Robert J. (Yisrael) Aumann Winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 2005

Prof. Robert Aumann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics along with Prof. Thomas Schelling for having enhanced the understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.

Prof. Aumann was born in 1930 in Frankfurt, Germany and earned his doctorate in 1955 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He joined the Hebrew University's Einstein Institute of Mathematics in 1956, and in 1990 was among the founders of the University's Center for the Study of Rationality. Today he is a Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University.

Prof. Aumann is an internationally known figure in the area of game theory and was instrumental in its becoming one of the important tools in modern economics. He used mathematical means for the development of his understandings and theories and developed exact definitions which in turn led to exact conclusions. He was the first to conduct a full-fledged formal analysis of what are called infinitely repeated games. His research identified exactly what outcomes can be upheld over time in long-term relationships. Game theory has found usage in other areas, including computer science and evolutionary biology.

Prof. Aumann's Website




Albert Einstein Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1921

Prof. Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.

Named Person of the Century by Time magazine, Albert Einstein, father of the theory of relativity, is considered the greatest scientist of all time. His theory of general relativity is the basis for our understanding of the universe and its development. His scientific achievements changed the physical worldview and opened the way towards new theories, both in the realms of the tiny atom and the vast universe. This has given us a better understanding of the world and brought about many technological developments which have influenced modern life.

Einstein was born in 1879 in the city of Ulm in Germany. In 1905, which has been called the “wondrous year,” he published four articles which changed the world of physics. With the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany, he accepted the offer of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and immigrated to the United States. At Princeton he continued his research and scientific and public activities until his final days.

Prof. Einstein was among the founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a supporter of the Zionist movement. He was active on behalf of the University in both raising funds for its establishment and in its academic aspects. In 1923, he visited Mount Scopus where he gave the first scientific lecture of the University. He was a member of the University’s Board of Governors, chairman of its Academic Committee, and was highly involved in the University’s development and activities. (See Video)

Albert Einstein willed his personal archives, and the rights to his works and image, to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At the Albert Einstein Archives, located on the University's Edmond J. Safra Campus, can be found his scientific and non-scientific writings, including the famous E=mc2 formula; scientific and personal correspondence; books from his library at Princeton; and photographs. The archives also contains books which deal with Einstein’s research and personal life.

In 2012, the Hebrew University launched the updated and expanded Einstein Archives Online, containing a complete catalog of more than 80,000 documents in the University’s Einstein Archives. (See Video)







Avram Hershko Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2004

Prof. Avram Hershko was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. He was awarded the prize together with his colleague Prof. Aaron Ciechanover and his American colleague Prof. Irwin Rose. 

Prof. Hershko was born in 1937 in Karcag, Hungary, and immigrated to Israel with his family when he was 12. He obtained his doctorate in medicine (1965) and doctorate in medical sciences (1969) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University (2009). He is Distinguished Research Professor at the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences and incumbent of the Mirochnik Family Chair in Life Sciences at the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. 

Prof. Hershko has revolutionized understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of intracellular processes. He studied the ubiquitin protein, which marks damaged proteins for degradation to enable continued normal cell functioning. The ubiquitin system is also responsible for the breakdown of normal proteins which reach an excessive level, a role that is particularly important, since exaggerated activity is liable to impede the very processes they control. The ubiquitin system is connected to the regulation of many basic life processes, including repair of DNA defects, cell division, and the development of immune response. Professor Hershko’s findings have provided science with a key to decode the involvement of the protein degradation system in pathogenesis and have forged the way towards novel disease prevention and cure. 



David J. Gross

Prof. David Gross was awarded received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction, the force operating between quarks. He received the prize along with H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek.

David Gross is one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists. He has won international recognition for his research into the long and short-distance properties of the color force, the force that binds quarks and gluons into protons and neutrons, the latter of which are the constituents of atoms. This interaction is one of the four pillars constituting the standard model describing all forces between the fundamental particles. In addition, his research and discoveries in string theory, a field that attempts to define even smaller, more fundamental building blocks of matter, have greatly influenced the search for a unified theory of the basic forces in nature.

Prof. Gross was born in 1941 in Washington, D.C. When he was 12 years old, his family came to Israel along with the first Advisory Team from the US. When the team’s work was finished, his family decided to stay, and his father was among those who established the School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University. David Gross studied physics and mathematics at the Hebrew University and earned a doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley.

Prof. Gross visits the Hebrew University frequently, and has headed its annual Jerusalem Winter School for Theoretical Physics at the Institute for Advanced Studies. He continues to maintain close ties with colleagues at the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University (2001). He is currently a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 




Ada E. Yonath Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2009

Prof. Ada Yonath was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for having described the structure of the ribosome, the body which produces protein in the cell. She received the prize along with her scientific colleagues, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz. 

Prof. Yonath was born in 1939 in Jerusalem. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry (1962) and master’s degree in biochemistry (1964) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  After returning from postdoctoral work in the US In 1970, she joined the academic staff of the Weizmann Institute, where she is a member of the Department of Structural Biology in the Faculty of Chemistry. 

For most of her scientific career, Prof.Yonath's research has dealt with the structure of the ribosome, which is composed of protein and nucleic acids, that function to convert the genetic code into proteins, ascertains that the proteins were produced correctly, and defends them. The proteins carry out most of the biological processes in humans, animals, bacteria and plants, and their functions and proper operation are dependent on their spatial structure. Understanding of the way in which the ribosome creates the proteins is likely to shed light on the connection between various defects which are created in proteins and the development of various diseases. The understanding of the spatial structure of the ribosome and the principles of its functioning was made possible thanks to the innovative research approaches developed by Prof. Yonath and is likely, among other things, to assist in improving the efficiency of antibiotic drugs.