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PROFESSOR HERMONA SOREQ
Hermona Soreq was trained at The Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Weizmann Institute and the Rockeffeler University. She joined The Hebrew University in 1986, holds a Slesinger Chair in Molecular Neuroscience and is a founding

member of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science. Soreq’s research pioneered the molecular biology and genomics approaches to acetylcholine signaling, with a recent focus on its non-coding RNA and microRNA regulation; spanning both basic and biomedical studies in health and disease, particularly anxiety-related topics. Soreq is the elected President of the International Organization of Cholinergic Mechanisms, and served as the elected Dean of the Faculty of Science (2005-2008). She authored over 300 publications, including 57 in high-impact journals including Science, Nature and PNAS; and received significant funding from US, European and Israeli foundations including an Advanced ERC Award and an Israeli I-Core Center of Excellence on Mass Trauma. Soreq’s honors include Honorary PhDs from the Universities of Stockholm (1996), Ben-Gurion University (2007), and Erlangen (2008), Teva Founders’ Award (2006), The Lise Meitner Alexander von Humboldt Award (2009), a Berlin NeuroCure visiting fellowship (2015-2017), a Rappaport prize for bio-medical research (2015), an International Psychoneuroimmunology Award (2016) and the ILANIT-Katzir prize (2017). She is a member of The Hebrew University’s Executive Committee and scientific advisory boards for national and international bodies, including the Israeli Psychobiology organisation, the Immunosensation Center, Bonn and the International Advisory Boards of the UK-Israel Council and BGU’s National Center of Biotechnology. Notably, 25 of her trainees are faculty members in Israel (In Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Galilee and Beer Sheva) and overseas (UC Berkeley, Maryland, Halifax, Ann Arbor, Paris, Tours, Gottingen, London), or contribute to government and private biotechnology organizations.

Kinji OhnoPROFESSOR KINJI OHNO 

Kinji Ohno trained as a clinical neurologist after graduating from the Nagoya University School of Medicine. After five years of clinical residency and faculty in Neurology at Nagoya National Hospital, he took a PhD course at Department of Biochemistry of the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, and studied on genetics and biochemistry of mitochondrial diseases from 1988 to 1993. He moved to Professor Andrew Engel’s laboratory at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA on 1993, and worked on molecular mechanisms of congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) up to 2004. He identified and characterized germline mutations in genes encoding acetylcholine receptor subunits, rapsyn, collagen Q, choline acetyltransferase, and sodium channel in CMS. In 2004, he had his own laboratory in Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. He is identifying novel molecules that are essential for formation of the neuromuscular junction, and is also dissecting novel pathomechanisms of CMS. In the course of analysis of CMS, he expanded his research interest to physiology and pathology of RNA metabolisms. In the fields of RNA metabolisms, he is developing unique web tools to detect mutations causing aberrant splicing, and is also identifying molecular mechanisms of physiological and aberrant pre-mRNA splicing. In addition, he is performing integrated analyses of the next generation sequencing technologies to identify physiological mechanisms of RNA-binding proteins. He has worked on SRSF1, YB1, hnRNPs H, C, L, and LL, PTBP1, MBNL1, CUGBP1, and FUS, which are associated with physiological and pathological RNA metabolisms in the central nervous system and at the neuromuscular junction.

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DR. WENDY CHUNG

Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinical and molecular geneticist and the Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine. She received her B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in genetics. Dr. Chung directs NIH funded research programs in human genetics of autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects, and heart disease. She leads the Precision Medicine Resource in the Irving Institute at Columbia University. She has authored over 300 peer reviewed papers and 50 reviews and chapters in medical texts. She was the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and a career development award from Doris Duke. Dr. Chung is renowned for her teaching and mentoring and received Columbia University’s highest teaching award, the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She was the original plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that overturned the ability to patent genes and served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Genetic Testing. Dr. Chung enjoys the challenges of genetics as a rapidly changing field of medicine and strives to facilitate the integration of genetic medicine into all areas of health care in a medically, scientifically, and ethically sound, accessible, and cost effective manner.

 Dr. BainDR. JENNIFER BAIN
Jennifer Bain, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in child neurology at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Bain completed both M.D. and PhD. as well as general pediatrics residency at Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School. She trained in child neurology at New York Presbyterian – Columbia University Medical Center and is a board certified neurologist with special certification in Child Neurology. Her early research career focused on spinal cord and brain development after injuries such as spinal cord injury and perinatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. She currently works as a clinician at Columbia Doctors specializing in general pediatric neurology with expertise in development, behavioral neurology and autism. Her clinical research has focused on studying autonomic dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders as well as the gender disparity between girls and boys with an autism diagnosis. She is also very interested in the movement differences in children with autism. Dr. Bain authored a manuscript describing the first six girls with variants in the HNRNPH2 gene and is currently enrolling more individuals with HNRNPH2-related disorders to learn more about the natural course of this neurodevelopmental disorder.