February 23, 2015–The Rappaport Prize for Excellence in Medical Research will be awarded in two weeks to Professor Hermona Soreq of the Hebrew University and Dr. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Professor Soreq will receive her $60,000 prize for her research on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine’s role in both health and disease in the brain and other organs.

Professor Hermona Soreq is the Charlotte Slesinger Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences and is the first woman to have served as dean of the university’s Faculty of Science. In her more than 35 years of research, she has been able to combine the fields of genomics, population genetics, molecular biology, biomedicine and basic neuroscience to contribute fundamental insights to the field of neurobiology. She currently serves as Vice Dean for R&D at Hebrew University ‘s Faculty of Science. Prof. Soreq is a Member of the Board of Directors of Jerusalem University and serves as Director of Yissum Research Development Company Ltd and as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at BioCancell Ltd. (formerly, BioCancell Therapeutics, Inc.). Additionally, she is a Council Member at the International Society of Neurochemistry (ISN).

Numerous awards and honors mark Prof. Soreq’s achievements, including the Kay Prize for Innovative Research, Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa in chemistry from the University of Stockholm, the U.S. Army Science Award for Excellence, Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship from the University of California at Berkley and the Israeli Ministry of Health Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research. Prof. Soreq has published over 200 peer reviewed research papers in internationally acclaimed journals, book chapters and monographs. Prof. Soreq holds a PhD degree in biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute, an honorary PhD in Chemistry from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, an honorary professorship in the Maimonides University, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and completed her post-doctoral studies at Rockefeller University, in New York.

The prizes will be presented at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on March 15. The prize was established by the Rappaport family – Ruth and her late husband, Bruce – to promote visionary, groundbreaking and innovative research with therapeutic ramifications that can significantly promote human health.

“It is important to the family and to the Rappaport Trust to honor researchers who made groundbreaking breakthroughs that lead to the cure of many maladies,” said Ruth Rappaport this week. “As successors of my husband, Bruce Rappaport, we see in medical research the ability to connect dreams and reality, to make current problems solvable, thus improving the lives of millions.”