Prof. Michal Sharon

Department of Biomolecular Sciences Weizmann Institute of Science

Prof. Michal Sharon earned a BSc at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1996) and a PhD in the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Structural Biology in 2003. She conducted her postdoctoral research at University of Cambridge, UK, where, in 2006, she was elected as a Research Fellow at Clare Hall College. She joined the Department of Biological Chemistry, now the Department of Biomolecular Sciences, at the Weizmann Institute in 2007 where she is the first incumbent of the Aharon and Ephraim Katzir Memorial Professorial Chair.

Prof. Sharon studies the cellular machinery that recycles proteins. Efficient cell functioning relies on continuous and controlled degradation of a large number of unwanted or damaged proteins. This process is carried out by the proteasome system, macromolecular machinery that hand-picks proteins that have finished their task or those whose levels are too high, and shreds them into their building blocks for reutilization.  Thus, the proteasome complex can be seen as the cellular "recycling machinery". Cancer, for example, can result if proteins that promote growth evade this recycling system and become "too stable", thus promoting cell division. To understanding the functioning of this system Prof. Sharon uses novel techniques in mass spectrometry to examine the structural properties of the proteasome system.

Prof. Sharon twice received the European Research Council Starting Grant and an Israel Cancer Research Fund Research Career Development Award. She is the head of the Israel Mass Spectrometry Society and a board member of the International Mass Spectrometry Society.

She has a son and two daughters and in her free time likes to read, travel, and draw.