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About Me

Prof. Rakefet Schwarz received her BSc, MSc and PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and got her post-doctoral training at Stanford University. Studies in her laboratory at Bar-Ilan are focused on mechanisms allowing cyanobacteria to sense their environment, acclimate according to ambient cues and survive under a large variety of conditions. Cyanobacteria had, and still have a substantial impact on life on Earth. They had a pivotal role in the history of life by producing oxygen and allowing developmet of aerobic organisms. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are considered the ancestors of higher plants. Currently, the central ecological importance of cyanobacteria is manifested in their significant contribution to global carbon and nitrogen cycles. Additional major environmental impact stems from cyanobacterial blooms, which affect the entire food chain, and in cases of ‘toxic blooms' cause the collapse of large aquatic ecosystems and impact the quality of water reservoirs. Cyanobacteria, which are highly abundant in the environment, exhibit great versatility in terms of acclimation to ambient conditions. Studies in Schwarz group of cyanobacterial stress physiology and the molecular mechanisms underlying it, provide insight into fundamental cellular processes, e.g. regulated proteolysis and multicellular behavior of bacteria. Additionally, the information gleaned from these studies paves the way for genetically manipulating cyanobacteria in order to modulate their growth and other desired properties for the benefit of mankind.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Jan 1988Jan 1993

Oct 1985Jun 1987

ביולוגיה, Bachelor

Oct 1982Jun 1985


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