Joseph Schlessinger was born March 26, 1945, in the village of Topusko, now in Croatia, when it was occupied by Nazi Germany. The family moved to Israel in 1948. He, together with other citizens, served his compulsory military service with the Golani infantry brigade and was commissioned an officer. As part of his reserve duty he participated in the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War.
Dr. Schlessinger is married to Irit Lax, an Associate Professor in the Pharmacology Department at Yale. The focus of her research is on the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor. Lax has been working together with Joseph Schlessinger since she was a graduate student in Israel in the early 1980s. They each have two children from a previous marriage
For more information