Stein, Yehezkiel

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STEIN, YEHEZKIEL (1926– ), Israeli physician and medical research scientist. Born in Cracow, Poland, he graduated as an M.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical School (1953) and after graduation joined the department of medicine at Hadassah where he received postgraduate training in biochemistry (1955–56). He was a visiting research scientist at Yale University and the Rockefeller University, New York (1959–61) on a Magnes Fellowship. After returning to Hadassah, he was appointed director of the Lipid Research Laboratory (1965–94), professor of medicine since 1969, and chairman of the department of medicine (1969–94). Stein's research centers on the contribution of high levels of lipoproteins rich in cholesterol (ldl) to atherosclerosis, a common disease of blood vessels including coronary artery disease. He also studied the lipoprotein hdl which removes cholesterol from the circulation. He used experimental tissue culture systems, human biochemical investigations, epidemiological surveys especially in the Jerusalem region, and clinical trials in broad and imaginative combination to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of atherosclerotic disease. His findings have helped to identify risk factors for developing atherosclerosis such as genetic predisposition, obesity, diet, and smoking. He has also investigated the intriguing observation that religious orthodoxy reduces the risk of myocardial infarction ("heart attacks"). Most of his more than 350 research publications were co-authored by his wife, Olga Stein, professor of experimental medicine, who also obtained her M.D. from Hadassah (1953). He participated in many international epidemiological surveys and was visiting professor at many leading U.S. university departments with shared research interests. He played a leading part in national and international committees concerned with atherosclerosis research and with education and research in medical science in general. Stein's achievements and international reputation in this field have been recognized by many honors and awards. These include the Heinrich Wieland Prize with O. Stein (1978), election to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1980), honorary membership in the American Association of Physicians (1987), the Humboldt Research Award with O. Stein (1993), and the Israel Prize for medicine (1996).

[Michael Denman (2nd ed.)]