September 2008 # 3 CONTENTS 1 Letter from the Chairman of the Board 2 From the Desk of the Executive Director 2 BSF Calendar 3 Fundraising: Interview with BSF’s Director of Development 4 Binational Seminar in Washington D.C.: “From Science to Industry” 5 BSF Annual Dinner 6 Bergmann and Pazy Memorial Awards 7 In Memoriam: Prof. Rami Rahamimoff 7 New BSF Program for Short Scientific Trips by PhDs and Postdocs 7 BSF Applications and Approved Grants – 2007/2008 8 BSF-Sponsored Workshops 8 New BSF Board Members 8 New BSF Chair & Vice-Chair 9-14 Focus on Research: Young Scientists News & Views is published by the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation 8 Hamarpeh St., Jerusalem 91450, Israel E-mail: [email protected] Editor: Danny Shapiro Contributor: Rifkah Goldberg Design: Dinitz Studio Layout: Orli Rozencwajg From the Chairman of the Board I have the pleasure and honor to serve as the BSF Board chairperson for the coming year. The BSF has always stood out for the high level of research it supports, and for the rigor, fairness and Prof. Mina Teicher efficiency of its selection process. Since its founding in 1972, the BSF has played a central role in promoting collaborative American-Israeli scientific endeavors, and in strengthening the friendship between our two countries. The numbers speak for themselves: Since its inception, the BSF has provided $480 million in support for over 4,000 outstanding research projects. But the essence of the BSF goes beyond the numbers. From my experience as a scientist (and a past BSF grantee), and in numerous positions in the Israeli and international scientific arenas, I, as well as most of you, can testify to the dynamic synergy that exists between Israeli and American scientists and to the tremendous value of the collaborations and mutual exposures. One cannot overestimate the contribution of the BSF to this development. We have recently completed our 2007 grant selection process, focusing this year on medical and life sciences, biomedical engineering, and social and developmental psychology. A total of 425 eligible applications were received, an increase of 10% compared with the 2005 cycle. The BSF was able to fund a total of 109 research proposals – a success rate of over 25%. The total funding to be disbursed in the coming year is $16.6 million, including new and ongoing grants, and workshops. The modest size of BSF grants continues to be our major problem. Efforts to convince the U.S. and Israeli governments to increase the BSF’s endowment have not been successful so far, leading the Board to conclude that our main hope to increase resources is to launch a fundraising campaign. We began such an effort this year. A noteworthy trend is the growing interest in the BSF's start-up program, which provides two-year grants for young investigators. Over the past two years, we have seen jumps of 92% (physical sciences) and 53% (life sciences) in the number of applications. The BSF is keenly aware of the importance of encouraging the best and brightest young Israeli and American investigators. This year we are also expecting to initiate a special program devoted to renewable and alternative energy, supported by special funding from our two governments. With this program we will be making our small contribution to the global effort to cope with the energy crisis. I join my fellow governors, and the dedicated BSF staff, in wishing the entire BSF community a year of progress and success. Prof. Mina Teicher Chairman of the Board of Governors 2 From the Desk of the Executive Director Two numbers stand out with regards to the BSF: 36 and $42,000. Thirty-six is the number of Nobel Prize laureates who have participated in BSFsupported research. This phenomenal number says just about everything regarding the quality and stature of BSF research and competition. The second number, $42,000, is the average annual grant size that the BSF offered this year a small grant by any standard. Dr. Yair Rotstein These two numbers bring BSF's current situation into sharp relief: On the one hand, the continually growing demand for BSF support by leading Israeli and American scientists; and the BSF's limited resources, on the other. This situation is disturbing not only to the grantees who are disappointed by the modest amounts they receive, and to the many who submit outstanding research proposals but are turned down by us; It is also troubling to us, the BSF Board and staff, who face the frustrations and distress of the scientific community. We are devoting serious efforts and resources to address this problem. We continue our ongoing efforts to convince the two governments to increase the endowment which supports our activities. We have also begun seeking support, for the first time, from private sources both in Israel and the US. No less important, we are starting to actively seek cooperation with other science funding organizations in the US, which are usually limited