Dr. Ayelet Erez

Department of Biological Regulation|Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Ayelet Erez was born in Haifa. She earned a BSc and MD, both cum laude, at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (1991 and 1994), followed by a year of rotating internship at the HaEmek Hospital, in Afula. She served as a pediatric resident at the Safra Children's Hospital in the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv between 1995 and 2000, and earned a PhD in cancer genetics from the Tel Aviv University in 2005. She completed an American Board of Medical Genetics Clinical Genetics residency program together with a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, in 2008. She then worked as assistant professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and as a medical geneticist at Texas Children's Hospital. She joined the Weizmann Institute's Department of Biological Regulation in 2012.
Her clinical research focused on understanding argininosuccinic aciduria (ASA), a rare inherited disorder caused by a lack of the functional gene necessary to make an enzyme called argininosuccinate lyase. Without this enzyme, patients cannot make arginine, an amino acid that plays an important role in enabling the body to avoid a toxic buildup of ammonia which can damage the body's organs and brain. Her basic research is now delving into the complex metabolic pathways that integrate amino acid/nitrogen metabolism and glucose/oxidative stress. This includes searching for novel genes involved in cancer metabolism. She is in the process of establishing a pediatric cancer genetic clinic in Israel to nurture the bridge from scientific discoveries to new treatments, and to use clinical experience to guide scientists.
Dr. Erez's professional and academic honors include a National Urea Cycle Foundation Fellowship Award and the Best Trainee Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in 2008. She also won the 2012 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award in Medical Genetics from Harvard Medical School. She has authored patents for pharmaceutical compositions and a method for regulating abnormal cellular proliferation.