Prof. Nayef Jarrous

Associate Professor , Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, IMRIC
Principal Investigator, IMRIC

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Why I became a researcher: 

Two ground-breaking discoveries made in the early 80’s of the 20th century have shown that ribonucleic acid (RNA) exhibits catalytic and enzymatic properties. These seminal discoveries stimulated the “RNA World” hypothesis, in which it is inferred that early forms of life on Earth used RNA or RNA-like molecules as their genetic materials and enzymes for existence and reproduction.

Back then, I was fascinated by the structure and flexibility of multifaceted RNAs and decided to do my doctoral thesis and postdoctoral stint on RNA. In fact, after decades of extensive research of RNA and based on new findings that reveal that most of the human genome is vastly transcribed to noncoding RNAs of unknown function, many scientists now are convinced that we are living in a modern “RNA World”, in which RNA is implicated in every fundamental biological process, from replication and translation in the cell to growth, differentiation and development of the entire organism.


1996-1999: Postdoctoral training: Yale University

1995: Ph. D. in Molecular Biology, The Hebrew University

1989: M. Sc. in Molecular Biology, The Hebrew University

1986: B. Sc. in Biology, The Hebrew University

Selected Awards and Honors: 
2012: Advisor for Minority Affairs to Hebrew University President
2010: Excellence in teaching
2004: Prof. Ben-Porath Prize for outstanding young researcher
2004: The Faculty of Medicine Prize for distinguished research
2003: Member in Basha'ar-Academic Community for the Israeli Society
2000-2003: Recipient of a Kahanoff Foundation- Israel Council of High Education Fellowship
1996-1999: Postdoctoral fellowship (Innovir, NY)
1989: The Faculty of Medicine Prize for distinguished M. Sc. Thesis
nayefj [at] ekmd [dot] huji [dot] ac [dot] il