Twins: Danit and Einat Finkelshtein


While growing up, Danit and Einat Finkelshtein wondered how they’d come to be born identical twins. It’s not that they minded being twins, on the contrary. But they were curious. They queried their mother, a nurse by profession, about the phenomenon of twin births and its genetic origins. “This opened for us a window on science in general, and biology in particular,” Einat says. She and Danit became interested in the human body, especially molecular genetics.

Danit and Einat are best friends; in school, they were in the same class from 9th grade. Though today they make sure not to wear identical clothes, they dress in much the same style. They have many friends in common, go swimming together and enjoy joint outings. It was only natural that after finishing their army service, both enrolled in university studies in biology. Both then embarked upon master’s studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and now both are busy working on their Ph.D.s. Unsurprisingly, they study in the same department, that of Molecular Genetics. But here their paths have diverged somewhat. Danit, who is in the group of Prof. Menachem Rubinstein, conducts her research on mechanisms by which viruses enter cells. Einat’s research under the guidance of Prof. Ari Elson focuses on cells that break down bone tissue.
Twins: Efrat and Reut Shema
Reut and Efrat Shema are also identical twins, but for a number of years they followed different paths in their lives. When their family moved from Rehovot to Moshav Sitriya, Reut decided to stay in her school in Rehovot while Efrat opted for a local moshav high school. After their army service, Reut earned a B.Sc. in brain research and psychology at Tel Aviv University while Efrat studied biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. But when it came to graduate studies, their paths met again: both enrolled in the Weizmann Institute of Science. Today, both are working on their doctorates. Reut studies long-term memory under the guidance of Prof. Yadin Dudai. Efrat’s research, in the lab of her supervisor, Prof. Moshe Oren, focuses on gene regulation and cancer.
Reut and Efrat  married in the same year and now live with their families in the same neighborhood in Rehovot. Every day, after picking up their small children from day care, they spend time together.

Twins: Asaf and Ido Azuri
Identical twins Asaf and Ido Azuri love to discuss science, and they have plenty of opportunity to do so: Both are studying toward a doctorate in the Faculty of Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Asaf conducts his research in the group of Prof. Eli Pollak in the Chemical Physics Department, while Ido is with Prof. Leeor Kronik in the Materials and Interfaces Department. Both labs are in the Perlman Chemical Sciences Building, so that to meet for coffee, Asaf and Ido don’t even have to go outside.

This pair did everything together all their lives: spending time with the same friends, enrolling in after-school activities and learning jiu-jitsu and karate (when both reached the finals, they refused to fight each another, preferring to share a joint prize). Science lovers from childhood, both studied exact sciences at Bar-Ilan University: Asaf chose chemistry, while Ido majored in biophysics. Today both study various aspects of theoretical computational chemistry, a field they find rewarding and challenging.
Prof. Yadin Dudai's research is supported by the Norman and Helen Asher Center for Human Brain Imaging, which he heads; the Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for Neurological Diseases; the Carl and Micaela Einhorn-Dominic Institute of Brain Research, which he heads; the Marc Besen and the Pratt Foundation, Australia; Lisa Mierins Smith, Canada; the Abe and Kathryn Selsky Memorial Research Project; and Miel de Botton, UK.  Prof. Dudai is the incumbent of the Sara and Michael Sela Professorial Chair of Neurobiology.
Prof. Ari Elson's research is supported by the Ekard Research School of Biological Science, which he heads; the Lorry I. Lokey Research School of Biochemical Science, which he heads; the M.D. Moross Institute for Cancer Research; the Kekst Family Institute for Medical Genetics; the Yeda-Sela Center for Basic Research; the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation; the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung; and the estate of Fannie Sherr.  Prof. Elson is the incumbent of the Marshall and Renette Ezralow Professorial Chair.
Prof. Leeor Kronik's research is supported by the Carolito Stiftung; the Wolfson Family Charitable Trust; and the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Nanoscale Science.
Prof. Moshe Oren's research is supported by the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation; the Robert Bosch Foundation; and the estate of Harold Z. Novak.  Prof. Oren is the incumbent of the Andre Lwoff Professorial Chair in Molecular Biology.
Prof. Eli Pollak is the incumbent of the Sam and Ayala Zacks Professorial Chair.
Prof. Menachem Rubinstein's research is supported by the  estate of Sophie Kalina; the estate of Helena Barkman Schramm; the De Benedetti Foundation-Cherasco 1547; and the Jeanne and Joseph Nissim Foundation for Life Sciences Research.  Prof. Rubinstein is the incumbent of the Maurice and Edna Weiss Professorial Chair of Cytokines Research.