An Israel Prize in His Genes Monday, March 7, 2011
TAU's Prof. Yosef Shiloh wins Israel's top award
Prof. Yosef Shiloh of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine will receive the 2011 Israel Prize, Israel's most distinguished national honor, at a state ceremony in Jerusalem this May. The prize is awarded by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Prof. Shiloh's award brings the university's total to 70 Israel Prizes since the 1953 inception of the award.
Prof. Shiloh will receive the prize in the presence of Israeli President Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a host of other dignitaries. Award recipients, who must be Israeli citizens, can be individuals or groups that have demonstrated excellence or broken ground in a certain field. The Israel Award is given each year on the eve of the Israeli Day of Independence.
Earlier this year Prof. Shiloh was the first Israeli to receive the distinguished Clowes Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, the world's largest organization for such research.
A career on the cutting edge of science
Prof. Shiloh, a genetics professor, is being recognized for his breakthrough research in locating the specific gene that can protect inherited cellular material. His research provided the basis for a new understanding of the way this material impacts cancer and cell biology, leading other researchers to identify genetic defects in human beings.
Prof. Yosef Shiloh was born in 1949. After studying at the Technion and Hebrew University, he did postgraduate work at the University of Chicago and Harvard University.
He became a Tel Aviv University faculty member at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine's human genetics department in 1985, continuing his work on human genome research with Prof. Francis Collins at the University of Michigan. At Collins' lab, Prof. Shiloh discovered how to identify the gene mutation for the incurable genetic disease ataxia telangiectasia. At Tel Aviv University he further developed this work on the defective protein that causes the disease.