2013 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Life Sciences
In Field: Genetics
Study of inherited diseases and cancer
Was born in Israel in 1953.
He served as an officer in the IDF and was wounded in the Yom Kippur War.
In 1981 he received his MD from the University of Tel Aviv and in 1987 his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He specialized and is certified in three areas of medical specialization: pediatrics, hematology and pediatric hematology-oncology.
In 1990 he was promoted to Associate Professor and six years later to Full Professor at Tel Aviv University. He held the Shapiro Chair in Hematologic Malignancies and holds the Djerassi Chair in Oncology from Tel Aviv University. He served as head of the Department of Hematology at the Sackler School of Medicine and as Head of the Center for the Biology of Cancer at Tel Aviv University. He established and headed the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Sheba Medical Center; at the same time he founded the cancer genetics laboratory and established the Genomics Unit at Sheba.
In 2000 he founded the Marion and Eli Wiesel Pavilion for Palliative Medicine and Hospice for Children with Cancer.
In 2003 he founded the Sheba Cancer Research Center which he directs. In 2013 he initiated and established the Genomics Based Personalized Medicine Program at the Sheba Medical Center.
His major scientific contribution to genetics is the identification of the role of transposable genetic elements in the activation of cancer causing genes and the deciphering of global modifications in the human transcriptome by RNA editing and RNA methylation.
His findings were published in more than 400 articles in leading journals, and his research earned him numerous awards and research grants, including the Kennedy Prize from the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Oholo Prize for Research in Leukemia, the Elkeles Award for Distinguished Scientist in Medicine, the Chaim Sheba Extraordinary Physician Award, the Shani Prize for Vision in Medicine and the Beutler Research Program Award for Excellence in Genomic Medicine.
His research team was selected for two Research Centers of Excellence in his research areas of interest, namely; systems approach for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of complex diseases and the role of chromatin, RNA modifications and non-coding RNAs in regulation of gene expression in development and disease.