2007 David Shoham Prizes
David Shoham Prizes
25 June, 2007
The David Shoham Prize award ceremony took place on June 13th, at the Rappaport Institute. This prize commemorates a central figure in the development of the Institute, Mr. David Shoham z"l. David Shoham saw in the pursuit of scientific excellence a major asset of our country. The six recipients of the 2007 David Shoham z"l award are a true reflection of this vision.
Ronen Ben Saadon investigates in the laboratory of Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, the mechanisms involved in ubiquitin-proteasome–mediated protein degradation in regulation of gene silencing by chromatin remodeling. Given the "ubiquitous" importance of this mechanism, his work is of importance for many fields in biomedicine.
Nirit Egoz-Matia conducts her research program under the supervision of Prof. Adi Salzberg, trying to understand the developmental roles of the Delilah protein. Nirit uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a genetic model organism in her studies. She has recently discovered that the Delilah protein is involved in regulating cell adhesion and vein formation, suggesting an hitherto unrecognized role for this protein.
Aviad Keren, and his mentor, Prof. Eyal Bengal, are investigating the formation of muscle tissues using a frog model. They recently delineated a signaling pathway regulating the expression of the muscle-specific transcription factor Myf5. This developmental pathway involves p38 MAPK, a central regulator of numerous intracellular physiological processes.
Zohar Keren, working in the laboratory of Prof. Doron Melamed, has developed a novel approach aimed at re-stimulating B cell generation in aged mice. Given the prominent role played by B cell depletion in age-related immunodepression, this study holds great promise for potential future clinical applications.
Flonia Levy-Adam, a student in the laboratory of Prof. Israel Vlodavsky, investigates the processing and activation of heparanase, an important player in the pathogenesis of cancer. She discovered a new mechanism by which heparanase activates signal transduction that facilitates the adhesion and migration of cells, information that is being translated into the development of heparanase-inhibiting compounds.
Last but not least, Shlomo Tsuriel, works in the laboratory of Prof. Noam Ziv, on the long-term maintenance of synapses in the CNS, a process of critical importance to the understanding of the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases.
The Rappaport Institute congratulates the winners and their mentors for their outstanding achievements !