2016 Yodim Prize Awardees

The Youdim Prize Committee is pleased to announce that two excelling researchers have been recognized with the 2016 Youdim Prize. ​​​​​​​​​


This year two awardees were selected by the Youdim Prize Committee. Following selection of one main awardee, it was felt that the exemplerary work of an additional researcher also merited special recognigion.

The first awardee is Professor Yardena Samuels, Incumbent of the Knell Family Professional Chair, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot Israel. Professor Samuels was nominated by Professor Michal Neeman in recognition of her international research that has led to groundbreaking scientific discoveries in particular with regard to melanoma genomics.

Professor Samuels received her B.Sc. from Cambridge University, UK in 1993 and earned an MSc in immunology and cancer research from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hadassah Medical School, in 1997. She completed her PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Imperial College, London in the laboratory of Professor Xin Lu in 2002, where she identified a novel family of proteins named ASPP that regulate the function of the tumor-suppressor gene, p53. During her subsequent postdoctoral fellowship at  Johns Hopkins University, Samuels discovered the second most highly mutated oncogene in cancer—PIK3CA. Her discovery opened a floodgate of opportunities in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Today Professor Samuels is the Director of the Ekard Institute for Cancer Diagnosis Research of the Moross Integrated Cancer Center at the Weizmann Institute. Professor Samuel’s cancer genetics research has not only helped in the understanding of cancer tumorigenesis, but has also led to new molecular targets for cancer prognosis, diagnosis and treatment. She has gained worldwide recognition as a leader in melanoma genomics and is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including being named as one of Genome Technology’s top 25 Young Investigators in 2009, receipt of the 2016 Pezcoller Foundation-EACR Cancer Research Award, and this most recent Youdim Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research.

An additional special prize was awarded to Professor Ido Wolf, of the Oncology Division, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel. Nominated by Professor Moseh Inbar, Professor Wolf received this unique one-time recognition in light of his impressive achievements that combine a high level of clinical practice with basic research. Dr. Wolf led the Israeli research team that discovered a protein that seems to prevent the growth of pancreatic cancer.

The prize ceremony is scheduled for February 27, 2017. Both awardees will be lecturing on their respective work.