yosef shilo 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
The Israel Prize for 2011 in life sciences research will be awarded on
Independence Day to Prof. Yosef Shilo, the Education Ministry announced on
Minister Gideon Sa’ar called the winner to inform him and wish
Shilo has been a pathfinding researcher in the field of human
genetics and discovered a gene that protects inherited material, the judges’
jury said. This led to the understanding for the first time of inherited
cellular material and adds important information on cancer and biology, making
possible the use of new approaches to detecting genetic defects in
The jury in the field of life sciences was chaired by Prof. Meir
Wilchek and included Prof. Varda Shoshan-Barmatz, Prof. Shlomo
Gross and Prof. Chaim (Howard) Cedar.
Shilo, born in 1949, studied at the
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and completed his bachelor’s
degree with honors. He went to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to study human
genetics for his master’s degree and then completed his doctorate. He went for
postgraduate work at the University of Chicago and in the Netherlands, and then
continued his work in human genetics at Harvard University.
Shilo was accepted to the faculty at Tel Aviv University Sackler Medical
School’s human genetics department and also conducted research at the University
of Michigan in the lab of Prof. Francis Collins, who investigated the human
genome. Under Collins, Shilo did vital work in positional cloning and the
identification of the gene mutation responsible for the incurable disease ataxia
telangiectasia. Four years after joining the TAU faculty, he became a full
professor while charactering the defective protein ATM responsible for the
Before winning the Israel Prize, Shilo received no fewer than 37
awards for his work, including the E.M.E.T. Prize for cancer research; he is
also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the
Shilo has established a new generation of researchers,
including 40 who did their master’s degrees under him and 30 who did their
doctorates, along with 16 who completed their post-doctoral work.