Reut Shema 2008-2009

Institution of PhD:
Weizmann Institute of Science
Academic Discipline of PhD:
PhD Advisor/s:
Prof. Yadin Dudai
Dissertation Topic:
The Role of PKMzeta in Long Term Memory Storage in the Rat Brain
Year Awarded PhD:
Institution of Postdoc:
MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Present Institution:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Present Academic Position:
Postdoctoral Fellow

Reut Shema is a neurobiologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Reut has been working in the Heiman Lab since the fall of 2012. She is studying the mechanistic basis of neuronal longevity and aging, and how they interact with neurodegenerative disease mechanisms, specifically in the context of Huntington’s disease.

She received her PhD in 2012 from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her thesis “The Role of PKMzeta in Long Term Memory Storage in the Rat Brain” was written under the supervision of Prof. Yadin Dudai.

In her research as part of the direct PhD program, Reut searched for “memory keeping molecules” whose inhibition will disrupt memory, without affecting learning or ongoing functions of the neurons. Reut discovered that blocking the enzyme called Protein Kinase Mzeta (PKMeta) in the neocortex, which is considered to be the final repository of long term memories, can erase long-term memory of taste associations in the rat’s cortex. Skillfully combining molecular biology, neuropharmacology and behavioral analysis, Reut made a signal contribution to what could be literally defined as a revolution in memory research.

Reut is a 2011 winner of the Dimitris N. Chorafas Graduate Student Award and a 2012 recipient of an EMBO long-term post-doctoral fellowship and a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship.