Dr. Noam Stern-Ginossar completed her BSc in biology magna cum laude at the Hebrew University in 2002, and her MSc in 2005 at the Hadassah School of Medicine at Hebrew University. She was awarded a PhD in immunology with distinction there in 2009 and went on to conduct her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute in January 2014 and currently heads the ACWIS 7Oth Anniversary Laboratory. She is the incumbent of the Skirball Career Development Chair for New Scientists.
Dr. Stern-Ginossar studies how viruses invade healthy cells and take over the cell’s systems to survive and reproduce. Viruses are completely reliant on the host cell machinery and need to hijack the cell’s transcription system in order to reproduce, as well as to overcome the cell’s defenses and evade the body’s immune responses. In her PhD work, she described how a herpes virus, Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV), creates encoded microRNAs (mRNA) to reduce the expression of a host stress-induced gene, helping it evade natural killer cells. The journal Nature Medicine selected the paper as one of the notable scientific advances of 2007. Dr. Stern-Ginossar has concentrated on using genetic deep sequencing to discover all the different types of viral mRNA translated in the ribosome of the host cell during the course of infection and to reveal how the proteins they create affect the regulatory mechanisms of the cell. Her "ribosome profiling" has discovered hundreds of previously undiscovered, virus-produced mRNAs that can regulate the production of proteins in the host cell.
Her academic and professional honors include Wolf Prizes as an MSc and PhD student, an Adams PhD Fellowship, the Chorafas Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research (2007), the James Sivartsen Award for Excellence in Cancer Research (2009), EMBO short-term and long-term fellowships, the Weizmann Institute of Science National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science Fellowship (2010-2011), and a Human Frontiers Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2013, she won the Weizmann Institute’s Sir Charles Clore Prize for Outstanding Appointment as a Senior Scientist.
She is married and has three children.