Dafna Bar-Sagi

New York University

Primary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2020)


Dafna Bar-Sagi is a cancer biologist recognized for her work on pathophysiological processes that drive tumor initiation and progression. She is known particularly for her studies on Ras oncogene that have delineated its role in enhancing tumor cell fitness via immune evasion and metabolic adaptation.  Bar-Sagi is a native of Israel. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and her PhD from SUNY at Stony Brook. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the cell biology group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Prior to joining NYU School of Medicine Medical Center in 2006 as chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Bar-Sagi headed the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at SUNY at Stony Brook.  In 2011, Bar-Sagi had assumed the role of Senior Vice President and Vice Dean for Science, Chief Scientific Officer of the NYU Langone health system.  She is an AACR Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors. 

Research Interests

The major goal of the research carried out in Dafna Bar-Sagi’s laboratory is to elucidate the function and regulation of Ras signaling and to understand the biological output of normal and oncogenic Ras proteins. She and her team are interested in defining the contribution of specific molecular perturbations in this signaling axis to cancer initiation and progression with the ultimate goal of utilizing this information for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.  Ongoing work in her laboratory includes the development of cell- and animal-based models to study the role of inflammation and immunity in Ras-driven tumorigenesis, the characterization of feedback mechanisms that control the functional output of the Ras signaling axis, the identification of metabolic adaptation processes that enhance tumor fitness, and the use of chemical and nano biology approaches to identify new modalities for therapeutic targeting.

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