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Top Innovative Rutgers Researcher Speaks at Chabad House

by Rabbi Baruch Goodman

Scott Kachlany, Ph.D., a Rutgers School of Dental Medicine researcher who recently received a $4.4 million commitment in venture capital to bring a potential therapy for cancer and autoimmune diseases closer to human clinical trials, addressed a packed crowd at Chabad House the second week of the new semester.
Rabbi Baruch Goodman, Campus Director of Chabad House, noticed Dr. Kachlany’s work at Rutgers - Newark, and invited him to share his latest research successes, as well as his Jewish upbringing and pride in being Jewish with the students of Chabad at Rutgers – New Brunswick. “The Lubavitcher Rebbe has always encouraged me to keep up to date with current scientific research and advances, and learning of Dr. Kachlany’s inspiring work and knowledge, led to the talk over lunch, and then to an invitation and acceptance to speak to our students.”

Dr. Kachlany gave a fascinating, easy to understand talk about his exciting findings, and spoke about the research company he founded, Actinobac Biomed Inc., slated for funding from a California-based venture company, which will pay for the final stages of preclinical development before his therapeutic technology, called Leukothera, is tested on humans.

Leukothera is based on Kachlany’s discovery that an oral bacterium, which causes periodontal disease, can produce a protein that can be used to kill leukemia cells in animals. Leukothera is also a potential therapy for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and HIV infection.
After his presentation at Chabad’s weekly Jerusalem JCafe, students were invited to ask questions about his life and research, which revealed just how many students were knowledgeable in the sciences and interested in his work. One question centered on whether this technology will be safe to use on humans. Dr. Kachlany responsed that “toxicity tests on animals so far indicate that Leukothera is very well tolerated.  Even at very high doses of the drug, there are no side effects.” Dr. Kachlany plans to use the $4.4 million grant to seek matching NIH funding that will enable Leukothera to be tested on humans with leukemia and lymphoma within the next three years.
According to Dr. David Kimball, Rutgers’ Vice President of Research Commercialization, Dr. Kachlany’s findings will hopefully “have major implications for the treatment of blood cancer patients.  It also strengthens our relationship with local and national venture capital groups in our mutual effort to further support university innovation that benefits society.” Rabbi Goodman added that the Torah commands doctors and scientists to work hard to discover the powerful healing potentials hidden in the world, and to bring this healing to those in need. We look forward to the day, promised by the ultimate Healer, when diseases of all kinds will be eradicated with the coming of Moshiach. Until then, our job is to do all we can to live a healthy life, beginning with eating, and encouraging others to eat, a healthy diet, and to support top notch research to uncover the cures G-d implanted in the world around us.”



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