to a specific topic or state. By joining forces we expect that, at least in some fields, it will be possible to increase the size of the grants, and possibly also their number. To be successful in these efforts we will need the support of many of the present and past BSF grantees. Our experience in this regard, and in the other cases in which we sought your help, has been excellent indeed. I would like to take this opportunity and to thank you for your help. Together, we can move the BSF forward! Dr. Yair Rotstein Executive Director BSF Calendar September 1, 2008 November 17, 2008 December 19, 2008 March 5, 2009 July 7, 2009 July 15, 2009 BSF website opens for submission of new applications in the exact, physical, natural and social sciences Submission deadline for applications in exact, physical, natural and social sciences Submission deadline for BSF-Supported Workshops and Travel Grants for Young Scientists Results for the BSF-Supported Workshop Program BSF Annual Dinner in Jerusalem Results for BSF Research Grant Applications 3 Fundraising: Interview with BSF’s Director of Development The BSF has recently launched a fundraising effort for the first time in its history. To understand the whys and hows a little better, News and Views interviewed Danny Shapiro, BSF's new director of development and public affairs. Why has the BSF suddenly decided to engage in fundraising, after so many years? It wasn't a sudden decision. The static nature of the BSF endowment, and the everDanny Shapiro rising costs of innovative research, have brought about continuous erosion in the real value of BSF grants. The BSF Board realized that additional funding from the US and Israeli governments is not likely in the near future; so, after thorough discussion, it was decided to launch a fundraising effort. can say that as someone with nearly 20 years of fundraising experience for Israeli institutions, I myself am profoundly impressed with the BSF. It was "love at first sight". What areas are you trying to raise money for? The Board has made it clear that the top priority is BSF's core areas, to increase the size of the grants and/or enable more grants. But we are also seeking funding for important special areas such as young researchers, travel grants, women scientists and more. There is so much competition in fundraising. What makes the BSF unique? What are the prospects for success? Are you optimistic? The BSF makes a unique contribution to the friendship between Israel and the U.S., which is of strategic importance for both countries. The BSF also plays a crucial role in Israeli science by enabling access to the top scientists and the world's leading scientific power. It's still early, but I am definitely optimistic; if I wasn't, I wouldn't be doing this. Remember, we are starting completely from scratch in fundraising, and it is a daunting task for such a small organization. But I am not alone: The Board is behind us; the Board chairperson, Prof. Mina Teicher, and our executive director, Dr. Yair Rotstein, are providing active support. What kind of reaction have you been getting? When people hear about the BSF – not only who we are but what we have achieved – they are deeply impressed. For example, people are astounded to learn that 36 Nobel Prize laureates have taken part in BSF-sponsored research, and of the key role BSF support played in facilitating the partnership that led to the Nobel won by Profs. Hershko, Ciechanover and Rose. They say we should be proud of our efficiency, that 93% of our budget goes directly to science, that a staff of 8 people disburses and administers $15 million dollars a year in grants. On a personal note, I We are also establishing a “Council for the Advancement of the BSF” comprised of prominent public figures and scientists. Those who have joined so far: Nobelists Prof. Sidney Altman of Yale, Prof. Aharon Ciechanover and Prof. Avram Hershko of the Technion; Dr. Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs; Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli ambassador to the US and president of Tel Aviv University; and Prof. Zehev Tadmor, former president of the Technion. It is very encouraging to have people of this caliber standing behind us and willing to help. 4 Binational Foundations Hold Washington D.C. Seminar – From Science to Industry: Successes and Challenges of the U.S. – Israel Binational Model On June 17, 2008, the BSF and its two sister binational foundations – BIRD (industrial collaboration) and BARD (agricultural cooperation) – held a seminar in Washington, D.C., focusing on U.S.