Meet our Faculty Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld

Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld

Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel-Hashomer, Affiliated to Tel-Aviv University, Israel
shoenfeld 3 130X130
  • Yehuda Shoenfeld, M.D., FRCP(Hon).
    Head, Zbludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases,
    Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel-Hashomer,
    Affiliated to Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

    Summary of work
    Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld was the head of the Department of Medicine since 1984 until March 2011. He has founded and today is heading the Center for Autoimmune Diseases, since 1984, at the largest hospital in Israel- the Sheba Medical Center, which is affiliated to the Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel-Aviv University, in which Dr. Shoenfeld is the Incumbent of the Laura Schwarz-Kipp Chair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases.

    His clinical and scientific works focus on autoimmune /rheumatic diseases, and he has published more than 1600 papers in journals such as New Eng J Med, Nature, Lancet, Proc Nat Acad Scie, Nature,  J Clin Invest, J Immunol, Blood, FASEB, J Exp Med, Circulation, Cancer and others. He has authored and edited 25 books, some of which became cornerstones in science and clinical practice, such as “The Mosaic of Autoimmunity”, “Infections and Autoimmunity”, the textbooks “Autoantibodies”, and  “Criteria for diagnosis of autoimmune diseases”, which were sold by the thousands. He is on the editorial board of 43 journals in the field of rheumatology, and autoimmunity and is the founder and the Editor of the “IMAJ” (Israel Medical Association Journal, 1997) the representative journal of science and medicine in the English language in Israel and also is the founder and Editor of the “Autoimmunity Reviews” (Elsevier, 2001, IF=6.6), and Co-Editor of “Journal of Autoimmunity” (IF=7.4). He has written more than three hundreds and fifty chapters in books. For the last 20 years he is the editor of “Harefuah” – the Israel journal in medicine (Hebrew).

    Dr. Shoenfeld is a member of the Israel Association of Allergy and Clinical Immuology and served as the president of the society in the years 2000-2002.

    Dr. Shoenfeld is an attractive lecturer and is invited all over the world to deliver plenary lectures (was several times the award of the best lecturer) and also has been a visiting professor to many institutions all over the globe.

    Scientific Contributions: Dr. Shoenfeld has started the field of Human monoclonal autoantibodies in the year 1980 generating the first human monoclonal anti-DNA autoantibodies (JCI 1982.NEJM ,1983). The availability of these human Mabs enabled the extension of the field to the analysis of the pathogenic idiotypes and specifically of the 16/6 idiotype of anti-DNA antibodies(J Exp Med 1983). More than 100 papers were reported on this interesting idiotype. One of his major contributions to the field of autoimmunity and rheumatology was the induction of experimental models of SLE upon idiotypic immunization (Proc Nat Acad Scie 1988), a field which was extended later on to anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), vasculitis, Goodpasture’s and thyroiditis. These models led to the theory of the Autoantibody Spread (The Immunologist 2000) to explain the existence of so many and diverse autoantibodies in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases, despite restriction to the disease. The work on idiotypes was summarized in the books: Idiotypes in Autoimmunity and Cancer and Infection (co-edited by him and   E. Gershwin), and in the textbook of Autoantibodies (with J. Peter).

    Dr. Shoenfeld’s group was the first to show the pathogenic role of the  antiphospholipid antibodies (Proc Nat Acad Scie 1991). Their model of experimental APS is in use worldwide and is employed to study pathogenic mechanisms as well as new therapeutic  modalities in this syndrome. Their studies  were  summarized  in  the  books  co-edited  by  him  on  the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (CRC press 1998, Elsevier 2002).

    Dr. Shoenfeld was the first to show the immunogenicity of  β2GPI and the ability to induce APS upon active immunization of mice with this cofactor. Employing the phage library display technique, 3 peptides residing on the B2GPI molecule were detected, showing their preventive capacity in this syndrome (Proc Nat Acad Scie 1999). Additional remarkable novel therapeutic suggestions in APS were reported by his group and entail interleukin-3 (JCI 1993), oral tolerance with β2GPI (J Immunol 1999) and others. Dr. Shoenfeld also expanded our knowledge on bone marrow transplantation for autoimmunity and its potential ability to transfer autoimmune conditions.

