Professor Karen Avraham elected Dean of Tel Aviv University’s medical faculty

Israeli-American geneticist is first woman appointed to the position

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Professor Karen Avraham was selected last week as the next Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University (TAU). She is the first woman appointed to the position.

Professor Avraham’s tenure begins on September 1, 2022. She previously served as Vice Dean for Pre-Clinical Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine.

“Medicine is undergoing a transformation, both in terms of research and education,” Professor Avraham said. “We will continue to be at the forefront of medical research, and I am very much looking forward to leading our Faculty to new breakthroughs.”

Professor Avraham is recognized as one of Israel’s top scientists for her research that centers on disease genomics with an emphasis on hearing disorders. To that end, her team explores the genes responsible for hereditary hearing loss and implements new gene therapies to reverse deafness. Recently she expanded her research to study rare genetic diseases, including developmental delay, epilepsy, and breathing disorders in children. She is a member of the Department of Human Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience.

For her scientific achievements, Professor Avraham has won numerous awards, including the Sir Bernard Katz Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, the Michael Bruno Memorial Prize from the Rothschild Foundation (Yad Hanadiv), the TEVA Prize for Groundbreaking Research in the Field of Rare Diseases, and the Teva Founders Prize on Breakthroughs. Her work was also featured among the top pioneering Israeli discoveries and developments that affected the world during a 2016 exhibit at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport.

Professor Avraham has advised 135 graduate, MD-PhD, and post-doctoral students in her lab and recruited 65 junior faculty to TAU’s Faculty of Medicine. She serves as director of the Healthy Longevity Research Center and is co-director of the Aufzien Family Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and of the Taube-Koret Global Collaboration in Neurodegenerative Diseases. She founded and directs the Biomed@TAU Research Hubs, whose mission is to bring together scientists and foster collaboration from across TAU and affiliated hospitals who share overlapping research interests.

Born in Canada, Professor Avraham moved to the U.S. at a young age before coming to Israel, where she earned her PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She conducted post-doctoral training at the United States’ National Cancer Institute in Maryland before joining TAU.



“We will continue to be at the forefront of medical research, and I am very much looking forward to leading our Faculty to new breakthroughs."