Rivka Dikstein, Ph.D.

Prof. Rivka Dikstein earned a BSc from Tel Aviv University in 1985 and MSc and PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1988 and 1993 respectively. She spent three years conducting postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1997, she joined the faculty of Biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute. From 2019-2022 she served as the head of the Dept of Biomolecular Sciences and in 2022 she was nominated the Dean of the Faculty of Biochemistry. Prof. Dikstein is the incumbent of the Ruth and Leonard Simon Professorial Chair of Cancer Research.


Prof. Dikstein investigates one the most basic topics in biology—how genes are activated in order to produce proteins. Virtually all our body cells carry the same genes, but only a handful of them are activated in each cell, determining whether this cell will belong to the liver, blood, muscle or any other type of tissue. Prof. Dikstein’s long-term research goal is to achieve a deeper understanding of various stages of gene expression, with an emphasis on their crosstalk and their involvement in diseases. Specifically, her aims are (i) to elucidate the mechanism by which the two major stages of gene expression, transcription and translation, control the cellular response to external stimuli (ii) to reveal the connections between transcription and translation and (iii) to study the molecular basis of a unique genetic switch discovered in her lab, that controls both transcription and translation processes of gene expression. Her findings help clarifying the molecular basis of a common anti-diabetes drug and led to discovery of novel drugs with potential therapeutic effect against inherited neurodegenerative diseases. 

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