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Photo: Dr. Michael Eisenberg-Bord

Prof. Dr.

Maya Schuldiner

Year of election: 2020
Section: Biochemistry and Biophysics
City: Rehovot
Country: Israel

Research

Research Priorities: Systematic Cell Biology of Organelles, Organelles, Contact sites, Targeting, High content screens, Functional Genomics

Maya Schuldiner is an Israeli molecular geneticist. With her research, she aims to achieve a mechanistic understanding of the basic functions underlying intracellular organization.

Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are involved in every vital process. But for 30% of all proteins, their function is not yet known. Maya Schuldiner wants to clarify the functions and basic processes of these proteins. To do so, she is using robotics combined with analytical methods. This has enabled her to accelerate the investigation of proteins enormously.

In her laboratory, she studies the sorting and transport of proteins to cell organelles, especially to peroxisomes, mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum. The sorting to organelles is achieved by specific protein targeting sequences and targeting factors that identify them. Maya Schuldiner and her team have identified two new targeting pathways for proteins to reach the endoplasmic reticulum (Guided Entry of Tail-anchored proteins (GET) / SND (Srp iNDependent) pathways). She was also able to describe completely new methods and pathways of protein targeting to mitochondria and peroxisomes (ER-SURF / targeting receptor Pex9).

Organelle communication plays an essential role in the coordination of cell function. Organelles communicate via contact sites between their membranes. Maya Schuldiner has enormously broadened our understanding of these contacts by discovering new contact sites, molecular tethers and regulators and describing new functions for selected contacts.

Her research results have deepened and advanced the understanding of the functioning and communication of organelles. She makes her analytical methods available to researchers around the world to help them characterize proteins faster.

Career

  • 2019-2020 Full Professor, Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • 2017-2018 Hans Fischer Fellow TUM-IAS, Technical University Munich, Germany
  • 2015-2019 Associate Professor, Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • 2008-2015 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • 2003-2008 Post-doctoral research, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • 2000-2003 Ph.D., Dept. of Genetics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1999-2002 Teaching assistant, Life Science Institute, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1998-1999 M.Sc., Dept. of Genetics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1996-1998 B.Sc. Biology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Functions

  • since 2020 Member of the Life Sciences Board of Studies, Feinberg Graduate School, WIS
  • 2020 Member, EMBO Advisory Editorial Board
  • since 2019 Member of the LSVS, new faculty acceptance committee in Life Sciences, WIS
  • since 2019 Reviewing Editor, eLIFE
  • 2018 Member of the Search and Evaluation Committee for Rudolf Mößbauer Tenure Track Professorships, TUM, Germany
  • 2017, 2021 ERC StG Panel Member
  • 2017-2019 Scientific editor, GENETICS
  • since 2017 Member of EMBO Publications Advisory Board (EPAB)
  • since 2017 Member of Life Science Alliance Advisory Editorial Board
  • since 2017 Member of Current Opinion in Cell Biology Editorial Board
  • since 2016 Member of BBA-Molecular Cell Research Editorial Board
  • since 2016 Founder and member of the office of supporting young scientists, WIS
  • since 2015 Member of PLoS Biology Editorial Board
  • since 2015 Member of Science Open Editorial Board
  • since 2014 Member of the Davidson Institute Steering Committee
  • 2014-2018 Member of the young Israeli National Academy of Science

Projects

  • 2019-2021 German-Israeli Foundation (GIF) collaborative grant (mit Prof. Doron Rapaport), German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)
  • 2018-2022 International Training Network (ITN) “Peroxisome Interactions and Communication (PerICo)”, funded by Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union
  • 2017-2022 Project “Design principles of living membranes”, supported by Volkswagen Foundation (with Prof. Robert Ernst, Prof. Ilya Levental, Prof. James Saenz)
  • 2017-2021 DIP grant (with Prof. Doron Rapaport, Prof. Johannes Hermann, Prof. Thomas Langer, Prof. Michal Sharon and Prof. Ophry Pines), German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP)
  • 2016-2023 Subproject of DFG-Sonderforschungsbereich “SFB 1190: Transport machines and contact points of cellular compartments”

Honours and Memberships

  • since 2020 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2019 Jean Vance prize for breakthroughs in Contact Site research
  • since 2017 Elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • 2017 Gold Medal, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • 2017 National Prize, Federation of European Biochemical Societies
  • 2016 Dr. Gilbert Omenn and Martha Darling Professorial Chair in Molecular Genetics
  • 2015 Anniversary Prize, Federation of European Biochemical Societies
  • 2014 Weizmann Institute of Science Scientific Council Prize
  • 2014 Selected as one of the most prominent “40 under 40” young scientists by “Cell” press
  • 2011 Young Investigator Award, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)

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