Prof. Maya Schuldiner

Department of Molecular Genetics Senior Advisor to the President for Scientific Education Weizmann Institute of Science

Description: C:\Users\heidi.WISMAIN\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\11110F14.jpgProf. 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 at the University of California in San Francisco from 2003 until 2008, when she joined the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science. She is the incumbent of the Dr. Gilbert Omenn and Martha Darling Professorial Chair in Molecular Genetics.

Just as cryptologists like deciphering ancient codes and symbols, molecular geneticists like Prof. Schuldiner, focus on unraveling the biochemical and metabolic pathways that regulate cell function. She has invented 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 have been shown to contribute to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes,  and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

In 2014, Prof. Schuldiner was selected for the 40 under 40 list by Cell, recognizing young scientists shaping future trends in science. 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, also 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, play the piano, scuba dive, and go hiking with her family (especially in the desert).