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, for investigating the fermentation of di- and polysaccharides under the guidance of Prof Yeshayahu Leibovitz. Later on he developed a hydroxamate method for the determination of active esters and investigated the mechanism of synthesis of cellulose which earned him international standing. 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.
To honor his memory, the Israel Society for Biochemistry (the former name of ISBMB) decided to award a prize in Prof. Hestrin's name to a young Israeli biochemist at the beginning of his/her independent career, in acknowledgement of scientific work performed mainly in Israel. The Prize is presented traditionally at the annual meeting of the Society. The Hestrin Prize was first awarded in 1964, and has been awarded every 1-3 years ever since.
In recent years the identity of the prize recipient is determined by a panel comprised of 6-7 Israeli scientists representing the major universities in Israel (no more than one representative per university).
- 1964 - Ohad Itzhak, Hebrew University
- 1966 - Itzhak Steinberg, The Weizmann Institute
- 1969 - Israel Schechter, The Weizmann Institute
- 1971 - Shmuel Shaltiel, The Weizmann Institute
- 1975 - Alexander Levitzki, The Hebrew University
- 1977 - Haim Aviv, The Weizmann Institute
- 1979 - Chaim Cedar, The Hebrew University
- 1983 - Joseph Schlessinger, The Weizmann Institute
- 1986 - Doron Lancet, The Weizmann Institute and Varda Shoshan-Barmatz, Ben Gurion University
- 1989 - Amnon Horovitz, Weizmann Institute
- 1991 - Yosef Yarden, The Weizmann Institute
- 1997 - Nissim Benvenisty, The Hebrew University
- 2000 - Karen Avraham, Tel Aviv University
- 2001 - Ari Elson, The Weizmann Institute
- 2003 - Eitan Reuveny, The Weizmann Institute
- 2004 - Mike Fainzilber, The Weizmann Institute
- 2005 - Deborah Fass, The Weizmann Institute
- 2009 - Ehud Gazit, Tel-Aviv University
- 2010 - Yitzhak Pilpel, The Weizmann Institute
- 2012 - Eran Meshorer, Hebrew University and Tal Pupko , Tel Aviv University