Career News

Award for Yehudit Bergman

9. 7. 2015 | The Israeli immunologist and cancer researcher Professor Yehudit Bergman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been honored with the Helmholtz International Fellow Award for her excellent research.
The prize money of 20,000 Euros allows Professor Bergman to strengthen her already existing cooperation with the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), located in Berlin-Buch. In a ceremony last month, MDC's interim director Prof. Thomas Sommer presented the award.

Prof. Yehudit Bergman
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Prof. Yehudit Bergman
Prof. Sommer praised Prof. Bergmann's achievements as an internationally recognized expert in epigenetics. Epigenetics describes mechanisms which do not alter the DNA sequence, but regulate when and which genes are transcribed and turned on. In her research, Bergman focuses on two key topics: the role of epigenetics in the development of the immune system and the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in stem cells and cancer.

For years she has worked closely with the cancer researcher and immunologist Prof. Klaus Rajewsky of the MDC. She also cooperates with the epigeneticist Prof. Frank Lyko of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg; both centers, the DKFZ and the MDC, are members of the Helmholtz Association. The Helmholtz-Israel project with Prof. Lyko focuses on inflammatory bowel disease.

In addition, Prof. Bergman has played a significant role in establishing the German-Israeli Helmholtz Research School "Frontiers in Cell Signaling and Gene Regulation", or "SignGene", which the MDC, the Hebrew University and the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa, founded in January 2013. Other partners are the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Charité University Hospital Berlin. This international training programme for young scientists is to run until 2019. It marks a high point of many years of close scientific cooperation between the MDC and its partners in Israel.

Yehudit Bergman was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. She completed her PhD studies in immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, in 1980. She then trained in the USA as a postdoc, first in immunology at Stanford University in California, then in molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Yehudit Bergman is a full professor at the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem, where she holds the Dr. Emanuel Rubin Chair in Medical Science. She also is an elected representative of the medical school to the Hebrew University Senate. In 2004, she was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization EMBO in Heidelberg.

The Helmholtz Award had already been awarded to her in 2013, but Prof. Bergman had not been able to accept it personally until now.
Prof. Yehudit Bergman
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(© Peter Himsel/MDC)


Prof. Yehudit Bergman | receives the award from Prof. Thomas Sommer, interim director of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch, Germany.

  (© Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine MCM, AcademiaNet)
Barbara Bachtler

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