Shoshana Levy – Stanford oncology professor and an active member of the Stanford Cancer Institute and of Bio-X.
After being diagnosed with metastatic cancer, Levy died on 16 November 2022 doing her last lab meeting on Zoom a few days before her demise.
She located a new area of molecules known as tetraspanins, forming a new subject area of cancer studies. As an active researcher, collaborator and mentor; she served Stanford medicine for almost three decades.
“Shoshana was a skilled researcher, an enticing and benevolent collaborator and mentor of youthful scientists,” stated Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the college of medicine. “Her discovery of tetraspanins spawned a new subject of cancer studies. Her sudden loss is felt deeply at Stanford medication and across the world.”
Born in Israel in 1939 and raised in Tel Aviv, Levy was an activist Israeli youth motion Hashomer Hatzair and became a keen beginner botanist with a quest to classify the country’s indigenous plants. After serving in the Israeli Defence force from 1957 to 1959, Levy earned her bachelor’s in biology from Tel Aviv college. During a master’s in biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, she met her future husband professor of oncology Ronald Levy, Ph.D., the Ronald K., and Helen K. Summy Professor and then earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Tufts university.
Levy has 3 daughters named – Tali Levy, Naomi Levy, and Karen Levy, and six grandchildren. In her reminiscence to Society, her family dedicates donations to the safety of Nature in Israel or to the Association for Women in Science.
In 1972 Levy joined Stanford as a research fellow after attaining the level of a senior research associate (from 1975 to 1979), when she left for a role at SRI global in Menlo Park. In 1984, She returned to Stanford as a senior research scientist; then in 1994, she was appointed to the oncology division as a Medicine oncology professor, which remained her designation until her demise. She was an accomplice editor for the Journal of Immunology from 1995 to 2000.
Levy, popular amongst her friends and colleagues as Shosh was also active on the Stanford Cancer Institute’s scientific review committee, which assesses clinical research protocols for scientific merit prior to approval.
In 1990, Levy identified a new field of proteins called tetraspanins which span the cell membrane and affect how cells move and divide, send and receive alerts to interact with different cells. Since their discovery, they’ve been implicated in cancer metastasis and can be a target for most cancer healing procedures. In 2000, Levy conducted a frequent international scientific assembly on tetraspanins, to present her latest research on their role in cancer metastasis at that meeting in Prague in September, simply prior to her prognosis.
Levy, a nature lover, enjoyed the opera and the symphony, and traveling.
Levy being a strong supporter of women in science contributed her services as the chair of the Katharine McCormick superior Postdoctoral Scholarship to support women in the academic medication committee and also mentored for the Palo Alto chapter of the association for women in science. Additionally served as an advisor for novices and an interviewer for the medical Admission method at Stanford University.
“Shoshana was an engaged colleague, generous collaborator, and excellent mentor with a kind heart and amazing smile,” said Heather Wakelee, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the division of oncology, “She will be significantly missed.”