This year, Professor Ephrat Levy-Lahad, Head of the Fuld Family Department of Medical Genetics at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, was one of five women awarded the prestigious EMET Prize-For Art, Science and Culture. In this interview, Prof. Levy-Lahad discusses some of the dynamics facing highly accomplished women.
The EMET Prize is an annual prize given for excellence in academic and professional achievements that have far reaching influence and significant contribution to society. It is considered second in prestige to the Israel Prize.
The prize committee commended Professor Levy-Lahad’s innovative research methods for identifying genes involved in hereditary diseases and the Fuld Family Department of Medical Genetics at Shaare Zedek, which operates as an extensive system for genetic testing of the population for the detection of mutations that increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In addition, the committee noted Prof. Levy-Lahad’s research that led to the development and implementation of fetal pre-implantation tests, which help prevent pregnancies with unwanted mutations.
Prof. Levy-Lahad (fourth from the left in the picture below) was described as “The renowned geneticist [who] co-wrote a breakthrough study in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences recommending that all Ashkenazi Jewish women undergo testing for BRCA1 and 2 from the age of 30 instead of only if a blood relative or the women themselves contract breast cancer. She has spoken around the globe about the ever-dynamic world of genetics and how it can influence our everyday lives. She is, ultimately, one of the most respected researchers in her field – regardless of gender.”
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