Prof. Hermona Soreq

Neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases

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. The first woman to have served as dean of the university's Faculty of Science.

 

EDUCATION

1979 Post-doctoral Fogarty Fellow, Molecular Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, USA
1976 PhD, Biochemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
1970 MSc, Biochemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
1967 BSc, Biochemistry & Microbiology The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

 

AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS

2017
ILANIT-Katzir Prize for 2017 for exceptional achievements in the Life Sciences

2016
PsychoNeuroInflammation Society (PNIRS) award

2014
Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin FEBS National Lecturer, Zadar, Croatia

2013
Advanced ERC Research Award National Center of Excellence (I-Core) on Trauma, member of leadership team

2009
The Lise Meitner Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award, Germany
Miller Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley

2008
Kay Prize for Innovative research, The Hebrew University

2007
Honorary Doctorate of the Medical Faculty, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nűremberg
Honorary Doctorate in Neuroscience, Beer-Sheva University of the Negev

2006
Teva’s Founders Award in Molecular Medicine

2005
Landau Prize for Biomedical Research

2000
Research Prize by the Israeli Minister of Health

1996
Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa in Chemistry, University of Stockholm, Sweden.

1995
Visiting Professor, College de France, Paris.

 

PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS

2014-2017
Executive Committee, Committee for Academic Policy

2011-2014
Member, Board of Directors, The Hebrew University, Israel

2010-present
Founding Member, Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University, Israel

2005-2008
Elected Dean, Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences,The Hebrew University, Israel

2000-2005
Head, The Eric Roland Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, The Hebrew University, Israel

1995-1999
Head, the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University, Israel

1992-1995
Head, Dept. of Biological Chemistry, The Hebrew University, Israel

1989-On
Professor of Molecular Biology, Department of Biological Chemistry, The Hebrew University, Israel

 

INTERNATIONAL PLENARY LECTURES (Past 3 years)

2015 Forthcoming

IBRO 9th World Conference, Brazil (July)
RNA metabolism impairments in Alzheimer's disease: from exon inclusion to mis-regulated non-coding RNA

ESN Conference, Estonia (June)
microRNA-target interactions in Neurodegenerative diseases

Leopoldina Conference, Germany (May)
microRNA-target interactions in Neurodegenerative diseases

17th International Neuroscience Winter Conference, Austria (April)
Fine tuning of cholinergic signalling by microRNAs

12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s DiseasesFrance (March) (AD/PD)
Long non-coding RNAs in neurodegenerative brain and patients' blood cells: from structure tofunction

 

2014

Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal (November)
Molecular regulators of cholinergic signalling

American Neurological Association Meeting, USA (October)
Micro-RNA in Neurological Diseases

Congress of the Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Croatia           (September)
Multi-leveled RNA metabolism errors in Alzheimer’s disease, FEBs Plenary lecture

The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, USA (May)
The promise and challenges of neuronal microRNAs in stress and disease

Rappaport Faculty of Medicne, The Israel Institue of Technology, Israel (April)
The promise and challenges of neuronal microRNAs in stress and disease

Würzburg Germany Spring School (April)
From Mice to men: Fine tuning of cholinergic signaling by microRNAs

Geneva/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy (April)
Deregulated microRNA-132-3p in Alzheimer’s disease

Winter conference on brain research: France (March)
Multi-leveled RNA metabolism errors in Alzheimer’s disease

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases DZNE, Germany (March)
Opening Plenary Lecture From Mice to men: Fine tuning of cholinergic signaling by microRNAs

 

2013

FENS Featured Regional Meeting, Czech Republic (September)
MicroRNA-mediated regulation of the cholinergic control of neuroinflammation

New York State Institute for Basic Research, NY, USA, (June)
Multi-leveled RNA metabolism errors in Alzheimer’s disease

First retreat of the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence, Germany (May)
MicroRNAs in the interface between anxiety and inflammation

XIV International Symposium on Cholinergic Mechanisms, China (May)
Plenary lecture  CholinomiRs: MicroRNA regulators of cholinergic signalingin the neuro-immune interface

International Society for Neurochemistry-American Society for Neurochemistry, 24th Biennial Joint Meeting, Mexico (April)
MicroRNA-mediated regulation of the cholinergic control of neuroinflammation

