Howard Cedar
  • 2008 Wolf Prize in Medicine


Israeli American biochemist renowned for spearheading breakthroughs in the field of DNA methylation and cancer epigenetics. In 2008, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Medicine, jointly with Aharon Razin, "for their fundamental contributions to our understanding of the role of DNA methylation in the control of gene expression."

Education and Work Experience

1970, M.D. & Ph.D. New York University
1970-1971, Fellow of Department of Neurobiology, Public Health, Research Institute of the City of New York
1971-1973 Research Associate, US Public Health Service, NIH
1973-Present, Professor of Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Hebrew University Medical School

Honors and Awards

1999, Israel Prize
2008, Wolf Prize in Medicine
2011, Member of Academia Europea
2011, Canada Gairdner International Award

Major Academic Achievements

The Cedar Laboratory discovered and demonstrated that adding a chemical (methyl) group related to DNA affects how and when genetic information is used. These investigations are aimed to increase early diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other genetic diseases. The Cedar Lab also discovered that DNA methylation can provide epigenetic tags signaling which genes should be read or disregarded in each cell. By linking epigenomes to varied diseases, scientists will gain knowledge needed to develop new therapies. Throughout his career, Professor Cedar has made lifesaving discoveries. Employing methodologies developed in his lab, he invented a simple blood test that helps diagnose diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Fragile X Syndrome, as well as early signs of cancer.