Hermona Soreq


Professor of Molecular Neuroscience, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Hermona Soreq was born in Tel Aviv and was attracted to biological research as a high school student at the Hebrew University’s Science For Youth Program. She then studied at The Hebrew University (BSc in Biochemistry and Microbiology, 1967), Tel Aviv University (MSc in Biochemistry, 1969), The Weizmann Institute (PhD in Biochemistry with the late Uriel Z Littauer, 1976) and the Rockeffeler University (Fogarty fellow in Molecular Cell Biology with James E Darnell, 1979-1980), and her research at that time was focused on molecular biology and proved that the 3’ poly(A) tail of mRNA stabilizes these molecules, a concept that she initiated with an EMBO course taught by John Gurdon, and which extended to her experimental work on the 3’-end of neuronal mRNA molecules until these days. After several years at the Weizmann Institute’s then new Department of Neurobiology, Soreq was promoted to Associate Professor and moved to The Hebrew University where she developed a research program focused on the molecular aspects of acetylcholine signaling, initiated the Molecular Biology program at The Institute of Life Sciences and led a Research Center on neurodegenerative diseases (2000-2005), headed the Institute of Life Sciences (head, 2000-2005), and The Faculty of Science (Dean, 2005-2008), among other activities. Being intrigued by the yet incompletely understood roles of the 3’-end mRNAs in the human nervous system, Soreq shifted her interest to the microRNA and more recently to transfer RNA fragment regulators of neuronal gene expression in health and mental and neurodegenerative disease in men and women.