Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Aharon Razin

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2009 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Life Sciences
In Field: Cancer research

Cancer Research

Prof. Aharon Razin

Jury Statement

“Prof. Aharon Razin is awarded the EMET Prize for his pioneering scientific contribution to understanding the significance of epigenetics in gene expression in generaland specifically the significance of extra-genetic epigenetic processes that regulate gene expressions in normal cells and change in the process of cancer development.”


Professor Aharon Razin Prof. Aharon Razin was born in Tel-Aviv in 1935, and grew up in Petah-Tikva.

He started his academic studies at the Hebrew University, where he studied physics and mathematics. He completed his M.A. and PhD in biochemistry, and upon completing his studies he specialized at the California Institute of Technology. He returned to Israel in 1971, serving as senior lecturer, associate professor and eventually full professor of cellular biochemistry and human genetics at the Faculty of Medicine.

In 1980 he was appointed head of the Department of Cellular Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine and Head of the Institute of Biochemistry in the Faculty. From 1988 onwards he holds the Dr. Jacob Greenbaum Chair of Medical Sciences at the Hebrew University.

Over the years he has been visiting professor at various research institutes worldwide. Alongside his research work he has served, among other things, as member of the board of the Authority for Research and Development at the Hebrew University, chairman of the Planning and Development Committee of the Faculty of Medicine and member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences advisory committee on the Human Genome.

His earlier studies examined the metabolism of nucleic acids. He studied the biochemical faults in patients suffering from gout and favism. He later studied the specific mutation with the aid of a chemically synthesized DNA-sequence, the importance of DNA methylation in gene activity, the process of methylation pattern production of single genes in various stages in the development of the fetus and more.

His work won him prizes and honors, among them the Israel Prize in Biology (2004) and the Wolf Prize, together with Professor Haim Cedar (2008). He is a member of the Human Molecular Genetics Organization, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the Israel National Academy of Sciences.