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Dr. Stefan Rokem

Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Brief Biography:

Stefan Rokem born in Stockholm, Sweden 1948. Studied microbiology and biochemistry at Stockholm University for a B.Sc. (1970). M.Sc. (1973) in microbial biochemistry and fermentation technology at Imperial College, University of London, UK. Worked at the research laboratories of Astra Pharmaceuticals. Sodertalje, Sweden, with development of penicillin producing strains. Moved to Israel 1975 Ph.D. under Prof R.I. Mateles and Prof I Goldberg on production of single cell protein (1980). Post doc with Prof L.H. Hurley in Lexington Kentucky (biosynthesis of anti-tumor antibiotics) took up a position at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where he has been ever since. Sabbaticals at Yale, MIT, Danish Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Main research interests: formation of primary and secondary metabolites by various cells and use of biotechnology for sustainability. Consultant for local biotech industry. Honorary Theme Editor since 2008 for the UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), section Biotechnology, 13 volumes.


Academic positions:

1970: B.Sc. University of Stockholm, Microbiology and Biochemistry
1973: M.Sc Imperial College, University of London,Microbial Biochemistry and  Fermentation Technology
1979: Ph.D. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Applied Microbiology

Research and Professional Experience:

1971 - 1972: Assistant Teacher; Department of Microbiology, University of Stockholm, Sweden
1973 - 1975: Research Scientist; Astra Pharmaceuticals, Södertälje, Sweden
1977 - 1978: Research Assistant; Laboratory of Applied Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1979 - 1981: Post-Doctoral Fellow; College of Pharmacy,University of  Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
1981 - 1988: Lecturer, Department of Applied Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1987 - 1988: Visiting Professor, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
1988: Senior Lecturer, Department of Applied Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1992: Visiting Scientist (6 months), Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
2000: Visiting Professor, Dept. Biology, MIT, Cambridge, USA, (Aug-Sept).
2004 – 2005: Visiting Professor, CMB, BioCentrum-DTU, Lyngby, Denmark
2010: Visiting Professor, Dept.Systems Biology, Chalmers Technical University, Gothenburg, Sweden

Awards and Fellowships:

1975 - 1977: Lady Davis Graduate Fellow - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1982 - 1984: Charles L. Revson Lectureship - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1990: EMBO Short term Fellowahip (Researech visit at Bayreuth University, Germany)
1992: Wenner-Gren Center Foundation for Scientific Research  Fellowship

Positions selected for:

1981 - 1986: Head of Teaching Committee of Applied Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1981 - 1984: Representative of Lecturers at the Council of the Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1981 - 1982: Acting Chairman, Department of Applied Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1988 - 1991: Chairman, Department of Applied Microbiology, The Hebrew University of  Jerusalem, Israel
1991: Elected Member of  “Panel of Experts - Group of 100”, Group of 100”, Biofocus Foundation, World Academy of Arts and Sciences
1992 - 2007: Executive Committee Member, International Organization for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, (Middle East Representative)
1992: Elected member of Advisory Group of the European Federation of Biotechnology “Ecological Bioprocessing”
1994: Elected Member of Expert Panel of "Biotechnology for Cleaner Production”    
1997: Elected member of Scientific Board, Institute for Sustainability Studies, Israel
2001: Co-founder of Israel Association on Society- Nature Relations
2002 - 2007: Advisor on teaching programs in Biotechnology, Open University, Tel Aviv
2008: Advisor to Ra’anana Municipality on Education of Sustainability
2009: Honorary Theme Editor, Biotechnology, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, UNESCO
2009: Member of Editorial Team, African Journal of Microbiology Research.

Teaching Experience:

1. Applied Microbiology; 3rd year course B.Sc. (Course organizer)
2. Industrial Microbiology;  M.Sc./Ph.D. (Course organizer) 1981 – No: 81854, Lectures and Exercises,  Obligatory for Biotechnology,   Elective for Microbiology, 4 hours weekly, Semester A.
3. Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences M.Sc./Ph.D. (Course organizer)   1995 -  No: 81 864 Elective for Biotechnology and Microbiology, 2 hours weekly, Semester B.
4. Seminar in Biotechnology, Coordinator of Biotechnology M.Sc. students seminar. 2006
5. Biochemical Engineering; M.Sc./Ph.D. (Course organizer)
6. Seminar in Applied Microbiology; M.Sc.(Course organizer)
7. Microbiology; 3rd year Pharmacy students
8.  Microbiology; 2nd year Nursing students


Research interests:

Micro Biology, Bio Technology, Environmental Medicine


Any other information:

1. Biology of Methylotrophs, Butterworth, editor (1991)
2. Biotechnology and the Environment, Monograph in Hebrew ORT (2002)
3. Editor Biotechnology, 15 volumes, UNESCO. EOLSS publishers (2010)


What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral:

The open publication of research speaks to me.