Read about Yuri Lazebnik, Ph.D., in the September 2006 issue.
Cold Spring Harbor Lab
Long Island, NY
Yuri Lazebnik knows that the biggest breakthroughs in science often happen by surprise. Twice now, his career as a cancer biologist has taken a sharp turn thanks to these accidental “ah–ha!” moments.
The first time, Lazebnik discovered cells committing planned suicide through a process called apoptosis—something most researchers didn’t believe in at the time. Now an expert on cell death, he’s tracking what may be a cancer-causing culprit: the mysterious merging of abnormal cells, first observed by a high school student in his lab.