New Weizmann President announced
Prof. Alon Chen will take office in late 2019
Prof. Alon Chen (credit: Axel Griesch)
Prof. Alon Chen, a neuroscientist whose has made major strides in elucidating the brain’s activity in stress and anxiety, will take office as the next President of the Weizmann Institute of Science on December 1, 2019. He will replace Prof. Daniel Zajfman, who has served as President since 2006. The Institute’s Executive Board announced Prof. Chen’s election at the 70th Annual General Meeting of the International Board in November.
Head of the Department of Neurobiology, Prof. Chen is also a director of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany. He also heads a joint Weizmann-Max Planck lab for experimental neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurogenetics, and is an adjunct professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University Faculty of Medicine in Munich. At the Weizmann Institute, he leads four donor-funded multidisciplinary centers in brain research. He is a committed proponent of science education and science literacy.
Born in Israel in 1970, Prof. Chen received his BSc magna cum laude from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 1995 and his PhD magna cum laude from the Weizmann Institute in 2001. He also received an MBA from Ben-Gurion University. He conducted his postdoctoral research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, during which he was a Rothschild Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar. It was at the Salk Institute that he began to investigate the neurological processes that regulate stress and anxiety, and was hired by the Weizmann Institute in 2005. He became an associate professor in 2012 and a full professor in 2017.
“I would like to thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee, the Weizmann Institute of Science International Board, the Institute scientists, and its staff and friends for giving me this unique opportunity to lead this world-renowned institution, and to reach new heights of scientific and educational excellence,” said Prof. Chen.
Prof. Alon Chen heads the Murray H. and Meyer Grodetsky Center for Research of Higher Brain Functions; the Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for Neurosciences; the Gladys Monroy and Larry Marks Center for Brain Disorders; and The Norman and Helen Asher Center for Brain Imaging. His research is supported by the Perlman Family Foundation, founded by Louis L. and Anita M. Perlman; the Adelis Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Bruno Licht; Sonia T. Marschak; and the Ruhman Family Laboratory for Research in the Neurobiology of Stress.