Prof. Hermona Soreq


Soreq is renowned for her work on acetylcholine and acetylcholinesterase, its principal degradative enzyme. During her career, Soreq has tackled diverse problems of cholinergic regulation, integrating neuroscience with genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, population genetics, and biomedicine. Soreq elucidated how acetylcholine is involved in the brain’s stress response, and how genetic and transcriptional variations in acetylcholinesterase affect cholinergic signaling, resulting in sex-dependent differences in mental activity. She discovered surprising non‐classical actions of acetylcholinesterase, providing important insight into how it regulates cholinergic neurotransmission. She has pioneered the application of genomics to the metabolism of acetylcholine and discovered microRNA regulation of acetylcholinesterase, with important therapeutic implications for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety and sex-dependent differences in mental diseases. Using innovatively engineered conditional knockin mice, Soreq elucidated the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects and has made many important contributions to Israeli and European science. She has trained dozens of scientists, over 25 of them employed as faculty members in Israel and elsewhere. She was the first female Dean of Life Sciences at Hebrew University.