Joseph Schlessinger, Ph.D.

Dr. Joseph Schlessinger has been the William H. Prusoff Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine since 2001. His lab focuses on analyzing the mode of action of growth factor receptors and the intracellular signaling pathways that activated in response to growth factor stimulation. Receptor tyrosine kinases and cytoplasmic protein tyrosine kinases play a critical role in the control of many cellular processes including: cell proliferation, differentiation, m etabolism, as well as cell survival and cell migration. Various diseases are caused by dysfunctions in protein tyrosine kinases or in components of signaling pathways that are activated by these enzymes. Dr. Schlessinger’s group has used biochemical and genetic approaches as well as x-ray crystallography to determine the mechanism of activation of receptor tyrosine kinases and the mode of action of downstream signaling proteins. Dr. Schlessinger is also the co-founder of multiple biopharmaceutical companies including SUGEN (acquired by Pharmacia and Upjohn), Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), and Koltan Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celldex Therapeutics).