    Dr Shoenfeld became a pioneer and a leader in the new field of atherosclerosis as an autoimmune disease, confirming the ability of HSP65 and B2GPI to induce the disease in animal models and oxLDL to prevent it, and many of his contributions were recently reported in several issues of Circulation (1998- 2000).  He provided the ultimate evidence for autoimmunity in atherosclerosis by passive transfer of the disease with lymphocytes to naive animals (Circulation 2000,  Trends in Immunol 2001,  J Am Coll Card 2001 and 2002). Several of his reports relate to the pathogenic role of anti-endothelial antibodies (AECA) (Arthritis & Rheum 2001) and ANCA showing their potential to induce vasculitic lesions in animal models. His clinical experience has been devoted to the employment of  IVIG for the treatment of many autoimmune disease (Lupus 1999-2000). He reported on the ability of  IVIG  to prevent metastatic spread (Int Immunol 1999) and carries out the clinical studies in this area (Cancer 2002; Ann NY Acad Sci 2008).

    Additional fields in which Dr Shoenfeld had an imprints on include the aspects of vaccination induced autoimmune diseases (J Autoimmunity 2000;  Nature Rheumatology 2009) and the bi-directional relationship between cancer and autoimmunity (summarized in the book: Cancer and Autoimmunity (Elsevier, 2000), and Infection and Autoimmunity (Trends in Immunology, 2009).

    Theories which are referred  to  Dr. Shoenfeld  entail:  the  Mosaic of   Autoimmunity,  the  Kaleidoscope of Autoimmunity,  and  the Autoantibody Spread. His scientific works were cited in the literature more than 20,000 times (Citation Index).

    In recent years, four conditions: siliconosis, the Gulf war syndrome (GWS), the macrophagicmyofasciitis syndrome (MMF) and post-vaccination phenomena were linked with previous exposure to an adjuvant. Furthermore, these four diseases share a similar complex of signs and symptoms which further support a common denominator. Relating to the current knowledgewe Dr. Shoenfeld suggested to include these comparable conditions under a common syndrome entitled “ASIA”- “Autoimmune (Autoinflammatory) Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants”.

    Dr. Shoenfeld has described two new syndromes: the ASIA syndrome (Autoimmune Syndromes Induced by Adjuvants) and the Hyperferritinemic Syndrome.

    Dr. Shoenfeld has organized several remarkable international meetings including The 4th international congress of  SLE in Jerusalem(1995), The 2nd  international congress of Autoimmunity in Tel-Aviv (1999), The meeting on the  Immune  system  and  Atherosclerosis  Conference in Geneva (Switzerland) 2001,   The 3rd  International Congress of Autoimmunity, Geneva, February 2002,  The 10th International Congress on Anti-Phospholipid  Syndrome, Sicily, October 2002,  The 4th International Congress of Autoimmunity, Budapest, October 2004,  Singapore International Scientific Meeting on Arthritis & Rheumatology, November 2004,  Vaccination, Infection and Autoimmunity: Myth and Reality – VIAMR 2005, October 2005, Lausanne (Switzerland),  2nd Asian Autoimmunity meeting Hong-Kong, March 2006,  and 2nd Latino-American Congress of Autoimmunity, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 2006. The 6th International Congress on Autoimmunity 2008 in Porto, Portugal, attracted close to 2000 autoimmunologists from 57 countries, The Asian Congress on Autoimmunity Singapore 2009,  The 7th International Congress on Autoimmunity in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2010, and The 8th International Congress on Autoimmunity in Granada, Spain, in 2012. In these days he is organizing the 9th International Congress on Autoimmunity which will take place in Nice, France, on March 26-30,2014.

    Dr.  Shoenfeld received the Carol Nachman Award for Rheumatology 2004 for outstanding innovative research work in the field of clinical and experimental rheumatology.

    Dr. Shoenfeld received in Vienna, Austria, the EULAR prize 2005: “The infectious etiology of anti-phospholipid syndrome”. In UC Davis, USA Dr. Shoenfeld received the Nelson’s Prize for Humanity and Science for 2008. In 2009 he was honored as Doctoris Honoris Causa, from Debrecen University (Hungary.

    On March 2006 Dr. Shoenfeld has received a gold medal from the Slovak Society of Physicians for his contribution to Israel – Slovakia collaboration, in 2008 he became an honorary member of the Hungarian Association of Rheumatology. In UC Davis, USA, Dr. Shoenfeld received the Nelson’s Prize for Humanity and Science for 2008,

    and In 2009 he was honored as Doctoris Honoris Causa, from Debrecen University (Hungary), and from 2009 he is honorary member of the Slovenian National Academy of Sciences. In 2012 Dr. Shoenfeld was bestowed with Life Contribution Prize in Israel for Internal Medicine, by the Israeli Medical Association (IMA).

    Dr. Shoenfeld became “Master of the ACR”– received from the ACR- American Congress of Rheumatology, San-Diego, USA, October 2013.

    In 2008 Dr. Shoenfeld edited the Israeli Medical Encyclopedia, a 10 volumes edition, written by 1200 physicians.

    Dr.  Shoenfeld has educated a long list of students (>25) being heads of departments and institutes.