Cancer research:

Yuri Lazebnik, PhD

If you are a scientist, I can help you to improve your research by analyzing it systemically, resolving the problems you have encountered, and helping you to communicate your findings to professional and lay audiences. 

If you are a funder, I can help you to evaluate research programs and grant applications. I have reviewed for about 20 funding agencies and study sections, as well as for about 60 journals.


"My laboratory reaches out to Dr. Lazebnik on a regular basis for advice (at least once a year).  Not only is Yuri a brilliant scientist who made landmark contributions to the field of apoptosis and cell fusion, but he is also a brilliant reviewer of our research program.  Therefore Yuri routinely visits the NIH campus, and we hold one day retreats during which all of the members of my laboratory present their research, which always results in stimulating discussion, and, at the end of the day, better ways to advance our goals and fulfill the missions of the NCI.  This is possible because of Dr. Lazebnik’s unmatched knowledge of cancer biology.      His review of my site visit proposal was a key contribution to the success.  Anyone who will work with Dr. Lazebnik will benefit."

Thomas Ried, M.D.
 Chief, Cancer Genomics
National Cancer Institute
United States

"Yuri is one of those rare individuals whose thinking is unencumbered by prior assumptions. This freedom of thought makes him uniquely capable of solving problems and seeing patterns missed by others. A scientist in the true sense of the word, and a great teacher."

Eli Hatchwell, MD, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor
Stony Brook University
United States

"Dr. Lazebnik is not only a gifted experimentalist, but also a visionary and master communicator. He explains fundamental research questions in a lively, illuminating, and iconoclastic style that brings verve to such topics as the inner workings of cell death pathways, the mechanisms by which cancer cells form and spread throughout the body, and the very definition of cancer. He would be an ideal collaborator in crafting a persuasive grant application, manuscript, or presentation."

David Berman, MD, PhD
Queen's Cancer Research Institute

"Yuri is an exceptional scientist and an exceptional person. Period.  He is one of the smartest and most courageous scientists I know and is able to see things that many scientists may overlook allowing him great insight into complex problems. His wit is matched equally by his tenacity for the truth and I am proud to call him a friend, a mentor, and a colleague.  It is without reserve that I would recommend Yuri for nearly anything he sets his aims at.”

Josh Nicholson, PhD
Founder and CEO
The Winnower
United States

"Yuri is really creative and a true master in critical thinking. He has this unique way of getting to the fundamentals in any complex problem or context - he is the kind of person you will need advice from when you are looking for fresh ideas.”

Mads A Jensen, PhD
Principal Scientist
Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen A/S

"I had the fortune to be accepted by Yuri Lazebnik in his lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1997 when I was a fellow in Oncology-Hematology at the SUNY Stony Brook Program of Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola........he is a mentor who is himself all the time.....he is with his students when they are at their lowest ebb and will work with them with his own hands for hours in the cold room side by side. He is energy personified. He taught me to "keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you"........what I also learnt is that nature never lies.......honesty is the very cornerstone of Yuri's be honest to ourselves is not an easy task.....all of us at some point lie to ourselves just maintain our ego and to others to maintain our position in society.....not Yuri........he seeks and speaks the truth even if it destroys him....."and lose, and start again at your beginnings....and fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run."

Jyoti Raychaudhuri, MD
Senior Consultant in Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals
New Dehli

"I am overseeing research projects dealing with some longstanding unresolved questions in cancer biology, aging and genetics, such as genome stability, early disease detection and prevention, innovative therapies and diagnostic technology development.  As such, we have had numerous intense and stimulating discussions with Dr. Lazebnik, who for one has himself made a substantial number of key contributions to cell biology, including the fields of cell differentiation, death and survival and particularly cell fusion, but who also has an extremely broad and detailed knowledge of the intricacies, history, state of the art and unanswered problems in basic biology.   More importantly, though, he is a meticulous as well as creative reviewer, and a brilliant critical thinker. I cannot remember debating a report or proposal to which he did not add a vital new idea, or an entirely new way of looking at a challenge. Anyone working with Dr. Lazebnik will find it to be enriching - and is nearly assured to walk away with a new problem solving idea or a crucial different way of approaching the essential questions of their research project."

Reinhard Ebner, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
CytoTest, Inc. 
United States


Over the years, my research has focused on many aspects of cancer biology, including carcinogenesis, apoptosis, cancer metabolism, genomic instability and aneuploidy, cancer body-to-body transmission, polyploidy, oncogenic viruses, cell-cell interactions, virus-cell, and cell-cell fusion. My work has been published in 59 articles, cited about 23K times and presented in 187 invited lectures and seminars. For more details, please see my CV and articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Findings, The Scientist, and OncLive

What is Lerna?

Lerna is the place where Hercules killed the vicious Hydra and its ally the Crab (cancer in Latin). My son views this battle as an allegory for defeating cancer, a battle that was so difficult that even Hercules needed an assistant.