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Award for the most active lecturers for Israel on US campuses

Photo from the reception ceremony of Fr. From right to left Itamar Harel, Michal Arad, Naama Geva-Zatorski
Photo from the reception ceremony of Fr. From right to left Dr. Itamar Harel, Dr. Michal Arad, Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorski

Three Israeli scientists won the BioAbroad and Israeli American Council award for excellence and social leadership in the USA * The award will be presented this weekend at the annual conference of the Israeli-American community organization in Washington.

Dr. Michal Arad from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the National Center for the Study of Aging (NIA) at the NIH, Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorski from the Harvard University School of Medicine and Dr. Itamar Harel from the Stanford University School of Medicine, Promising Israeli scientists living in the USA have been awarded the BioAbroad and the Israeli-American Community Organization IAC award for scientific excellence and social leadership.

The award, chaired by Professor Michal Salzman from the University of Maryland, is given for the first year to an Israeli scientist at the beginning of his professional career when the condition for submitting a nomination is a voluntary contribution in the community and/or activity for Israel on campus.

The award committee was made up of five professors, among the top academics in Israel, as part of Biobrod's main goal to help the return of young scientists to Israel. "Biobrod believes that this is an excellent opportunity for young researchers to introduce themselves and create future employment opportunities in Israel or create research collaborations," explains Professor Salzman, the initiator of the award on behalf of Biobrod.

"For the past year, the BDS organization has been working on campuses across the US against Israel, and in the face of the incitement are the lecturers and students who have become the national explainers and ambassadors. These outstanding researchers are required to leave the laboratory, the formula and the research, to become spokespeople and diplomats for Israel, and they deserve public appreciation for that," emphasizes Shaham Nicolet, CEO of the IAC and head of the joint committee of BioAbroad and the Israeli American Council

The combination between the community of Israeli scientists scattered throughout the campuses in the USA, which is coordinated by the Biobroad association, and the Israeli American Council constitutes one of the pillars of the efforts to market Israel in the face of the voices rising on the campuses to create an academic boycott. "These young researchers, who, beyond their scientific excellence, are also continuously active for the community and speak to Israelis on campuses, are the most important ambassadors for the State of Israel in the Diaspora. That's why it was important for the IAC to name the social leaders among the outstanding researchers staying in North America" ​​stresses Nicolet.

On October 17-19, the Israeli American Council will hold its annual conference in Washington DC for leaders of Israeli communities in the USA. More than 1000 people are expected to participate in the conference, including ministers, MKs, members of the media, philanthropists and Jewish leaders from Israel and the USA. During the conference there will be an award ceremony for the winners.

Dr. Michal Arad

Dr. Michal Arad, 38, is a joint postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Center for Research on Aging (NIA/NIH), Baltimore, USA. Her research focuses on neurodevelopmental diseases in which one sex has a higher risk than the other of developing the disease with the aim of finding a treatment that will prevent the development of the disease. Dr. Arad began her academic studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology and anthropology). From there she continued her master's studies in the Department of Psychology at Tel Aviv University, in the Neuroimmunology Research Unit. Dr. Arad's doctoral thesis, under the guidance of Professor Ina Wiener, dealt with the role of estrogen in schizophrenia. Dr. Arad's research work is currently focused on the mechanisms responsible for the medical ability to use adult stem cells to treat neurodevelopmental diseases. Dr. Arad was a fellow at the Sagol Center at Tel Aviv University. She won a large number of awards for her academic achievements including the awards of the American Association for Psychiatric Biology and the European Federation of Neurosciences. In 2013, Dr. Arad was accepted into the prestigious program for outstanding young researchers in the fields of psychiatry (CDI). In the considerations of the award committee of Biobrod and the IAC it is written that in parallel with her excellent academic achievements, Dr. Arad is also a social leader who has volunteered in a large number of Israeli organizations and invests a lot of her time in order to connect the Israeli community in Baltimore.

Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorski
Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorski, 38, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Her research focuses on the interactions between gut bacteria and the immune system. Dr. Geva-Zatorski began her academic studies at Tel Aviv University where she graduated with first class honors with a combined bachelor's degree in biology-chemistry.

From there she went on to a master's degree and immediately after that to doctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute, in the Department of Cell Biology under the guidance of Professor Uri Alon, she developed a system that enabled real-time monitoring of proteins found in cancer cells and studied their response to drugs. With the completion of her doctoral thesis, Naama chose to change direction out of an ambition to learn about the interrelationships between the good bacteria living in our bodies and our immune system and thus find smart ways to treat diseases. For her groundbreaking research, Dr. Geva-Zatorsky was awarded several awards, including the UNESCO L'Oréal World Prize, the Teva Prize and the Kennedy Prize. In the consideration of the committee of BioAbroad and the IAC, it is written that Dr. Geva-Zaturski, voluntarily manages the BioAbroad center at Harvard and is a model for leadership and social involvement, Naama maintains fruitful collaborations with Jewish, Israeli and other organizations in Boston and is active in BioAbroad's committee for the promotion of women researchers. Dr. Zattorsky is nearing the end of her postdoctoral thesis and plans to apply next year for a senior researcher position in the Israeli academy. She is married to Amnon, an economist, and they have 3 children.

Dr. Itamar Harel

Dr. Itamar Harel, 35, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Brunt Laboratory at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, USA. His research focuses on developing an innovative genetic model for understanding the aging process and diseases related to old age. The experiments he conducts in African fish have led to groundbreaking discoveries that may help prevent diseases and develop drugs.

He completed his first degree in biology with first class honors at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He then continued to study developmental biology in a direct path to a doctorate, under the guidance of Prof. Eldad Tzhor at the Weizmann Institute. In his doctoral thesis he showed how a group of birth defects can be explained with the help of the common embryonic connection between the muscles of the heart and the face.

In his postdoctoral work, he adopted a new topic, and moved on to research the field of aging - and for this purpose, he replaced the research with mice with research with unique fish, which age at an accelerated rate. In addition to the innovative genetic developments he discovered, Dr. Harel recently went as part of a research expedition to Zimbabwe in Africa, for the purpose of characterizing the genetic diversity in the wild fish population. Dr. Harel will complete his internship next year, and aims to establish a research group in Israel. Dr. Harel's research is funded by the European HFSP Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation. Itamar is married to Guy, a PhD student in software engineering. In the considerations of the Biobrod and IAC committee, it was noted that Dr. Harel volunteered in many Israeli organizations before leaving for his postdoctorate. These days he lectures to school students about scientific discoveries, thereby exposing American youth to Israel's scientific and technological achievements

The BioAbroad organization is a non-profit organization operating since 2006, to maintain contact with Israeli scientists, researchers, doctors and entrepreneurs in the world. The organization is today the largest network for Israeli academics staying abroad (1900 members from all over the world with a master's degree or higher) and operates 20 centers on prominent campuses in North America managed by volunteer scientists.
BioAbroad works to connect Israeli academics with themselves, with the local community and to strengthen the relationship between them and Israel. The organization supports the return of researchers to Israel in order for them to bring with them the knowledge, talent, experience and connections they have gained to academia and industry as a growth engine for Israel.
The Israeli-American Council is the umbrella organization of the Israeli-American community and it works to build an active Israeli-American community and contributes to maintaining the State of Israel, future generations and building a bridge to the Jewish-American community.

2 תגובות

  1. BDS are just pure evil
    And people in the world see them as a legitimate organization. The situation in the world is simply sad

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