ELSC News

Prof. Baruch Minke was chosen for EMET award 2010 in the category of Life Sciences

January 18, 2011

The Emet Prize is awarded to Prof. Baruch Minke for his ground-breaking studies, which formed a new research discipline, for his basic research that solved issues related to serious diseases and their future cure and for adding an important layer to the acquisition of new scientific insights.

The EMET Prize is an annual prize given for excellence in academic and professional achievements that have far reaching influence and significant contribution to society. The Prizes are awarded to Israeli citizens, and in certain cases, to non-citizens that reside in Israel and consider Israel as their permanent home. EMET is awarded annually in the following categories: Exact Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities & Judaism, Art and Culture.

On last month, Prof. Minke awarded the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research by the Prince of Asturias Foundation.

Bauch recieve the prize from PM nethanyahy
Prof. Baruch Minke receive EMET award from Israeli prime minister Netanyahu (photo: Abir Sultan)

Prof. Baruch Minke was born in Israel in 1940. He completed all his studies at the Hebrew University –B.Sc. in biology, M.Sc. in physiology and Ph.D. in biophysics. Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 1973 he continued his studies in the United States and specialized in genetic dissection of signal transduction systems. Two years later, he brought this pioneering field at that time, back with him to Israel when joining the academic staff of the Hebrew University, first as a lecturer in the Department of Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine, later, as associate professor (1982) and from 1987, as full professor. He was also a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany, where – in a collaborative research – brought to a breakthrough in solving an old mystery: the UV sensitivity mechanism in fly vision. Following his research, he was invited as Visiting Professor to Purdue University.

For many years he studied the visual process of the Drosophila fly, combining biochemical, electrophysiological and genetic disciplines. At the Department of Medical Neurobiology in the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) of the Hebrew University, he has continued his long term research on the ionic channel, which he designated TRP and characterized its properties. TRP channels are a vital and common component in important sensory systems such as hearing, touch, taste, pain, heat and cold sensations and others. His studies in this field made it possible to decipher sensory mechanisms of living organisms, including humans. 

His studies awarded him with prizes, including a Fulbright Scholarship (1973), an award from the Batsheva de Rothschild Fund, a research fund for excellent researcher from the Wolf Foundation (1985) and the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research from Spain (2010).