Prof. Zahava Solomon has been an eminent trauma researcher for the past four decades. Her multifaceted longitudinal studies of combat veterans, Holocaust survivors and survivors of ongoing terror and their spouses and children are innovative, creative and highly unique.
In her former role as the Head of Research in Mental Health in the Israeli Defense Forces, Medical Corp. Lt. Col. (retired) Zahava Solomon initiated two unparalleled cohort longitudinal studies studying all combatants diagnosed with Combat Stress Reaction from the 1982 Lebanon War and 1973 prisoners of war from the Yom Kippur War. These carefully matched cohorts have been prospectively followed over four decades at multiple assessment points. These still ongoing studies document the heterogeneity of PTSD trajectories over time, particularly the increase of delayed onset and reactivation of PTSD with aging, as well as the implication of PTSD trajectories in premature aging and mortality.
Prof. Solomon resides and works in Israel, which is a place unfortunately recognized as a "natural stress laboratory". Her research on the effects of recurring exposure both for combatants, as primary trauma survivors, as well as for those experiencing vicarious trauma, such as second generation Holocaust survivors as well as combatants' close family (i.e., wives and offspring), and the effects of continuous exposure to terror for civilians, have all made a unique and important contribution to furthering our understanding of trauma and its repercussions over time. Additionally, her unprecedented 20 year prospective assessment of front line treatment (PIE) is second to none. Prof. Solomon's research has led to her publishing two books, Combat Stress Reaction: The enduring toll of war (1993); and Coping with War-Induced Stress: The Gulf War and the Israeli response (1995), co-editing four books, publishing over 380 articles in leading psychiatric and psychological journals, and more than 70 book chapters. Moreover, her valuable contribution to the field of trauma was recognized by inclusion in the important book by Charles Figley, Mapping Trauma and Its Wake: Autobiographic Essays by Pioneer Trauma Scholars. Her research also formed the basis for the documentary "Awake at Night", to her being consulted and represented in Hatzufim, the Israeli series of Homeland, and she herself played a role in the Oscar nominated Israeli film, Waltz with Bashir.
Prof. Solomon is currently the head of the Multidisciplinary Center of Excellence for Mass Trauma Research at Tel Aviv University. She first joined Tel Aviv University in 1992, and has served as the Dean of the School of Social Work, Dean of Special Programs, and as the Head of the Adler Research Center. During this time, Prof. Solomon has supervised over 120 graduate students and dozens of postdoctoral students.
Prof. Solomon has served as an advisor in national and international advisory committees including the DSM-IV subcommittee for PTSD. Her studies have been supported by competitive and prestigious funding grants including the NIMH, EC, ISF, BSF, among others.
Prof Solomon, has earned numerous Israeli and international awards, which include the Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in the field of PTSD by the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (1997); the Prize of Israel (2009), which is the highest distinction bestowed by the State of Israel for academic excellence; the Annual Hans Christian Andersen Academy Award (2015); and most recently, she was awarded the Emet Prize in Social Sciences, Social Work (2016).