Institute Prof. Nathan Sharon, world famous for his research on sugars and the sugar-binding proteins known as lectins, was awarded the 1994 Israel Prize in the Life Sciences at a festive Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem.
Sharon, the sixteenth Institute scientist to receive an Israel Prize, has played a crucial role in showing that sugar-lectin interactions are instrumental in allowing cells to recognize one another. Such interactions take place when disease-causing bacteria adhere to tissues or when immune cells destroy infectious organisms. An understanding of these processes may assist in the development of novel antimicrobial drugs, which would work by preventing infectious organisms from adhering to body tissues.
Prof. Sharon has also helped achieve major advances in bone marrow transplantation.
Sharon was honored not only for his scientific achievements, but also for the key role he has played in the popularization of science in Israel and elsewhere.
Other Institute scientists honored of late include:
Prof. Harry (Zvi) Lipkin was given a Weizmann Prize of the City of Tel Aviv for his life work in diverse areas of physics, including the physics of elementary particles, nuclear physics, and condensed-matter physics;
Prof. Shmuel Shaltiel was awarded the Rothschild Prize for his pioneering work in the development of hydrophobic chromatography, for his contributions to the elucidation of the molecular basis of enzyme-driven covalent control by kinases and proteinases, and for his original contribution to understanding the role of enzymes in the control of plasminogen activation during the dissolution of blood clots;