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Weizmann Institute

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Weizmann Institute

Weizmann Institute of Science
מכון ויצמן למדע
Established 1934
Type Public
President Prof. Daniel Zajfman
Academic staff 1,000
Admin. staff 400
Postgraduates 1,000
Location Rehovot, Israel
Campus Urban
Postdoctoral fellows 220

The Weizmann Institute of Science (Hebrew: מכון ויצמן למדעMachon Weizmann LeMada) is a public research university in Rehovot, Israel. It differs from other Israeli universities in that it offers only graduate and post-graduate tutelage in the sciences.

It is a multidisciplinary research center, with around 2,500 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and scientific, technical, and administrative staff working at the Institute.[1][2]


Founded in 1934 by Chaim Weizmann and his first team, among them Benjamin M. Bloch, as the Daniel Sieff Research Institute, it was renamed the Weizmann Institute of Science in his honor on November 2, 1949. Before he became President of the State of Israel, Weizmann pursued his research in organic chemistry at its laboratories. The Weizmann Institute presently has about 2,500 students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and faculty, and awards M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biological chemistry and biology, as well as several interdisciplinary programs.[3] The symbol of the Weizmann Institute of Science is the multi-branched ficus tree.[4]

In 1957, research instrumental to the study of polonium was conducted at the institute laboratory. This has been of concern to the investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the cause of which has been attributed to polonium.

In 2011, the magazine The Scientist rated the Weizmann Institute as the best place in the world to work in academia among non-US institutions.[5]

In 2012, the Weizmann Institute made Shanghai Jiao Tong University's list of the world’s 100 top universities in 93rd place.[6]

In 2013, the Weizmann Institute moved up to 92nd on Shanghai Jiao Tong University's list of the world’s top universities.[7]

Youth programs

In addition to its academic programs, the Weizmann Institute runs programs for youth, including science clubs, camps and competitions. The Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute accepts high school graduates from all over the world for a four-week science-based summer camp. The Clore Garden of Science, which opened in 1999, is the world’s first completely interactive outdoor science museum.[3][8]


Three Weizmann Institute researchers won the Turing Award. Amir Pnueli in 1996,[9] Adi Shamir in 2002[10] and Shafi Goldwasser in 2012.[11]

Ada Yonath won the Wolf Prize for Chemistry in 2006 and the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009. Several faculty have been awarded Wolf Prizes in Medicine, including Leo Sachs (1980), Meir Wilchek (1987) and Michael Sela and Ruth Arnon (shared, 1998).

Distinguished faculty


Past officers of the Weizmann Institute

Notable alumni

  • Amikam Aharoni (1929–2002), physicist
  • Dorit Aharonov (born 1970), computer scientist specializing in quantum computing
  • Christian B. Anfinsen (1916–95) was an American biochemist
  • Ofer Biham, faculty member at the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Arie S. Belldegrun (born 1949), director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology and is Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine[12][13]
  • Achi Brandt (born 1938), mathematician, noted for pioneering contributions to multigrid methods
  • Ehud Gazit, biochemist and nanotechnologist, and Professor at the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University
  • Alexander Goldfarb, (born 1947), microbiologist, activist, and author
  • Anders Levermann, climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor of the Dynamics of the Climate System at Potsdam University
  • Mario Livio (born 1945), astrophysicist
  • Alexander Levitzki (born 1940), biochemist
  • Miron Livny, senior researcher and professor specializing in distributed computing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Henry Markram (born 1962), Director of the Blue Brain Project at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Amir Pnueli (1941–2009), computer scientist
  • Giora Ram (born 1947), interdisciplinary scientist in physics, mathematics, computer science, and medicine
  • Shmuel Safra, Professor of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University
  • Josip Schlessinger (born 1945), biochemist and biophysician
  • Nathan Seiberg, physicist
  • Adi Shamir (born 1952), cryptographer
  • Arieh Warshel, Nobel prize in chemistry (2013)

See also


External links

  • Weizmann Institute of Science Website (English)
  • The Institute's scientific activities (English)
  • Institute's blog on ScienceBlogs
  • American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (English)

Coordinates: 31°54′27″N 34°48′33″E / 31.90750°N 34.80917°E / 31.90750; 34.80917

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