Goettingen University, Germany (April)
MicroRNAs in the interface between inflammation and anxiety

11th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, Italy (March)
Increased Mortality and Microrna Alterations in Appswe/Ps1/Myd88-/- Alzheimer Mice

Erlangen University Medical School, Germany (January)
MicroRNAs in the interface between inflammation and neurodegeneration


INTERNATIONAL SOCIETIES AND COMMITTEES

2014
FEBS International Scientific Committee for the 2016 FEBS Conference
European Research Council (ERC) Panel Member in Neurosciences and Neural Disorders for the Consolidator Grant 2014
Chair, US-Israel Binational Science Foundation’s Transformative Science Program
German Research Foundation (DFG) Grant Review Panel member in Emerging roles of non-coding RNAs
Austrian K-Project Panel member, Competence Centers of Excellence Grant (COMET)

2013-2014
Israel Science Foundation (ISF) Committee

2013
Chair, International Advisory Board for the International Symposia on Cholinergic Mechanisms
Elected International member of German Research Foundation; Immunosensation Center of Excellence, Bonn

2012-2014
FEBS Fellowships Committee

2011-2014
Israel Science Foundation (ISF) Review Committees for the Regular and the Legacy Heritage Biomedical Science Grants (Chair)

2011-
Federation European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) Fellowship Committee

2010-
Member, UK-Israel Life Sciences Council

2009
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) 2009 Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds Competition, Reviewer – Declined
Member of the OTS Conference Organizing Committee for 2011 San Diego conference.

2008
Member, Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society  Liaison Committee for 5th OTS Conference

2006
Health Advisory Committee, The European Community’s 7th Program

2005-2008
Founding Council Member Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society

2004
CFI Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee, MAC (Canada)

2001-2005
Council Member, the International Societies of Neurochemistry and of Developmental Neuroscience

2000-2002
President, The Israel Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

1999-2001
Member, Federation of European Neuroscience (FENS) Course Committee

1996-2000
Member, EMBO Long term Fellowships Committee

1996
Observer, European Community’s Committee on Biotechnology 

1992-1996
International Executive Council, European Society of Neurochemistry (ESN).

1994-1996
Council Member, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO).

1993-On
Steering Committee, European Neurobiology Network (ENN).

Member, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Human Genome Organization (HUGO), Federations of American and Israeli Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB, FISEB), American Societies for Neuroscience & for Pharmaceutical & Experimental therapeutics, Society of Controlled Release.

 

NATIONAL COMMITTEES

2010                        National Council for Higher Learning, Steering Committee for Centers of Excellence

                                Life Sciences Committee of the Clore Scholars Programme, Chairman

2009                        Technion's Academic Development Committee

2007                        National Committee for Biomedical Research

2006                        National Committee for Medical Education

2004-2010               Member, Israeli National Council for Research and Development

2003-2005, 2010-   MAGNET Committee, Ministry of Commerce and Industry

2001-2005               Bioethics Committee, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

2000-2002               Head, Infrastructure Advisory Committee to the Minister of Science

1998-2002               FIRST Committee for interdisciplinary research, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

1995-2005               Consulting Committees to the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Health

1995-1999               Biotechnology Committee, Ministries for Science and Technology

1994-1999               Human Genome Committee, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

BOARDS OF DIRECTORS

2008-                       Yissum, The Hebrew University’s Technology Transfer Company

2003-2008               Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society, Inc. [OTS, Founding member]

2002-2005               FIRST fund, The Israel Academy

1998-                       MA Industries (Makhteshim Agan)

1997-2002               The Landau Fund

HEBREW UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES

2010                        Appointment Committee for Tenure Positions in the Experimental Sciences

2008-                      The Academic Committee of The Center for Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory, The Faculty   of Social Sciences

2005-2008              HUJ General Committee, Member; Science Faculty Committee, Head

2002-2005              Faculty of Science Committee, HUJ R & D Committee

2002                        Co-Chair, International Work Group on Stress Responses, The Institute for Advanced Studies                               (Together with D. Engelberg).

