Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Rubinstein was educated as a biochemist, earning his Ph.D. degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel in 1975. As a postdoctoral fellow and later as a visiting scientist at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (Nutley, New Jersey), he developed the RP-HPLC method for protein fractionation, which he utilized for the first purification and characterization of human leukocyte IFN in 1979. This work, which was done in collaboration with Dr. Sidney Pestka, then at the Roche Institute, culminated in the development of Roferon-A by Roche. Since 1980, Dr. Rubinstein has been a member of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 1983, he was appointed to the Maurice and Edna Weiss Professorial Chair of Cytokine Research. In addition, Dr. Rubinstein served as Chief Scientist of Interpharm Laboratories in Israel from 1987 to 1990. During that period he headed the team that developed recombinant IFN-β (REBIF) for clinical use.

At the Weizmann Institute, Dr. Rubinstein joined forces with Professor David Wallach’s team to purify and sequence the two soluble TNF receptors, one of which (TNFR2) is the active core of the anti-inflammatory drug Enbrel. Dr. Rubinstein and his long-time colleague Dr. Daniela Novick have discovered and isolated many soluble cytokine receptors, including sIL-6R, sIFNγR, sTNFR2 and sIFNAR2.Based on the protein sequence of the later, Dr. Batya Cohen of Rubinstein’s team cloned the IFN receptor IFNaR2. In collaboration with Dr. Charles Dinarello, Rubinstein, Dr. Daniela Novick, and Ph.D. student Soo-Hyun Kim discovered and cloned the IL-18-binding protein, a natural inhibitor of IL-18.Later, they showed its role in various inflammatory diseases. IL-18-binding protein is now undergoing extensive clinical development as a potential treatment for various autoimmune diseases.