The Israel Prize for agricultural research and environmental science is being awarded to Prof. Dani Zamir, the Education Ministry announced Sunday. Zamir is professor emeritus in genetics at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at Hebrew University.
Zamir’s fields of research deal with improving plants and developing innovative tools for genetic cultivation. For example, he developed a group of cultured tomatoes that contain a DNA string from species of wild tomatoes that make them resistant to dryness, salt and various diseases.
Twenty years ago he founded the company AB Seeds, which together with the university’s Yissum technology transfer company developed one of the leading species of tomatoes grown in California. Ten years ago, he and his student, Yaniv Semel, set up a company that applies computational methods to genetic cultivation. Zamir has won numerous research grants, including a particularly prestigious grant from the European Research Council