2001-2002              Genomics Committee

1995-1999              Head, The Life Sciences Institute Committees (R&D, Organization)

1995-2000, 2002-2005,         

  2010-2013            Senate Representative in the Board of Governors

1994-1995              Head, Committee for Life Sciences recruitments

1990-1991              Ph.D. Studies Committee

1987-1990                      Infrastructure Committee

ISRAELI UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES

2010-                       Board of Governors, Tel-Hai Academic College

2008-2011               Board of Governors, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa

2002-2005               Ramot Academic Committee for Biomedical Research, Tel Aviv University

2001                        Scientific Visiting Committee, The Ben Gurion University Department of Biology

1996, 2000 -            Harvey Prize Committee, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa

EDITORIAL WORK

Journal of Molecular Neuroscience (1986--); Journal of Neurochemistry (1991-1997); Oligonucleotides (1993--); CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics  (1994--); Science Spectra (1995 – 1998); FEBS Journal (1999--2009); Israel Medical Association Journal, IMAJ (2000-2003); NeuroMolecular Medicine (2001--); Neurodegenerative Diseases (2003--); Galileo (2003-2008, Hebrew); Neurobiology of Disease (2000-2003); Current Alzheimer’s Research (2005--); Current Enzyme Inhibition (2007--); Gene Review Letters (2009--) European Association for Predictive, Preventive & Personalized Medicine Journal EPMA (2009--), Journal of Neuroscience and Medicine (2010--).

TEACHING ASSIGNMENTS

Hebrew University:

2010                        The Degenerating Brain: From Research to Hope, Cornerstone course for B.A.. Humanities and Social                                  Science students.

2009-                       The Biological Basis for Neurodegenerative Diseases (The Interdisciplinary Center for Neural                                                               Computation

2004-                       Molecular Neuroscience lectures to Computational Neuroscience PhD students

2002-2004               ETGAR Honors students in Life Sciences (tutorial)

1999-2004               Selected Topics in Life Sciences Research, 1st year Biology undergraduates.

1992-2002               Molecular Biochemistry, a laboratory course for 3rd year Biology undergraduate students.

1991-1995               Recombinant DNA in Biological Research, a laboratory course for honours undergraduate students.

1987-                       Introduction to Molecular Biology Course, 2nd year Life Sciences Programs.

1987-2009               Intensive Laboratory Workshop on Eukaryotic Gene Expression: From transgene to organism;                                                             post-graduate students

International:

2009                        Teacher, ISN/ESN Summer School for Advanced Imaging and Biomarkers in Neurological Disorders                                    Meißen.

2001, 2004, 2005    Teacher, ISN summer course, Buenos Aires, Avignon, Obergurgl.

1998                        Co-organizer, EMBO practical course on Molecular Neurophysiology, Jerusalem.

1995                        Teacher, EMBO course on molecular biology, Frankfurt

1984                        Organizer, EMBO practical course on Molecular Neurobiology, Rehovot.

1983                        Teacher, NATO Course in Molecular Biology, Spetsai

Research: 

Our research is centered on acetylcholine functioning; with a focus on molecular biology and genomic applications to the study of cholinergic signaling, and especially on its microRNA regulation. Our work spans both basic and biomedical studies on cholinergic signaling in health and disease, particularly on anxiety-related topics.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) rapidly emerge as global regulators of gene expression, yet the full scope of their roles in brain functioning is largely unknown. We combine advanced sequencing technologies with computational and transgenic engineering tools to investigate miRNA functions in the healthy and diseased brain, in particular acetylcholine-related processes. Our studies discovered cholinergic brain-to-body regulation of anxiety and inflammation and found "CholinomiRs", miRNA controllers of multiple cholinergic genes, several of them cloned and characterized in-house, that compete with each other on suppressing their targets. We test CholinomiR-based interventions with a focus on diseases involving impaired ACh signaling, anxiety, inflammation and neurodegeneration. In human volunteers, we find cholinergic-associated pulse increases under fear of terror; and elevated trait anxiety, blood pressure and inflammation under inherited interference with acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-targeting CholinomiRs. In stressed mice and engineered mice, we study cholinergic changes associated with CholinomiR increases under stress, inflammation and neurodegeneration, whereas in Alzheimer’s brains we see massive CholinomiRs decline, accompanying modifications in alternative splicing and transcript processing that differs from that of Parkinson’s disease and which may be reversed by antisense oligonucleotide treatment.