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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

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Director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology Gene E. Robinson received an honorary doctoral degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for his scientific leadership and groundbreaking contribution to the molecular basis of social behavior.

Robinson received this honor on Sunday, May 31, at the annual convocation ceremony at the Rothberg Amphitheater on the Mount Scopus campus, Jerusalem.

Gene Robinson, Director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (middle), with Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (left) and Asher Cohen, Rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (right).
Gene Robinson, Director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (middle), with Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (left) and Asher Cohen, Rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (right).

The university’s senate credited Robinson for helping to define the new field of sociogenomics, bridging many disciplines, including animal behavior, neurobiology and genomics. In particular, his work with honey bees has shown that transcriptional regulation is much more important for regulating behavior than was previously appreciated. 

During the ceremony, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the renewed relationship between Israel and Germany. He said it is miraculous how “darkness” has turned into peace and sharing in three generations. 

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres also provided remarks and was awarded the Solomon Bublick Prize. The Samuel Rothberg education prize was awarded to Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, for his leadership to the Holocaust’s living memorial and research institution.

Robinson and Steinmeier were among 11 recipients of the Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa. Honorary doctorates were also awarded to Professor Robert Alter (USA), Dr. Joaquim Barbosa (Brazil), Professor Bruce J Baum (USA), Marc Besen AC (Australia), Joyce Brandman (USA), Professor Caroline Bynum (USA), Professor Jacques Dreze (Belgium), Ronit Elkabetz (Israel), and Alvin Cramer Segal (Canada).

Associated Themes
Gene Networks in Neural & Developmental Plasticity
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Written By
Claire Sturgeon, based on article by BJLife.
Date Published
Photos By
Sharon Altshul.