Rotem SorekMSc, PhD
Rotem Sorek is a Professor of microbial genomics and systems biology at the Department of Molecular Genetics, the Weizmann Institute of Science. He studies the interactions between bacteria and the viruses that infect them (phages). The Sorek team discovered that phages can use small-molecule communication in order to coordinate their infection dynamics – representing the first discovery of small molecule communication between viruses.
His studies also focus on deciphering the molecular mechanisms providing bacteria with protection against phages, collectively known as the "immune system" of bacteria. Specifically, Sorek discovered key mechanisms in the functionality of the CRISPR-Cas system, which is the adaptive immune system of microbes, as well as reported a large number of new anti-phage defense systems that are widespread in microbial genomes.