Two Hebrew University Researchers Awarded 2008 Wolf Prize in Medicine

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[img_assist|nid=356|title=Wolf Prize|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=75]Two Hebrew U. Researchers Awarded 2008 Wolf Prize in Medicine

January 07, 2008  - Two Hebrew University researchers, Prof. Howard Cedar and Prof. Aharon Razin, have been awarded the 2008 Wolf Prize in Medicine for their fundamental contributions to the control of gene expression and cancer research.

Minister of Education, Professor Yuli Tamir, Chairperson of the Wolf Foundation Council, announced that the $100,000 prize will be awarded to Professors Howard Cedar and Aharon Razin ''for their fundamental contributions to our understanding of the role of DNA methylation in the biological function of higher organisms, with widespread impact on studies of development, control of gene expression and cancer research.''

DNA methylation (chemical changes in the DNA molecule) is a very basic aspect of animal cell biology, involved in the regulation of a large number of physiological, developmental and pathological processes. The foundations of this field were laid, almost exclusively, through the work of Cedar and Razin.

Born in the US, in 1943, Howard Cedar received his Ph.D. from New York University, in 1970. From 1971 to 1973, he was Research Associate at the National Institute of Health, US. Prof. Cedar has been associated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 1973, first as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, and later as Associate Professor and Professor, at the Department of Cellular Biochemistry and Human Genetics, Hadassah Medical School, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. He is a Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Born in Israel, in 1935, Aharon Razin received his Ph.D. in 1967, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology in 1969/70. Since 1962, Prof. Razin has been affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1980 to 1984, he was Head of the Department of Cellular Biochemistry and since 1988, has been the Jacob Grunbaum Professor of Medical Sciences. Cedar and Razin have both received the Israel Prize, and are members of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Human Genome Organization (HUGO).

The Israel-based Wolf Foundation was established by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist, Dr. Ricardo Wolf. Five annual Wolf Prizes, of $100,000 in each area, have been awarded since 1978, to outstanding scientists and artists, ''for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples, irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex, or political view.'' To date, a total of 241 scientists and artists from 22 countries have been honored.

The prize will be presented by the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, at a special ceremony, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on Sunday, May 25, 2008.

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