Uri Alon is one of the pioneers of systems biology, a field that studies how the parts of cells work together to perform the functions of life. Trained as a physicist, he—with his lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel—uses experiments and mathematical theory to define general principles of biological circuits within cells.
During his Radcliffe fellowship, Alon will study biological circuits that have bifunctional enzymes: components that perform two opposing functions. This paradoxical “unity of opposites” is expected to provide circuits with resilience against fluctuations in their components. In addition, Alon plans to promote science education about the interpersonal, emotional, and subjective aspects of doing science.
Alon received a 2003 IBM Faculty Award, the 2004 Overton Prize from the International Society of Computational Biology, and the 2005 Teva Founders Prize for breakthroughs in biomedical research. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his doctoral degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science.