CELEBRATION OF PROF. MECHOULAM’S 90TH BIRTHDAY
The Father of Cannabis Research
Raphael Mechoulam was born in Bulgaria in 1930 and immigrated with his family to Israel in 1949 where he later studied chemistry. He received his PhD at the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot (1958), with a thesis on the chemistry of steroids.
After postdoctoral studies at the Rockefeller Institute, New York (1959–60), he was on the scientific staff of the Weizmann Institute (1960–65), focusing on the isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis of the main active principles of cannabis.
Professor Mechoulam moved to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he became professor (1972) and then the Lionel Jacobson Professor of Medicinal Chemistry from 1975, where he established the Department of Natural Products. His major scientific interest is the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids.
In 1994 he was elected as a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Since the inception of his research in the 60s, Professor Mechoulam has been nominated for over 25 academic awards, including the Heinrich Wieland Prize (2004), an Honorary doctorate from Complutense University (2006), the Israel Prize in Exact Sciences – Chemistry (2000), the Israel Chemical Society Prize for excellence in research (2009) and EMET Prize in Exact Sciences – Chemistry (2012).