Prof. Idan Menashe earned a PhD in Human Genetics and Bioinformatics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. In his PhD research conducted under the supervision of Prof. Doron Lancet and with the support of the prestigious Levi Eshkol fellowship from the Israeli Ministry of Science, he studied the genetic basis of human olfactory variability.
In January 2007, Prof. Menashe joined the Biostatistics Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a post-doctoral fellow. There, he led several genetic epidemiology projects and established his expertise in the field of pathways analysis of large ‘omics’ datasets. During his post-doc fellowship, Prof. Menashe won several prestigious awards and published tens of papers in a broad range of scientific journals.
In 2011, Prof. Menashe joined MindSpec, an independent, non-profit organization that focuses on genetics and bioinformatics research of neurodevelopmental conditions. As a leading scientist in this organization, he led and provided biostatistics guidance to diverse studies on the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
In October 2012, Prof. Menashe joined the Department of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Beer Sheva, Israel. At BGU, he established a unique research team that studies different aspects of genetic and epidemiology of ASD using state-of-the-art statistical and bioinformatics approaches. In 2015, Prof. Menashe, established the Negev Autism Center, a unique interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists from BGU and clinicians from the Soroka university medical center (SUMC) that joined forces to promote ASD research. In 2018, the Israeli Ministry of Sciences and Technology has awarded a grant from to Prof. Menashe and his colleagues to turn their center into the National Research Center for Autism in Israel. Three years later (2021), the center received a generous donation from the Azrieli Foundation to turn Israel into an international leader in ASD research. Today, Prof. Menashe serves as the Director of the Azrieli National Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research (ANCAN) that runs a large research infrastructure across the country. The center holds a national database containing extensive behavioral, clinical, and biological data from hundreds of children with ASD and their families. This database constitutes a unique resource that serves researchers at universities, medical centers, and industry to develop ground-breaking research with national and international impact.
In addition to his research projects, Prof. Menashe mentor students for PhD and MPH/MSc in their research dissertations and teaches several courses in genetics and biostatistics at the Faculty of Health Sciences.