New Omenn Chair
Prof. Maya Schuldiner studies proteins in action
People behind the science
The first incumbent of the Dr. Gil Omenn and Martha Darling Professorial Chair in Molecular Genetics is Prof. Maya Schuldiner of the Department of Molecular Genetics.
Dr. Omenn and Mrs. Martha Darling, longtime friends of the Institute from Ann Arbor, Michigan, established the chair earlier this year following Prof. Schuldiner’s promotion to associate professor in November.
Previously, the couple established the Leah Omenn Career Development Chair in honor of Gil’s mother. Dr. Ayelet Erez of the Department of Biological Regulation is the first incumbent.
Prof. Schuldiner, who is also the Senior Advisor to the President for Scientific Education, uncovers the function of unstudied organelle proteins. She has invented technological tools to help study protein functions in systematic ways. Her work has implications for a spectrum of diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. In 2014, she was selected for the "40 under 40" list by Cell, recognizing young scientists shaping future trends in science.
Dr. Erez is also a medical doctor who previously worked as a medical geneticist at Texas Children’s Hospital and was an assistant professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. In her lab at the Weizmann Institute, she is focused on understanding the reciprocal relationship between metabolic aberrations and human diseases. Understanding how metabolism and disease intertwine opens a window of opportunity for therapeutic interventions. She also runs a pediatric cancer genetics clinic at Ichilov Medical Center in Israel.
“I feel extremely grateful for having been given the opportunity to be the first incumbent of the Omenn Chair, not only because of their support of my work but also because it is inspiring to be associated with such wonderful philanthropists”.
Dr. Ayelet Erez