Prof. Ora Schueler-Furman

IMRIC Researcher , Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, IMRIC

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Why I became a researcher: 

I have always been fascinated by the fact that simple biophysical principles underlie the astonishing complexity of life, and I have been wondering, and still am curious to understand, how this is achieved. How are these molecules organized to perform very complex processes? What are the constraints that evolution has been dealing with in the development of these processes?

Today, my research focuses on how proteins interact and how this allows a cell to function and to perform a multitude of very complicated tasks. Proteins are fascinating as they mediate between chemistry and life. We use computational structural biology and bioinformatics approach to model interactions, and collaborate with experimentalists to test and extend our models.

Peptide-mediated interactions that involve short linear motifs are of particular interest to us, as they are weak, transient and easily regulated by the environment in the cell.

I have recently been awarded the prestigious ERC starting grant, and I am now setting up my own wet lab in which we hope to investigate complex interplay between such interactions, to elucidate the way a number of such interactions are converted into a regulatory response.

Our research is a good starting point for the identification and accurate characterization of critical interactions. Our structural models of these interactions allow us to design molecules that will modulate those interactions.

Education: 

2001-2005: Post-Doctoral training, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, Host: Prof. David Baker

2001: PhD in Computational Molecular Biology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Supervisors: Profs. Hanah Margalit & Ron Elber

1994: MSc in Computational Structural Biology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Supervisor: Prof. Hanah Margalit

1992: BSc in Biology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Selected Awards and Honors: 
2012: ERC starting grant awarded
2009: Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine Dean Matzner Award for Young Scientist Excellence in Research
2008: Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Research
2006: Golda Meir Fellowship
2002-2005: Damon-Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship
2002: EMBO long-term Fellowship (declined, due to overlap with Damon-Runyon)
2000: The Institute of Microbiology Award for Excellence in Research, Hadassah Medical School
1997: Clore Foundation Award
1996: Abisch-Frenkel Foundation Grant
1994: Wolf Foundation Award
Contact: 
oraf [at] ekmd [dot] huji [dot] ac [dot] il