Weinstein-Marom, H., Hendel, L., Avigad-Laron, E., Margalit, A. and Gross, G.
FASEB. J. 33, 11458-11468.

Potent activation of human T cells by mRNA encoding constitutively active CD40.

Levin, N., Weinstein-Marom, H., Pato, A., Itzhaki, O., Besser, M.J., Peretz, T., Eisenberg, G., Lotem, M. and Gross, G.

J. Immunology 201, 2959–2968, 2018

Potent activation of human T cells by mRNA encoding constitutively active CD40.

Levin, N., Weinstein-Marom, H., Pato, A., Itzhaki, O., Besser, M.J., Peretz, T., Eisenberg, G., Lotem, M. and Gross, G. (2018)
J. Immunology 201, 2959–2968

Spontaneous activation of antigen-presenting cells by genes encoding truncated homo-oligomerizing derivatives of CD40

Levin, N., Pato, A., Cafri, G., Eisenberg, G., Peretz, T., Margalit, A., Lotem, M. and Gross, G.
J Immunother 2017 Volume 40 Issue 2 Pages 39-50

Adoptive Transfer of mRNA-Transfected T Cells Redirected against Diabetogenic CD8 T Cells Can Prevent Diabetes

Fishman, S., Mark D. Lewis, M. D., Siew, K., De Leenheer, E., Kakabadse, D., Davies, J., Ziv, D., Margalit, A., Karin, N., Gross, G.* and Wong, F. S.
Mol Ther. 2017 Volume 25 Issue 2 Pages 456?464.

Membrane-attached cytokines expressed by mRNA electroporation act as potent T cell adjuvants.

Weinstein-Marom, H., Pato, A., Levin, N., Susid, K., Itzhaki, O., Besser, M.J., Peretz, T., Margalit, A., Lotem, M. and Gross, G.
J. Immuother. 2016 Volume 39 Pages 60-70

Therapeutic potential of T cell chimeric antigen receptors in cancer treatment: counteracting off-tumor toxicities for safe CAR T cell therapy.

Ann Rev. Pharm. Toxicol. 2016 Volume 56 Pages 59-83

Messenger RNA encoding constitutively active toll-like receptor 4 enhances effector functions of human T cells.

Pato, A., Eisenberg, G., Machlenkin, A., Margalit, S., Cafri, G., Frankenburg, S., Merims, S., Peretz, T., Lotem, M. and Gross, G.
Clin. Exp. Immunol. 2015 Volume 182 Issue 2 Pages 220-229

A reproducible method for the expansion of mouse CD8+ T lymphocytes.

Lewis, M. D., de Leenheer, E., Fishman, S., Siew, L. K., G. Gross, G. and Wong, F.S.
J. Immunol. Methods 2015 Issue 417 Pages 134-138

Efficient peptide recovery from secreted recombinant MHC-I molecules expressed via mRNA transfection.

Lazarus, D., Weinstein-Marom, H., Fishman, S., Yossef, Y., Zuri, D,. Barnea, E., Admon, A., Margalit, A. and G. Gross, G.
Immunol. Lett. 2015 Volume 165 Pages 32-38

Selective immunotargeting of diabetogenic CD4 T cells by genetically redirected T cells

Perez, S., Fishman, S., Margalit, A., Wong, F. S. and Gross, G.
Immunology 2014 Volume 143 Pages 609-17

The emergence of T-bodies / CAR T cells

Eshhar, Z, Waks, T. and Gross, G.
Cancer J. 2014 Volume 20 Pages 123-126

Development of novel genetic cancer vaccines based on membrane-attached beta2 microglobulin

Cafri, G., Margalit, SA., Tzehoval, E., Eisenbach L. and Gross, G.
Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2013 Volume 1283 Pages 87-90

Coupling presentation of MHC class I peptides to constitutive activation of antigen-presenting cells through the product of a single gene

G. Cafri; E. Amram; G. Rinott; G. Koifman; S. Fishman; Y. Keisari; E. Tzehoval; A. Margalit; L. Eisenbach; G. Gross
International Immunology 2011 Volume 23 Issue 7 Pages 453-461

Immunotargeting of insulin reactive CD8 T cells to prevent Diabetes

G. S. Scott; S. Fishman; L. Khai Siew; A. Margalit; S. Chapman; A. V. Chervonsky; L. Wen; G. Gross; F. Susan Wong
Journal of Autoimmunity 2010 Volume 35 Issue 4 Pages 390-397

Enhanced HIV-1 neutralization by a CD4-VH3-IgG1 fusion protein

R. Meyuhas; H. Noy; S. Fishman; A. Margalit; D. C. Montefiori; G. Gross
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2009 Volume 386 Issue 2 Pages 402-406

Developing a novel model system to target insulin reactive CD8 T cells

Scott, G. S., Fishman, S., Margalit, A., Siew L. K., Chapman, S., Wen, L., Gross, G. & Wong, F. S.
Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2008 Volume 1150, Pages 54?58

Targeting tumor-associated antigens to the MHC class I presentation pathway

G. Gross; A. Margalit
Endocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders - Drug Targets 2007 Volume 7 Issue 2 Pages 99-109

Induction of anti-tumor immunity by CTL epitopes genetically linked to membrane- anchored beta2 microglobulin

Margalit, A., Migalovich Sheikhet, H., Carmi, Y., Berko, D., Tzehoval, E., Eisenbach, L. & Gross, G.
J. Immunol. 2006 Volume 176 Pages 217-224

HIV-1 neutralization by chimeric CD4-CG10 polypeptides fused to human IgG1

R. Meyuhas; H. Noy; D. C. Montefiori; G. Denisova; J. M. Gershoni; G. Gross
Molecular Immunology 2005 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1099-1109

Membrane-anchored β2-microglobulin stabilizes a highly receptive state of MHC class I molecules

D. Berko; Y. Carmi; G. Cafri; S. Ben-Zaken; H. M. Sheikhet; E. Tzehoval; L. Eisenbach; A. Margalit; G. Gross
Journal of Immunology 2005 Volume 174 Issue 4 Pages 2116-2123

Development and large-scale use of recombinant VP2 vaccine for the prevention of infectious bursal disease of chickens

J. Pitcovski; B. Gutter; G. Gallili; M. Goldway; B. Perelman; G. Gross; S. Krispel; M. Barbakov; A. Michael
Vaccine 2003 Volume 21 Issue 32 Pages 4736-4743