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Osnat Zomer-Penn

(1981 - )

Osnat Zomer-Penn is an award-winning Israeli autism researcher.

Zomer-Penn won the L’Oreal-UNESCO “Women in Science” prize in March 2013, winning the title for all of Europe. She was one of three Israelis who competed in the finals, and one of fifteen women from around the world in regional finals, each of whom received a $40,000 prize to advance her research.

Zomer-Penn studies genome sequences from hundreds of families who have an autistic child. She compares those children’s genomes with that of their healthy parents, in hopes of finding variations to explain the phenomenon of the disorder. Her research points to gene therapy, a rapidly-growing field, as well.

In his letter to Zomer-Penn upon her receipt of the award, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote “[you] have joined an exclusive club of Israeli scholars at the forefront of global research and science. You and your colleagues, along with many other researchers, are living proof of the quality of Israeli researchers and their contribution to the advancement of science and research.”

Sources: Algemeiner (March 29, 2013); Times of Israel (March 29, 2013); Tel Aviv University