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Two Hebrew University professors win prestigious Canadian medical science award

Jerusalem, March 23, 2011 Two Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Medicine professors were named today as winners of the Canada Gairdner International Awards, which are presented annually to researchers from around the world for outstanding contributions to medical science. The awards are presented annually in October in Toronto.

The honorees are Prof. Chaim Cedar and Prof Aharon Razin. They are the first Hebrew University faculty members to have won the Gairdner Awards. Both are members of the Institute for Medical Research Israel Canada at the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine.

The awards were created by the Gairdner Foundation to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. Since the first awards were made in 1959, the Gairdner Awards have become Canada's foremost international award in its field.and are recognized among the most prestigious prizes awarded in biomedical science.

Prof. Cedar explained the essence of the work that he and Prof. Razin have done:

"All components of the human body are constructed by reading the information encoded in our genes. The entire information booklet, present in every cell of the body, has been completely deciphered as part of the human genome project and serves as the basis for understanding genetic diseases. We discovered that the text of this gene booklet is actually annotated through a chemical process called DNA methylation. These methyl groups provide a sophisticated system for marking which genes should be turned on or turned off in every tissue of the body. This represents a completely new form of biological information that is responsible for regulating the process of human development."


Contact: Jerry Barach
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Two Hebrew University professors win prestigious Canadian medical science award
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