Dr. Candace Johnson addresses crowd at King David Hotel in Jerusalem last week. Photo credit: Office of the Governor

On Solidarity Trip to Israel, Governor Cuomo Announces Establishment of Joint Program Uniting U.S. and Israeli Cancer Experts in Effort to Research and Develop New Cancer Therapies and Precision Diagnostic Tools

  • Trip to Israel opened opportunities for collaboration
  • Roswell Park partnering with Maccabi Healthcare Services, University of Haifa
  • Expertise, resources to drive science to control and prevent cancer

ALBANY, N.Y. — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday that Buffalo-based Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has forged agreements with both Maccabi Healthcare Services (Tel Aviv, Israel) and the Tauber Bioinformatic Center at the University of Haifa (Haifa, Israel) with the intention to establish joint programs for discovery, development and clinical implementation of innovative anti-cancer drugs and cancer diagnostic methods. Governor Cuomo made the announcement during a solidarity trip to Israel.

The collaboration with Maccabi Healthcare, one of the largest health maintenance organizations (HMO) in the world, serving more than 2 million patients, will center around bringing emerging therapies in development at Roswell Park to patients at Maccabi through clinical research studies. Initial studies are expected to incorporate immunotherapies, targeted therapies and treatment vaccines for diseases including leukemia and lung, ovarian and brain cancers as well as strategies for improving radiation therapy and addressing age-associated immunological disorders.

Roswell Park’s work with the Tauber Center at Haifa University will expand an existing research relationship between two centers that have been pioneers in the area of science focused on “intrinsic viruses” within human DNA. These efforts, which will also incorporate contributions from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY, USA), are aimed at developing next-generation diagnostic, prognostic and prevention tools through advanced bioinformatics.

“I’d like to thank Governor Cuomo for inviting Roswell Park to participate in trips like this. Each time we’ve walked away with relationships and partnerships patients across the world benefit from,” said Roswell Park President and CEO Candace S. Johnson, PhD. “In Maccabi Healthcare and Haifa University’s Tauber Center, we found teams that are just as passionate as we are about strategically applying our expertise and resources to make a difference for cancer patients and drive the science that will help us to not only control but prevent cancer.”

“New York State’s leadership in breakthrough medical research is emblemized by Buffalo’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, now in a new partnership with Israeli scientists that will take promising research to the next level and create new medicines to prolong and save lives,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.

Maccabi Healthcare Services, one of the largest non-profit health funds in the world, provides comprehensive medical coverage to 2 million members. Maccabi has long been recognized, both in Israel and abroad, as a unique and innovative health care system that includes all services, leading the way in many areas including cutting edge medical technology, comprehensive and integrated computerized information systems, cost–effective management, and sophisticated monitoring and evaluation tools.

The Tauber Bioinformatics Research Center was established at the University of Haifa based on a donation by the Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation. The Center is under the auspices of the Research Authority at the University of Haifa. Bioinformatics of high-throughput “omics” data, consisting of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, is a new revolutionary instrument of research and development in biology, medicine and agriculture. It deals with extremely large biological data sets and so requires advanced specialized algorithms optimized for working with huge databases of heterogeneous types of data.

Media Contact

Rebecca Vogt, Media Relations Specialist
716-845-4919; rebecca.vogt@roswellpark.org