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The Israel Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ISBMB) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization established by Ephraim Katzir and Shlomo Hestrin in 1959.

The goals of the society are:

  1. Promoting research and teaching in the fields of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Biotechnology, and Molecular Genetics. 
  2. Establishing professional interactions and exchange of information in the above fields, between scientists in Israel and abroad.
  3. Holding conferences, meetings, workshops and seminars, and exchange of information in these fields.
  4. Awarding scholarships, prizes and support to scientists, researchers, teachers and students in Israel and Israelis abroad in the fields of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Strengthening the connection between academia, medicine and industry in the above fields


We are happy to anounce this years winners of the Hestrin Prize of the Israel Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Professor Meytal Landau, Biology, Technion

Professor Landau is awared the prize for her pioneering work on atomic-resolution structures of bacterial amyloids, and how these relate to their function and virulence. The structures revealed both resemblances and unexpected departures from the structures of pathological human amyloids, in correlation with their different activities. The structure of a bacterial amyloid fibril of a virulent peptide secreted by the pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus was the first amyloid structure composed entirely of α-helices, arranged in mated sheets. This cross-α fibrillation facilitated PSMα3 cytotoxicity againsthuman T-cells via interactions with membranes. The biofilm structures reveased by Meytal are likely to provide stability and protection to biofilm communities, rendering the bacteria more resilient and resistant to antibiotics.

1)  E. Tayeb-Fligelman, O. Tabachnikov, A. Moshe, O. Goldshmidt-Tran, M.R. Sawaya, N. Coquelle, J- P. Colletier, and M. Landau. The Cytotoxic Staphylococcus aureus PSMα3 Reveals a Cross-αAmyloid-like Fibril. Science 355(6327): 831-833; 2017

2)  N. Salinas, A. Moshe, J-P. Colletier, and M. Landau. Extreme Amyloid Polymorphism inStaphylococcus aureus Virulent PSMα Peptides. Nat. Commun. 9(1):3512; 2018.

   

Professor Sarel Fleishman, Biomolecular Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science

Professor Sarel Fleishman, Weizmann Institute of Science is awarded the prize for his groundbreaking work on stabilizing proteins. The PROSS algorithm was a watershed for protein design and engineering​. Previously, computational design of function methods relied on bespoke solutions, specially tailored to the target system by experts with years of experience in both modeling and biochemistry. PROSS is the first example of a fully automated and general method that can be applied universally to improve protein physical properties.

1)  Goldenzweig, A.; Goldsmith, M.; Hill, S. E.; Gertman, O.; Laurino, P.; Ashani, Y.; Dym, O.; Unger, T.; Albeck, S.; Prilusky, J.; Lieberman, R. L.; Aharoni, A.; Silman, I.; Sussman, J. L.; Tawfik, D. S.; Fleishman, S. J. Automated Structure- and Sequence-Based Design of Proteins for High Bacterial Expression and Stability. ​Mol. Cell​ ​2016​, ​63​ (2), 337–346.

2)  Khersonsky, O.; Lipsh, R.; Avizemer, Z.; Ashani, Y.; Goldsmith, M.; Leader, H.; Dym, O.; Rogotner, S.; Trudeau, D. L.; Prilusky, J.; Amengual-Rigo, P.; Guallar, V.; Tawfik, D. S.; Fleishman, S. J. Automated Design of Efficient and Functionally Diverse Enzyme Repertoires. ​Mol. Cell ​2018​, ​72(1), 178–186.e5.

The Israel Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology awards a prize in Prof. Hestrin's name to a young Israeli and biochemists for acknowledgment and recognition of a specific finding, discovery or invention in the field of biochemistry.

The Hestrin Prize which will be awarded during the ILANIT /FISEB meeting in Eilat, 17-20 February, 2020, where Prof. Sarel Fleishman will give the prize-lecture at the ISBMB session Engineering & Evolution of Proteins.

The Hestrin Prize is named in honor of Prof. Shlomo Hestrin (1914, Winnipeg, Canada - 1962, Jerusalem, Israel). Shlomo Hestrin occupies a unique position in the Israeli science for introducing modern enzyme research in Israel. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for investigating the fermentation of di- and polysaccharides under the guidance of Prof. Yeshayahu Leibovitz. Later on, he have developed a hydroxamate method for the determination of active esters and investigated the mechanism of synthesis of cellulose which earned him international standing. In 1957, Prof. Hestrin was awarded the Israel Prize in exact sciences, jointly with his colleague, David Sidney Feingold and his student Gad Avigad. Prof. Hestrin was among the prominent biochemists at the Hebrew University and among the founders of the Israel Society of Biochemistry in 1959. Prof. Hestrin's untimely death at the age of 48 left a void in the hearts of those who knew him.