Prof. Solange Akselrod - Biography
Solange was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on April 10, 1950, and made Aliya in 1969 by herself. She enrolled as an undergraduate student at Tel Aviv University, which had been founded only two years earlier. She completed the undergraduate program in 1971 with distinction and earned a master's degree in condensed matter physics, under the supervision of Prof. Moshe Paz, in 1974. At that point she decided to expand her academic interests into biological sciences and pursued a Ph.D. degree in physiology under the supervision of Prof. Emanuel Landau and Prof. Yoram Lass, which she completed in 1979.
Following her graduate studies, she spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She worked with Prof. Richard J. Cohen on a ground-breaking project aimed at exploring the mechanisms of heart rate variability and cardiovascular control, which resulted in a seminal publication in Science. This work eventually became the foundation of a new field of research, to which many investigators subsequently dedicated their careers.
Solange returned with her family to Israel in 1981 and took a faculty position in the School of Physics and Astronomy at her alma mater, Tel Aviv University. Shortly after her appointment, she accepted the responsibility of leading the research and educational activities of the medical physics group, which later became the Abramson Institute of Medical Physics under her leadership. She saw her mission in providing educational and research opportunities to virtually any student who came to learn. She established an open-door policy that reflected her personal style of close involvement in the work of her students. As a result, she became over the years one of the most popular advisors at the School of Physics and Astronomy and supervised record numbers of graduate students: no fewer than 90 MSc and 35 PhD theses. Her list of publications reveals her unparalleled breadth of interest and the diversity of interests of her students, and attests to her insatiable curiosity and to her courage to venture into unknown fields.
Solange published over 200 articles in professional peer-reviewed journals, which advanced her to the highest ranks in the academic ladder. Her active career included service on boards of directors of several professional societies, most prominently Computers in Cardiology, an organization she joined shortly after its establishment in 1974. Her tireless involvement with this society brought international recognition to her research efforts, and above all gained her many, many friends all over the world.
Written by Victor Mor-Avi in collaboration with Solange's family and others who miss her very much.