Prof. Zelig Eshhar is an Immunologist recognized for his invention of Car-T. Zelig Eshhar was born in Rehovot, Israel. He graduated from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem with a MSc., in Biochemistry. In 1969, Eshhar began his doctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, under the tutelage of Prof. Michael Sela and Prof. David Givol. His PhD subject was anti-lymphocyte serum and antigenic components of thymocyte membrane.
Upon finishing his studies, Dr. Eshhar applied for a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, in the immunology department led by Prof. Baruch Benasraf. In 1975, he joined Prof. Cesar Milstein’s and Prof. George Keller’s lab in Basel to learn the method for creating monoclonal antibodies and to “import” it to Israel. In 1976, he joined the Department of Chemical Immunology at the Weizmann Institute. In 1982, he was awarded professorship and went for a sabbatical at the DNAX Institute for Molecular Biology, California. In the beginning of the 1990’s, he took another sabbatical with Prof. Steven Rosenberg at the NIH. There, he set the groundwork for the clinical application of the T-Bodies technology, that became the Car-T treatment. Prof. Eshhar was awarded many international prizes and multiple recognitions for his achievements in Car-T development.

Research Interests

Recently, most of Prof. Eshhar's work is being done in collaboration between Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) and the Weizmann Institute.
He is currently promoting research for clinical trials at Ichilov: a new approach for CAR-T cell therapy against Multiple Myeloma (MM) which is known as "Double Car". It addresses the major challenge of 'off-tumor on-target' toxicity in CAR therapy, namely, the risk of damage to healthy tissues, which express the target antigen recognized by the selected CAR. To prevent this toxicity, this strategy requires recognition of pairs of antigens that are co-expressed by the tumor, to induce T cell activation. Dual CAR T cell therapy enhances specificity of anti-tumor immunotherapy in a Multiple Myeloma model. Furthermore, Dual CAR approach also reduces tumor escape, increasing anti-tumor efficacy and mouse survival relative to single antigen-directed CARs. Eshhar's additional research is done on a quantitive model (mathematical model) aiming to maintain efficacy while reducing the amount of CAR-T infused. Other fields of interest are to develop CARs for solid tumors and in situ transduction of lymphocytes by injecting virus expressing Car-T. There is a big need for on the shelf allogenic VETO Car-T. This possibility is now being examined in the lab.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation

Secondary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology