Press Release

Dr. Hakim Djaballah is the new Chief Executive Officer of Institut Pasteur Korea


Dr. Hakim Djaballah is the new Chief Executive Officer of Institut Pasteur Korea (IP-K), a translational research institute located near Seoul. The mission of IP-K is to improve the speed and reliability of drug discovery through cellular models, high content screening, and medicinal chemistry. IP-K was inaugurated in April 2004 as a collaboration between the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Seoul with support from the Korean government through the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (former Ministry of Science and Technology). IP-K is an independent foundation that is funded by the Ministry and the Gyeonggi Provincial Government. IP-K joined the Institut Pasteur International Network in November 2004 as a private foundation recognized as working toward the public good through biomedical research- in May 2014.

For nearly 12 years, Dr. Djaballah was affiliated with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, USA. MSKCC is a cancer treatment and research institution founded in 1884. MSKCC has long been a leader in cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy and the world’s oldest and largest private institution devoted to cancer prevention, treatment, research, and education. He was recruited to the center in 2003 as the director of the newly created high throughput screening laboratory to support the institution’s commitment to growth in drug discovery and development under the experimental therapeutics center. He established and built a state of the art discovery platform involved in assay development for chemical screening of large libraries with impact on chemical biology and chemogenomics towards precision medicine. He expanded the platform to include functional genomics through the use of the recently industrialized RNA interference technology for arrayed screening; to support biological validation of genes identified through the cancer genome sequencing initiative and a better understanding of drug resistance in cancer cells. Under his leadership, the lab developed, validated and screened several targets in oncology, virology and infectious diseases; resulting in several hits progressing through development with MSK-777, a novel CDC7 kinase inhibitor, as the most advanced compound in pre-IND stages for the treatment of AML and other oncology indications. His work with Dr. David Abramson, Chief Ophthalmic Oncology Service, led to the re-purposing of digoxin for the treatment of retinoblastoma. Dr. Djaballah received his bachelor''s degree in biochemistry with biotechnology with honors from the University of Birmingham (England) and went on to earn his doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Leicester (England) in 1992; with a research project on the enzymatic characterization and inhibition of the proteolytic activities of the proteasome.

Postied on international Chemical Biology Society