RAGER, BRACHA (1938– ), Israeli microbiologist. Born in Tel Aviv, Rager obtained her M.Sc. in microbiology from Tel Aviv University in 1963 and received her Ph.D. from the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London University, London, England in 1973. Between 1973 and 1976, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, where later she was appointed visiting professor, a position she held until 1987. In 1977 she joined the newly established Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and was one of the founders of the department of microbiology and immunology, where she was appointed full professor in 1997. From 1997 to 2001 she was chief scientist of the Ministry of Health and from 2005 the president of the Israel Society of Microbiology. Rager was a member of the Higher Council of Education (MALAG) and served on the board of directors of Teva Pharmaceuticals. As an expert in virology and immunology, Rager conducted extensive research on mechanisms of defense against virus infections and cancer. She was a recipient of many prestigious awards and wrote numerous papers, which were published in professional journals. She also published articles on medical research policy and of scientific interest in national newspapers and was much involved in promoting medical research, women's health, and biotechnology. Throughout her professional life, Rager was extremely active in community and education projects related to the scientific education of the young. She was the academic consultant to gifted children and science for youth programs at Ben-Gurion University and a board member of the Blumfield Science Museum in Jerusalem. She was also a member of the board of directors of ORT, Israel. Rager was co-editor of the science section of the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica and the widow of Itzhack *Rager, the late mayor of Beersheba.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.