Francesca Levi-Schaffer is a Professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine. She holds the Isaac and Myrna Kaye Chair in Immunopharmacology.
Born and raised in Italy Francesca completed her PharmD degree at the University of Milano, her PhD degree in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and her post-doctorate at Harvard Medical School. She has published 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 96 reviews and editorials 25 book chapters and 7 other publications, including a book chapter (in Italian) on bioethics and two articles on bioethics. Three patents and two provisional patents are pending.
Francesca Levi-Schaffer is Chairperson of the National Committee of IUPHAR representing the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, was instrumental in the establishment of an Immunopharmacology Section in the IUPHAR and currently serves as its first Chairperson. She is a member of the Israeli Ministry of Health Committee for Human Experimentation of New Drugs; 1st Vice-President and member of the IUPHAR Executive Committee (2018-2022); President of European Mast Cell and Basophil Research Network (EMBRN) (2019-2023); member of Editorial Board of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2019-2024); honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) (2020); member of EU COST Action CA19105 LipidNET- Pan-European Network in Lipidomics and Epilipidomics (2020-2024).
She previously served as a member of the Committee for the Formulation of the Ethical Code for Scientists in the State of Israel; member of the Ethics Committee of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and member of the Ethics/Conflict of Interest Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
In 2019 Prof. Levi-Schaffer participated in an Erasmus short-term exchange program as a lecturer in a program on bioethics from the bench to the bedside at the University of Vilnius.
Prof. Levi-Schaffer’s expertise is in immunopharmacology of allergy focusing on mast cells and eosinophils, their activating and inhibitory receptors, and their cross-talk for a better prophylaxis/treatment of allergic diseases. Moreover, she studies the role of mast cells and eosinophils in hypoxia (allergy, COPD); mastocytosis and its treatment; the crosstalk between atopic dermatitis and asthma with the microbiome. Her group is also developing novel monoclonal antibodies and bispecific antibodies against activating and inhibiting receptors on mast cells and eosinophils for the treatment of allergy and of selected solid tumours.
On 27 July 2022, Prof Levi-Schaffer was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Physicians.