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Name, Surname: Prof. Israel Hanukoğlu

Date & Place of Birth: March 14, 1952 - Istanbul

Date of Aliyah: August 11, 1983

Marital Status: Married, has daughter Liora and son Moshe.

Schools Attended: After graduating from the Primary and Middle schools of Şişli Terakki School, Israel continued to the Atatürk Boys High School in Taksim. He was elected to participate in the American Field Service (AFS) program in 1969 and lived in Janesville, Wisconsin in the USA. He graduated from Craig High School in the same year.

His family had made aliyah while he was in the US, so upon leaving the country he went to Israel. He completed his undergraduate education (B.A.) in Biology and Psychology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1974 and his master's (M.Sc.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA.


1969 - Istanbul Atatürk Boys High School, Science department

1970 - Janesville, Wisconsin - Craig High School (cum laude).

1974 - B.A. Biology and Psychology from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

1976 - M.Sc. Endocrinology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

1980 - Ph.D. Endocrinology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Profession: Biochemistry and Molecular biology


After completing post-doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in 1983, Israel returned to Israel and was appointed lecturer at the Technion. He was appointed Senior Scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot in 1987 and Associate Professor in 1993.

Prof. Hanukoğlu moved from the Weizmann Institute to the College of Judea and Samaria in the city of Ariel in 1995, and established the molecular biology laboratory. He gained the title of Full Professor in 2001 thanks to his scientific achievements.

Prof. Hanukoğlu's intention was to establish a biology department at Ariel. The Molecular Biology undergraduate (B.Sc.) program, which he prepared alone, was approved by the Higher Education Council of Israel. Thus, in 2003, the first Molecular Biology Department in Israel was opened with about 50 students. Prof. Hanukoğlu worked as the Department Director until 2008. The opening of the Department of Molecular Biology led to the establishment of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in the College of Judea and Samaria, Ariel. As a result, this college became the first one in Israel to have a Faculty of Natural Sciences. This development was important for the college to become a University. When Prof. Hanukoğlu came to Ariel, there were about 250 students in total. Today, there are nearly 13,000 students at Ariel University.

Contributions to science:

Prof. Hanukoglu purified enzymes that convert cholesterol called cytochrome P450 to steroid hormone, and explained its catalysis mechanism in his doctoral research. At the Weizmann Institute, he isolated the gene for one of these enzymes. He discovered a new super protein family during his research on this gene and protein.

Prof. Hanukoğlu and his brother Prof. Aaron Hanukoğlu have been working for the last 20 years on sodium channels called ENaC, which regulate blood pressure in the body. They isolated the genes of the three proteins that make up this channel. Together, the two brothers demonstrated that the hereditary disease called Pseudohypoaldosteronism is due to mutations of these genes. He has important research on the structure of the sodium channel.

While at the University of Chicago, the professor isolated the genes of proteins called keratin and developed a model for the structure of these proteins for the first time. Research published thirty years later has confirmed this model. Keratin is the main component of skin cells and hair. In addition, keratin acts as a cytoskeleton in other organs.

Over the past few years, using microscopic methods, he has published skeletal maps of cells in the skin and kidneys.

Works / Publications:

Prof. Hanukoğlu has 85 scientific publications. These publications have received nearly 7,000 citations so far in the world of science.


The list of scholarships and awards given to Prof Hanukoğlu throughout his career is available on his website.

Notable among these are the Israel Endocrine Society's Hans Lindner Prize at the first Biochemical Endocrinology and the Lubell Prize from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Prof. Hanukoğlu has been a science critic in nearly 50 scientific journals in addition to his scientific research. He has been a member of the editorial board of five science journals in recent years. He has won worldwide awards in biochemistry for these activities. In 2018, he was ranked 22nd worldwide in his field.

Institutions Founded / Worked / Supported:

In 1995, Prof. Hanukoğlu was elected as the head of an Israeli organization called "Professors for a Strong Israel". During his presidency, there were about 600 members in this organization.

In 1996, Prof. Hanukoğlu was appointed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the Prime Minister's Scientific Advisor. Until 1999, Israel served as the Prime Minister's representative on the Knesset's Scientific and Technological Committee. During this period, Prof. Hanukoğlu continued with his laboratory work.

After leaving his Science Advisor position in 1999, Prof. Hanukoğlu established the Israel Science and Technology Directory at This guide contains more than 10,000 links in 1,200 pages.

Outstanding and Lasting Contribution /Reasons for Selection:

Israel Hanukoğlu, who founded the first University Molecular Biology Department and also the first Faculty of Natural Sciences in Israel, has carried out very important scientific research, founded the Israel Science and Technology Directory, won awards worldwide and made significant and lasting contributions to science in Israel and the world.


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