For his seminal contributions in the field of molecular recognition and its application in chemical and biological systems. For the development of affinity chromatography for purification of biologically active molecules and the avidin-biotin system, which had a major impact in the fields of chemistry, biology, medicine and nanotechnology.
Prof. Meir Wilchek was born in 1935 in Warsaw, Poland.In 1949 he immigrated to Israel from Germany, and lived in an immigrants’ absorption center in Rehovot.
After serving in the Israeli air force, he began his studies at the Bar-Ilan University, and obtained his B.Sc. degree in chemistry and physics in 1960.He joined the Department of Biophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where 3 years later he received his Ph.D.During his undergraduate and postgraduate studies, Prof. Wilchek worked as Chief Chemist at the Yeda Research & Development Company in Rehovot.Upon receiving his Ph.D. degree, Prof. Wilchek worked as a senior scientist in the Dept. of Biophysics at the Weizmann Institute, where he also served as Head of Department, Chairman of the Scientific Promotions Committee, and Dean of the Faculty for Biophysics-Biochemistry.He was invited to visit and lecture at universities and institutes around the world, and took part as an Invited Speaker at many conferences.
Prof. Wilchek has published over 400 scientific works and acted as advisor to many biotechnological companies in Israel and abroad. He has served as Chairman and as member of many scientific committees, among them at the Israeli Ministry of Science, as well as universities and various industries in Israel. In addition, he serves as Editor and Member of the Editorial Board of a variety of international scientific journals, and is a member of many scientific societies, including the Israel Academy of Science and The Institute of Medicine – American Academy of Science.His work and research won him many prizes, among them the Rothschild Prize in Chemistry; The Wolf Foundation Prize for Medicine, The Pierce Prize for Biorecognition Technology; The Israel Prize for Biotechnology, Sarstedt Prize, International Distinguished Clinical Chemistry Award, as well as Honorary Doctorate awards, and the Honorary Citizen Award of the town of Rehovot.