Technion recently hosted Michigan – Israel Partnership ‘Frontiers in Biomedical Research’ Conference
The Michigan – Israel Partnership ‘Frontiers in Biomedical Research’ Conference, hosted by the Technion, recently took place at the Elma Arts Complex Hotel in Zikhron Yaacov. The conference was part of the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Scientific Symposium – a joint initiative of the Technion, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Michigan. The conference focused on new advances in biology and technology, aimed at improving human health.
The event was sponsored by the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation, a major Technion donor, and was attended by the Kahns’ daughter, Andi Wolfe, and her husband Larry Wolfe, who serves as the Kahn Foundation’s president. Andi is a member of the Technion Board of Governors and the National Board of the American Technion Society (ATS). Besides this partnership, Andi and Larry are involved in supporting the Michigan-Israel Partnership for Research and Education, in which the Technion plays a central role.
“My father was in love with the Technion,” says Andi Wolfe, who, last month, together with her husband, received the Albert Einstein Award – the highest honor awarded by ATS. “He later also became involved with the University of Michigan, and that’s how he came up with the idea of connecting the two universities. His dream became a reality with the help of Prof. Michael Aviram of the Technion and Prof. David Pinsky of the University of Michigan. The collaboration sponsors joint research projects by researchers from both universities and, today, also from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Meaningful progress is possible only through collaboration, and this initiative encourages a scientific, technological, and medical exchange between researchers from different institutions, different fields, and different countries. I come to all these conferences, and I am especially moved to see the young, brilliant researchers who are driving the worlds of science and medicine toward a better future.”
Conference Chair, Prof. Peleg Hasson of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, commented: “In most cases, breakthroughs do not come when two people doing similar work and speaking the same scientific language collaborate. Synergism and key advances are made when different disciplines are united. One of the main objectives of this program, apart from creating a bridge between universities, is to ignite ideas, disseminate the seeds that will enable synergistic science to take place. We heard in the last three days talks from various fields, ranging from environment to molecular cellular machineries. While I am sure not every detail was understood by everybody, we do know now what the topics are, what the challenges are, and what capabilities the researchers have. I am sure it will resonate in our minds for some time, and even without knowing it we will think about it using the language and tools we have in our labs. I would thus like to thank all the speakers, chairs and poster presenters for doing an excellent job.”
The three keynote speakers at the conference were Prof. Charles Burant of the University of Michigan, Prof. Asaph Aharoni of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Prof. Lior Gepstein of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion. The conference was also attended by Prof. Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, who talked about the origins of life and the antibiotics of the future.
The event included a poster competition for students of the three institutions, with participation reaching a record high, unprecedented in the conference’s history. Eleven students won the contest, nine of them from the Technion. Technion winners are Nadav Ben Assa, Lama Awwad, Yassen Gharam, Yara Ghnamah, Janan Abd Elkhalik, Anna Kaganovsky, Tahani Kadah, Eman Knaane and Eva Zanditenas. The winner from the University of Michigan is Meera Krishnamoorthy, and from the Weizmann Institute of Science – Aliza Fedorenko