In basic research, Professor Barenholz’s laboratory focuses on biochemistry and biophysics of lipids and membranes ― on the relationships between membrane lipid composition, structure (e.g., rafts), and function; on lipid mediated signal transduction; and on apoptosis. One of the main biological topics studied is the relevance of the above to aging processes.
In applied research, Professor Barenholz’s main interests are in amphiphile-based drug carriers, especially liposomes: from basic aspects of design of the drug carriers through animal studies and clinical trials, and finally, FDA-approved drugs. This is best exemplified by the development of DOXIL (a doxorubicin remote-loaded sterically-stabilized ~100 nm liposome for treatment of cancer). DOXIL was approved for human use in the USA in 1996 and in Europe in 1997. It is extensively used to treat ovarian cancer and breast cancer, and currently is in the process of being approved for other types cancer.