Born in Holon, Israel, Gilad Haran earned a B. Med. Sc. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Medicine in 1986. He completed his graduate studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science and received his PhD in 1993. Following postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to the Weizmann Institute in 1998 and joined the staff of its Department of Chemical Physics. He is currently the incumbent of the Hilda Pomeraniec Memorial Professorial Chair
Prof. Haran's research focuses on the dynamics of individual molecules. Using modern laser techniques, he studies the relationship between the motion of molecules and their function. Clarifying the underpinnings of molecular activity is particularly relevant in biophysics, where scientists study how single molecules assemble to form working molecular "machines." One example concerns the varying paths taken by protein molecules as each folds into a functional, three-dimensional structure. Understanding the folding process is critical to the development of drugs for diseases such as Alzheimer's and amyloidosis, a variety of conditions in which amyloid proteins are abnormally deposited in organs or tissues. Other topics of research include enzyme dynamics, super-resolution microscopy of T cells and single-molecular Raman scattering as a probe of plasmonic structures.
Prof. Haran has held several important positions at the Weizmann Institute including director of the Board of Studies in Chemistry (2007-2011) and director of the Solo Dwek and Maurizio Dwek Research School of Chemical Science (2009-2011). In 2011-2012 he served as the chair of the national committee of the Israel Science Foundation to the IUPAB (International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics). He was Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry between 2012 and 2018. Prof. Haran is a recipient of a 2017 Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. He was awarded the 2017 Weizmann Prize and the 2019 ACS Physical Chemistry Division Award.