-Israel collaboration in science and technology. The seminar, “From Science to Industry: Successes and Challenges of the U.S. – Israel Binational Model,” showcased the powerful synergy of the binational model and its achievements in bringing innovations from the lab to the marketplace. The seminar featured remarks by John. D. Negroponte, U.S. Deputy From left: Dr. Yair Rotstein, Executive Director BSF; Secretary of State; Sallai Meridor, John D. Negronponte, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.; and State; Sallai Meridor, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Eli Opper, Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Sallai Meridor, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Keynote speakers included Prof. Sidney Altman, Yale University, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 1989; Prof. Victor Lechtenberg, Vice Provost for Engagement, Purdue University; Dr. Ed Mlavsky, Chairman & Founding Partner, Gemini Israel Funds; and Dr. Sass Somekh, Founder, Musea Ventures. The executive directors of the three binational foundations presented their activities and future goals in a panel called “The U.S. – Israel Binational Foundations: A Proven Model with a View to the Future”. Reception at the National Academies of Science building, Washington D.C. The event was held in the National Academy of Sciences Building, and was attended by some 200 guests. Selected video clips may be seen at http://picasaweb.google.com/EitanatBIRD/BARDBIRDBSFEvent Kenneth Ferguson, BSF governor (left) and John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State From left: Danny Shapiro, BSF director of development; Prof. Sidney Altman, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Dr. Albert Teich, BSF governor; Dr. Yair Rotstein, BSF executive director Executive Directors of the three binational foundations: From left: Dr. Edo Chalutz, BARD; Dr. Yair Rothstein, BSF; and Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD 5 BSF 2008 Annual Dinner The 2008 BSF Annual Dinner was held on July 9 at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, during the Board of Governors meeting, to welcome and honor American board members and to celebrate another year of achievements in U.S. – Israeli scientific cooperation. The dinner was attended by some 150 guests from the scientific community in Israel and the U.S. BSF executive director Dr. Yair Rotstein presented the highlights of the past year, and paid tribute to Prof. Rami Rahamimoff, the late BSF governor who passed away earlier this year (see separate item). Dr. Rotstein said that the BSF, and he personally, “shall miss Prof. Rahamimoff’s wisdom and experience.” The guest speaker was Knesset Finance Committee Chairman and former president of Ben-Gurion University, Prof. Avishay Braverman. Prof. Braverman spoke eloquently of the challenges of science and higher education in Israel today, from the dual perspective of a former university president and a current member of Knesset. Two BSF memorial awards, honoring the late Professor Ernest David Bergmann and the late Prof. Amnon Pazy, were presented to deserving scientists (see separate item). The Bergmann Award was presented by outgoing BSF board chairman Ken Ferguson; and the Pazy Award was presented by Dr. Batia Pazy, Prof. Pazy’s widow, in the presence of her daughter, Mrs. Michal Nechemia. Prof. Avishay Braverman, Member of Knesset and guest speaker BSF governors Kenneth Ferguson (left) and Dr. Thomas Crisman Dr. Shlomo Wald, BSF governor (right) and Danny Grossman BSF governors Yael Mevorach and Dr. Clifford Gabriel Dr. Albert Teich, BSF governor Dr. Yair Rotstein, BSF executive director (left) and M.K. Prof. Avishay Braverman Dr. Michael Crosby, BSF governor Dr. Batia Pazy and her daughter, Michal Nechemia Prof. Mina Teicher, incoming chairpman of the BSF Board of Governors, and Danny Haring Dr. Batia Pazy presents the Prof. Amnon Pazy Award to Prof. Omer Reingold of the Weizmann Institute 6 The Bergmann and Pazy Memorial Awards Each year, the BSF recognizes particularly outstanding research proposals by conferring special memorial awards. The prizes given this year were the Bergmann and Pazy awards – honoring the memory of two men who were both outstanding scientists and who made far-reaching contributions to Israeli research and academia in general, and to the BSF in particular. The Professor Ernest David Bergmann Award Prof. Bergmann was internationally recognized for his contributions in organic chemistry. He played a major role in establishing the BSF and served on its Board of Governors until his death in 1975. One of his special interests was the encouragement of young scientists. To honor his memory, the Board of Governors established, in 1976, special grants in his name, to be awarded annually to promising young scientists The recipients of this year’s Bergmann Prize Dr. Hossam Haick (Technion). He submitted his application together with Prof. Raymond Tung (City University of New York). The title of their submission was Electron Transport through Conductor/ Molecular Film/Semiconductor Systems. Prof. Assaf Naor (New York University). He submitted his proposal, Geometric Techniques for the Analysis and Design of Algorithms on Metric Data, together with Dr. Mendel Manor (Open University). The Professor Amnon Pazy