Dr. Maya Schuldiner

Department of Molecular Genetics | Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Maya Schuldiner was born in Israel. She completed two years of military service in 1996, and graduated magna cum laude with a BSc in Biology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1998. She went on to complete both her MSc and a PhD in genetics, also at the Hebrew University, in 1999 and 2003. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California in San Francisco from 2003 until 2008, when she joined the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Just as cryptologists like deciphering ancient codes and symbols, molecular geneticists like Dr. Schuldiner, focus on unraveling the biochemical and metabolic pathways that regulate cell function. She has invented creative tools to help them, called eMAPs — databases of selected groups of genes that show their functional relationships in an easily readable format. She used high-throughput cell sorting, biomarkers, and high-resolution microscopy to get real-time images that show the exact location and levels of proteins in a yeast cell. Her method can track changes in a protein over time, such as in response to stress or disease. She uses these creative methods to study the cell’s largest organelle, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Disruptions in ER functioning has been shown to contribute to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes,  and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Her academic and professional awards include several student awards as well as being selected for the 40 under 40 list by Cell Journal recognizing young scientists shaping future trends in science in 2014. She also received the Weizmann Institute Scientific Council Prize in the Life Sciences (2014), a Human Frontiers Science Program Career Development Award (2008), and an NIH Pathway to Independence Award (2007). She has been elected a member of the Israel Young Academy (2014) and the EMBO Young Investigators Program (2011).
She is married to Dr. Oren Schuldiner, a scientist at the Weizmann Institute, and they have three sons, Daniel (2002), Noam (2005), and Mattan (2012). When not in the lab she loves to bake, read and play the piano, as well as hike with her family (especially in the desert) and scuba dive.