Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Marshall Devor

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2012 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Life Sciences
In Field: Physiology

Pain research

Prof. Marshall Devor

Jury Statement

“For his pioneering discoveries in pain research; for deciphering the mechanisms of pain, for his great contribution to international research and for developing innovative approaches to the treatment of pain.”


Was born in Toronto, Canada in 1949.

He completed his first and second degrees in psychology and biology at Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Science at MIT. After completing his postdoctoral training at UCL with Professor Patrick D. Wall, a leading expert on pain, he immigrated to Israel and served in the air force. After completing his military service in 1977 he joined the research staff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in 1988 – only 11 years after commencing on his research career - he was promoted to full professorship, when he was only 39 years old. He held a variety of positions at the Hebrew University, among them three terms as Head of the Department of Cell and Animal Biology at the Institute of Life Sciences, Head of the Electron Microscopy Unit at the Institute, Academic Manager of Beit Belgia and of the University Center for Research on Pain.

In his works he examined the physiological basis of pain in general and the mechanisms of chronic neuropathic pain in particular. In recent years he has been studying the physiological principles that allow for pain-free surgery. His studies rely on the use of various methods including neurophysiology, computerized simulation, neuroanatomy (on a microscopic level of light and electrons), genetics and animal behavior.

He has published 300 articles on his findings; many of them are in important books in the fields of neurology and neurophysiology. Over the years he has been a visiting researcher at different universities around the world such as the Department of Anatomy at UCSF, the Section of Neurobiology at UCSD as well as the Department of Biology at McGill University, Canada.

In recent years he has also been doing research at the Department of Neurology at BIDMC in Boston and at Harvard University. He serves as a manager at the European Pain School (EPS), and in the past filled senior positions in the Israel Pain Association, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and the European Federation of ISAP Chapters (EFIC). His works and studies won him many awards and prizes, among them the Gunn-Loke Award from the University of Washington and honorary fellowships in various pain research organizations worldwide.