Award Professor Pazy was a wellknow mathematician, who was for decades a central figure in Israeli higher education. He served as president of Hebrew University and later as Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council of Higher Education. Prof. Pazy served continuously on the BSF Board of Governors from 1997 until his death in August 2006. During this period, he was twice elected Chairman of the Board, and the BSF greatly benefited from his considerable experience in science, academic affairs, and public service in general. To honor his memory, the BSF established in 2007 the Prof. Amnon Pazy Memorial Award, to be given biannually to the most outstanding and original new project in mathematics and computer sciences. The recipients of this year’s Pazy Award Prof. Omer Reingold (Weizmann Institute of Science), Prof. Luca Trevisan (Berkeley), and Prof. Salil Vadhan (Harvard) for their proposal, Pseudorandomness and Combinatorial Constructions. Prof. Michael Krivelevich (Tel Aviv University; past winner of the Bergmann Award) and Prof. Alan Frieze (Carnegie Mellon University) for their application Probabilistic Reasoning in Combinatorics. Dr. Hossam Haick and Prof. Raymond Tung Prof. Assaf Naor (left) and Dr. Mendel Manor From left: Prof. Omer Reingold, Prof. Luca Trevisan and Prof. Salil Vadhan Prof. Michael Krivelevich (left) and Prof. Alan Frieze 7 In Memoriam: Prof. Rami Rahamimoff BSF Board member Prof. Rami Rahamimoff passed away on March 15, 2008. He was 70 years old. Prof. Rahamimoff was a professor of physiology at the Hebrew University, and was awarded the Israel Prize in Medicine in 1998. Prof. Rami Rahamimoff Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1937, Prof. Rahamimoff earned his M.D. in 1963 from the Hebrew University, where he continued to become a full professor and chair of the Department of Physiology. He later served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical campus. He served as Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Health from 2001 until his death. Prof. Rahamimoff had been a BSF board member for the past five years, serving as ViceChair in 2005/2006 and Chair in 2006/2007. Before joining the Board, he received numerous BSF grants. A prominent figure in the Israeli medical and scientific community, he was world renowned for his pioneering research on calcium regulation of synaptic transmission (passage of nerve impulses at junctions between a nerve and another nerve, muscle or gland cell). New BSF Program for Short Scientific Trips by PhDs and Postdocs The BSF Board of Governors recently approved a new grant program to fund short scientific trips for Israeli and American PhD students and postdoctoral fellows doing research that requires facilities and expertise not available in their home countries. Ten such grants will be made in 2009. For more information, please see the BSF website at www.bsf.org.il. BSF Applications and Approved Grants – 2007/2008 The 2007/2008 competition focused on medical and life sciences, biomedical engineering, and social and developmental psychology. Grants are for two to four years. A total of 425 eligible proposals were submitted, and 109 were approved by the Board of Governors – a success rate of 25.6%, down slightly from 27.2% in 2005/2006 (the previous health/life sciences cycle). This is mainly due to the significant increase in the number of applications, which grew by more than 9% from 2005. Average grant size was increased by about 10% from the 2005/6 cycle. The breakdown by areas of research are shown in the table below. Areas of Research 2007/2008 2005/2006 Health Sciences 135 (28) 103 (22) Life Sciences 212 (62) 222 (71) 27 (5) 28 (4) 51 (14) 425 (109) 36 (9) 389 (106) Biomedical Engineering Psychology Total 8 BSF-Sponsored Workshops Eighteen workshop applications were submitted to the BSF this year. The two workshops selected for support in 2007/8 were: Ensuring the Sustainable Reuse of Wastewater for Agricultural Irrigation in Semi-Arid/Arid Regions Organizers: Prof. Uri Zoller (University of Haifa), Prof. Menachem Elimelech (Yale University), Prof. Peter Fox (Arizona State University), Prof. Hassan Azaizeh (Galilee Society, Shefa Amr), Prof. Carlos Dosoretz (Technion), Prof. Yoram Gerchman (University of Haifa), Prof. Karl Linden (Duke University, Durham, USA) Developing US-Israeli-Palestinian Sustained Collaborative Efforts Prof. Ronny Shtarkshall (Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School) and Prof. Aryeh Stein (Emory University, Atlanta) New BSF Board Members Four new members have joined the Board of Governors in the past year: Dr. Clifford Gabriel, U.S.: Dr. Gabriel is Senior Advisor at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has replaced Dr. Marta Cehelsky, also from the NSF. Ms. Yael Mevorach, Israel: Ms. Mevorach is an economist in the Israeli Ministry of Finance, and replaced Ms. Rotem Rulf from the same ministry. Prof. Yosef Shiloh, Israel: