Prof. Rotem Sorek received his PhD in Human Genetics from Tel Aviv University on 2006. Between the years 2006-2008 he conducted post-doctoral studies at the Berkeley National Laboratories in Berkeley, CA, and on 2008 he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Prof. Sorek’s investigates CRISPR-Cas, the adaptive “immune” system that bacteria use to defend themselves against viruses, as well as additional, new anti-viral defense systems discovered at the Sorek lab. His studies recently discovered that viruses can use small molecules to communicate among themselves and coordinate the dynamics of infection.
Prof. Sorek is a co-inventor of 40 patents and patent applications and has received numerous prestigious awards, including the 2006 RNA Society/Scaringe Young Scientist Award, the 2008 Sir Charles Clore Prize, the 2012 Rubinowitz-Grossman Prize for outstanding young scientists and the 2014 FEBS Anniversary Prize. Sorek is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the European Academy of Microbiology and EMBO.
From the start of my career, I have been fascinated by how bacteria sense and understand changes in their environment and respond by altering their behaviour. My research career; from my PhD in the Plant Sciences Dept. at Oxford University (UK), through my post-doctoral work in the Biozentrum in Basel, Switzerland, to my current position as a Group Leader at the John Innes Centre (JIC, jointly with the University of East Anglia, since 2011) has focused on understanding how bacteria sense their environments and interact with plants and humans. My research group at JIC uses a combination of molecular microbiology, biochemistry and population genetics/environmental microbiology to investigate how different Pseudomonas species colonise and infect their hosts, and the implications of this for plant health and disease.
Anat A. Herskovits is a professor at the School of Molecular Cell biology and Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University, Israel. She received her Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of science in Rehovot, in 2003, where she investigated the bacterial signal recognition particle pathway in E. coli, in the lab of Eitan Bibi. She carried out postdoctoral research at University of California Berkeley, USA, working on Listeria monocytogenes and its interaction with the mammalian innate immune system. She joined the Tel Aviv University at 2008, and research in her laboratory focuses on understanding the impact of host–pathogen and host-pathogen-phage interactions on the virulence and physiology of L. monocytogenes. Prof. Herskovits is the president of the Israel Society of Microbiology, she won 2 ERC grants and the Moshe Shiloh Prize of excellence. She is also a mother of 2 kids.