Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Michal Schwartz


2019 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Life Sciences
In Field: Biomedicine

Michal Schwartz

Jury Statement

“The EMET Prize is awarded to Prof. Michal Schwartz for her groundbreaking research on the pivotal role of the immune system for brain’s function and repair, and for her development of revolutionary treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, utilizing the immune system (immunotherapy) to treat terminal, neurodegenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

C.V.

Prof. Michal Schwartz of the Weizmann Institute is internationally acclaimed as a path-breaking scientist in the study of neuro-immunology, introducing the dialogue between the immune system and the brain.

In her pioneering studies, she has shown, against prevailing wisdom at the time, that the immune system supports the healthy brain’s function, and is vital for healing and protecting the brain in case of injury or disease. Prof. Schwartz’s research has not only changed the accepted scientific dogma, but laid the foundation worldwide for developing new research and treatment approaches in the field of brain diseases in general, and neurodegenerative conditions – including Alzheimer's disease and dementia – in particular.

Prof. Schwartz’s laboratory at the Weizmann Institute is an internationally renowned “school” for neuroimmunology research, and many of the students she has trained and guided over the years, half of them women, have themselves become leading researchers in various biomedical fields.

Schwartz was born in Israel to a father who was a Holocaust survivor and a native Israeli mother; she is a mother of four, grandmother of eight, and is married to Prof. Michael Eisenbach, also of the Weizmann Institute. Prof. Schwartz served as president of the International Society of Neuroimmunology (2016-2018). The impact of her numerous publications on the scientific community is reflected in her citation factor (105 according to Google Scholar), and the many prizes and awards she has won over the years for her scientific achievements.

In her book Neuroimmunity: A New Science that will Revolutionize How We Keep our Brains Healthy and Young (Yale, 2015), which has been translated into four languages, Prof. Schwartz brings to the broad public her scientific philosophy concerning the importance of keeping the immune system healthy, to ensure a healthy mind and soul “despite years of wear and tear.” As she states: “The heart, kidney, liver and other tissues are now transplantable … the brain and spinal cord will never be fully replaceable.”