Prof. Shiloh is from the Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences. He replaced Prof. Ariel Rubinstein, also from Tel Aviv University. Dr. Shlomo Wald, Israel: Dr. Wald is the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure. He replaced Dr. Abraham Arbib, from the same ministry. The BSF thanks all the outgoing board members for their devoted service, and welcomes the new board members. New BSF Chair & Vice-Chair The Board has elected Prof. Mina Teicher (Israel) as its new chairman for 2008/9, replacing Mr. Kenneth Ferguson (U.S.); and Prof. Thomas Crisman (U.S.) as Vice-Chair, replacing Prof. Teicher. The BSF thanks Mr. Ferguson for his dedicated service as chairman. BSF Board of Governors 2008-2009 United States Israel Prof. Thomas L. Crisman University of South Florida Vice-Chair, BSF Prof. Mina Teicher Bar Ilan University Chair, BSF Dr. Michael P. Crosby University of Hawaii at Hilo Ms. Yael Mevorach Ministry of Finance Mr. Kenneth Ferguson U.S. Department of State Prof. Yosef Shiloh Tel Aviv University Dr. Clifford Gabriel National Science Foundation Dr. Shlomo Wald Ministry of National Infrastructure Dr. Albert H. Teich American Association for the Advancement of Science 9 Focus on Research: Young Scientists The future of science depends to a large extent on the ability of universities, hospitals and other research institutions to attract the most promising young researchers, and provide them with the resources and environment that will nurture innovation and excellence. The BSF is acutely aware of the importance of supporting these young scientists, and has established several programs and awards to help them: Start-up Grants: Two-year grants to scientists in the early stages of their career as independent investigators. Travel Grants for PhDs and postdoctoral researchers, for short scientific trips for research that requires facilities and expertise not available in their home countries. The E.D. Bergmann Memorial Award, a prize given to outstanding researchers in the very early years of their independent scientific careers, as a supplement to their BSF grant. We devote this issue’s “Focus on Research” to young scientists, and will feature five early-career investigators who are the recipients of either a regular BSF grant or a start-up grant. Dr. Aharon Blank ─ Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, Technion Micro-Imaging Living Cells BSF Research Grant (2006-2010); winner of the Bergmann Award for the most outstanding research proposal by a young investigator in 2006. Dr. Aharon Blank Dr. Blank: “My BSF grant helped me to establish a very fruitful collaboration with Prof. Kuppusamy, my U.S. partner. This enabled me to apply the methodologies I developed in my laboratory in both biological and bio-medical settings. I used the funding from the Bergmann Memorial Award to purchase some major equipment.” U.S. collaborator, Prof. Periannan Kuppusamy, Ohio State University Medical Center: “My collaborator Dr. Blank is working on an exciting project, the development of a microscope for ultrahigh-resolution imaging of free radicals. This system will have the sensitivity and resolution required to detect very low paramagnetic spins in a variety of applications, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Blank has the expertise and experience to develop this innovative approach for biomedical research and clinical applications. I am pleased to be associated with this project, and grateful to the BSF for supporting it.” Summary of Scientific Career Dr. Blank is senior lecturer at the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, Technion-IIT. He earned his B.Sc. in physics, mathematics and chemistry from the Hebrew University in 1992; his M.Sc. in electrical engineering from Tel Aviv University in 1997; and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Hebrew University in 2002. He served in the Israeli Air Force for nine years while continuing his studies. He spent several years as Chief Scientist of TopSpin, an Israeli start-up company developing intravascular MRI techniques. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University from 2002 to 2005. 10 Dr. Aharon Blank (Cont.) Research Interests Magnetic Resonance (MR), discovered over 60 years ago, is one of the most versatile fields of science, with applications ranging from chemical structure determination to medical imaging, and quantum information processing. To date, seven Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry and medicine have been given related to MR. Industries based on medical and chemical applications of MR are worth billions of dollars. Dr. Blank works mainly in two areas of MR: electron spin resonance (ESR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). He develops unique methodologies and focuses on three key MR issues: sensitivity, image resolution, and affordability. His aims are: • To increase the sensitivity of MR: Since magnetic