Asael Lubotzky

Asael Lubotzky (Hebrew: עשהאל לובוצקי; born 21 January 1983) is an Israeli physician, author, and molecular biologist. Formerly he served as an IDF officer and is a combat veteran of the Second Lebanon War.

Asael Lubotzky
Dr. Asael Lubotzky.jpg
Jerusalem, Israel
Known for
RelativesProfessor Alex Lubotzky (father)
Medical career
ProfessionPediatrician, researcher, writer
InstitutionsHebrew University of Jerusalem
Shaare Zedek Medical Center
ResearchEpigenetics, Cell-free DNA

Military serviceEdit

Asael Lubotzky grew up in Efrat, studied at the Hesder yeshiva in Ma'ale Adumim, was accepted to Shayetet 13, but chose to enlist in Golani's 51st Battalion. He underwent a training course as a combat soldier and was chosen as the outstanding company cadet. After completing Officer Candidate School Asael served as an officer commanding a platoon of the Golani Brigade. He led his platoon in the fighting in Gaza and, during the Second Lebanon War, fought in many battles in which many of his comrades were killed and wounded, until his own severe injury in the Battle of Bint Jbeil left him with a disability.[1][2]

Medical and research careerEdit

After rehabilitation from the injury, he began studying medicine at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School,[3] qualified as a doctor,[4] and specialized in pediatrics at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.[5] He joined the lab of professor Haim Cedar and became a PhD student of Professor Yuval Dor and Ruth Shemer at the Hebrew University's Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, who works on methylation patterns of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Lubotzky was recognized for his studies on circulating cfDNA as cancer diagnostic markers, received the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) cancer grant[6][7] and in 2019 was awarded The James Sivartsen Prize in Cancer Research by The Hebrew University for his innovative work in the field of cancer research.[8] In 2020 his research team received a prestigious grant of $500,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation towards their research on early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease based on blood tests.[9] In 2021 he received the Joint Award of the National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel (NIPI) and the Israeli Society of Biological Psychiatry. [10]

In 2021 he was awarded a PhD for a thesis entitled: "Liquid Biopsies Reveal Collateral Tissue Damage in Cancer and Brain Damage in Neural Pathologies".[11] The work demonstrated that metastatic tumors caused collateral tissue damage that released cfDNA from affected organs and that cell-free DNA methylation patterns can reveal the presence of metastases and offer clues to their tissue location.[12]

In 2022 he won The Rothschild Fellowship for young scholars of outstanding academic merit.[13]

In a research published in 2022, Lubotzky and colleagues discovered that brain cells die in a psychotic attack.[14] They demonstrated a higher level of brain-derived cell-free DNA in patients who experienced psychotic symptoms compared to healthy controls. The finding would serve as a proof of concept for brain-derived cell-free DNA as biomarkers of psychosis.[15]


Lubotzky's first book, From the Wilderness and Lebanon, describing his experiences in war and his rehabilitation, was published in 2008 by Yedioth Ahronoth, became a best-seller, won critical acclaim[16] and was translated into English.[17] A second book, Not My Last Journey, documenting the life story of his grandfather, the partisan and Irgun officer Iser Lubotzky, was published in Hebrew in 2017 by Yedioth Books and Menachem Begin Heritage Center.[18]

Lubotzky won the Leitersdorf Prize for the Arts for 2017.[19] Lubotzky lectures on various topics in Israel and abroad.[20][21][22]

Personal lifeEdit

Asael Lubotzky is the son of Prof. Alex Lubotzky and grandson of Prof. Murray Roston. He lives in Jerusalem, is married to Avital (Schimmel), a medical psychologist and they have five children.[23][24]


  • מן המדבר והלבנון (Min HaMidbar VeHaLevanon), Yedioth Ahronoth, 2008
  • From the Wilderness and Lebanon, The Toby Press, Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2016. English translation of the previous book by professor Murray Roston
  • לא דרכי האחרונה (Not My Last Journey), Yedioth Ahronoth & Menachem Begin Heritage Center, 2017

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Magnezi, Aviel (December 14, 2010). "War veteran returns to hospital as doctor: Golani Brigade officer Asael Lubotzky, who was critically injured during Second Lebanon War". Ynetnews.
  2. ^ This is Israel: Resilience. February 14, 2013 – via YouTube, Aish HaTorah.
  3. ^ The Battle of His Life: Asael Lubotzky's Story. June 5, 2012 – via YouTube, Rambam Health Care Campus.
  4. ^ Elizera, Rotem (July 3, 2015). "From wounded hero to pediatrician". Ynetnews.
  5. ^ The Hero Healer, Noga Tarnopolsky, Jewish News, September 29, 2016.
  6. ^ Hebrew U receives major portion of ICRF cancer research grants, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  7. ^ Dr. Asael Lubotzky, MD, Israel Cancer Research Fund.
  8. ^ The James Sivartsen Prize in Cancer Research, The Hebrew University, 2019.
  9. ^ Congratulations to Dr. Asael Lubotzky and the team of researchers from Hebrew University who were chosen to receive one of the grants for half a million dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shaare Zedek Medical Center news, February 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Asael Lubotzy, MD, PhD, Hebrew University, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, 2021.
  11. ^ PhD Thesis Defense - Dr. Asael Lubotzky, The Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, The Hebrew University, 2021.
  12. ^ Lubotzky, Asael et al. “Liquid biopsy reveals collateral tissue damage in cancer.” JCI insight vol. 7,2 (2022), PMID 35076021
  13. ^ Rothschild Fellows, Yad Hanadiv, 2022.
  14. ^ Siegel-Itzkovich, Judy (19 July 2022). "Think you have schizophrenia? A simple blood test can answer". Jerusalem Post.
  15. ^ Lubotzky, Asael et al. “Elevated brain-derived cell-free DNA among patients with first psychotic episode – a proof-of-concept study.” Elife. 2022 Jun 14;11:e76391, PMID 35699419
  16. ^ A wounded soldier who became one of Israel's best-selling authors has become a father, Maayana Miskin, Arutz Sheva, September 16, 2010.
  17. ^ Dr. Asael Lubotzky, Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.
  18. ^ Not My Last Journey, Yedioth Ahronoth, 2017.
  19. ^ Dr. Lubotzky won The Leitersdorf Award for significant contribution to the arts, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, July 2017.
  20. ^ Inspirational speaker, Asael Lubotzky, M.D., who spoke about his victory overcoming medical injuries received in the 2006 Lebanon War, American Healthcare Professionals and Friends for Medicine in Israel, December 16, 2012.
  21. ^ Physician shows medical Birthright group that blending profession and Judaism works, The Jewish News, January 10, 2015.
  22. ^ A Hero's Struggle – Dr. Asael Lubotzky, Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.
  23. ^ Author Corner , The Toby Press, Koren Publishers Jerusalem.
  24. ^ Alush, Korin Elbaz (June 26, 2019). "Father and grandfather swoop into ensure smooth delivery". Ynetnews.