Prof. Bilha Fischer has been serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Exact Sciences since 2019. She joined the Department of Chemistry, in the Faculty of the Exact Sciences, as a faculty member after completing her entire academic training (BSc through PhD) in chemistry at Bar-Ilan and following post-doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health, USA. At Bar-Ilan, she established the Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory and has trained generations of students in the areas of drug development and diagnostic methods (supervising close to 100 MSc, PhD and postdoctoral students).
Prof. Fischer believes that nature is economical, efficient and elegant, and uses a limited number of small molecules to perform a wide variety of life functions. Therefore, in her research she focuses on natural nucleotides and oligonucleotides (short strands of DNA) as scaffolds for the synthesis of innovative substances for their application in the field of drug development and diagnostic methods. Thus, for example, she has demonstrated the efficacy of potential drugs that she developed for treating Type 2 Diabetes, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases and osteoarthritis. She has also used oligonucleotides to identify breast cancer biomarkers for personalized medicine. Her studies were published in more than 120 articles and she has some ten patents to her credit.
In addition to her research and teaching, Prof. Fischer was involved in academic activities and management as a member of the Executive Committee of the Israel Chemical Society, as chair of the Department of Chemistry, Vice Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and Dean of the Faculty of Exact Sciences. Prof. Fischer also served as the Rector's Adviser for the Advancement of Women in Academia, as a member of the Supreme Appointments Committee, as a Senate member and as a judge on a variety of award committees such as the Fulbright Scholarships, the Blavatnik Awards, and the Israel Prize chemistry and physics awards.
Alongside her research and administrative activities, Prof. Fischer has exhibited illustrations based on Georges Brassens' chansons and published an illustrated book on wildflowers in Israel.