resonance is very insensitive, relatively large samples are required to get a measurable signal. Dr. Blank and his colleagues are developing sensitive miniature ESR resonators that operate at a wide range of temperatures and frequencies to try and solve this problem. • To increase the imaging resolution of MR: Sensitive detection systems can be also utilized to greatly increase the imaging resolution of MR. The search goal in this line of work is to achieve resolution of ~ 1 micron at ambient conditions (for biological and medical applications) and ~ 100 nm at cryogenic temperatures (for materials science and basic physics research). • To develop more affordable systems: Dr. Blank’s group devises affordable and simple NMR systems for a wide variety of material sciences and medical diagnostic applications. BSF Project Dr. Blank’s laboratory recently developed the ESR micro-imaging technique, achieving a spatial resolution of 1 micron, based on the unique magnetic signal of stable free radicals. This method allows mapping of such radicals, including those involved in malignant processes, and provides other vital information about them. In the BSF research project, this novel method is being applied in living systems for the first time: ESR is used to provide high-resolution images of the exact locations and types of reactive oxygen species generated by bio-activity in live smooth muscle cells. The U.S. partner in this project has a system for low-resolution ESR imaging of animals and also provides some of the biological samples, as well as unique radicals for the microimaging experiments. Low- and high-resolution ESR imaging techniques in small animals and tissue extracts provide accurate information about the location of stable free radicals implanted in these tissues. This may be used for cancer diagnosis and therapy purposes. ESR micro-imaging measurements are also being carried out on small live amoebas and other test samples. This research is eventually expected to open up the new broad field of ESR microscopy in biology and medicine. 11 Dr. Sara Lev ─ Graduate School of Business, University of Haifa Joint Learning in Israeli/American High-Tech Ventures BSF Start-up Grant for Young Researchers (2007–2009) Dr. Sara Lev Dr. Lev: “The BSF grant has allowed me to maintain a close relationship with my professional advisor, Prof. Oded Shenkar, a world leader in international management and alliances, and cutting-edge theories in this area. My BSF project, carried out together with my former Ph.D. advisor, Prof. Avi Fiegenbaum from the Technion, develops theories to explain innovation performance of global alliances. During the first year of my BSF grant, I also familiarized myself with people in other binational granting organizations (e.g. BIRD, MATIMOP), who gave me useful advice about how to get research data, and I am sure that these connections will help me in the future.” Dr, Lev is collaborating with Prof. Avi Fiegenbaum, Technion, and Prof. Oded Shenkar, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University. Prof. Shenkar: “Working with Sara has, and continues to be, a great experience. Since we deal with complementary areas, the project is also a learning experience for me, providing many brain-storming opportunities. Seeing a phenomenon from the perspective of a young researcher with many innovative ideas has also been very enriching.” Summary of Scientific Career Dr. Lev is a researcher at the Graduate School of Management, Haifa University, and Acting CEO of Carmel, Haifa University Economic Corp. Ltd, the University’s technology transfer company. She earned B.Sc. degrees in computer science and in education in technology and science in 1986; an M.Sc. in strategic management and entrepreneurship in 1999; and a Ph.D. in strategic management and entrepreneurship in 2004, all from the Technion. From 2004 to 2006, she was a postdoctoral visiting researcher in the Strategy Department at INSEAD, France. Her experience in industry includes: project manager at GalaiLaboratories, Migdal-Ha’emek, an innovative hightech image-processing software company and software engineer for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); and she served in the IDF Parachuting Unit. Dr. Lev is a member of the Academy of Management (BPS division) and the Strategic Management Society. Research Interests Dr. Lev carries out research on strategic management and entrepreneurship, focusing on organizational learning and innovation processes at the organizational level, and on strategic alliances. For the last decade, she has been studying Israeli high-tech companies operating in global markets, which are managerially challenged by the hypercompetition. She explores the impact of industry structure and knowledge management on their short- and long-term performance, using advanced quantitative methods, such as structural equation modeling. BSF Project The jolt created by the burst of the high-tech bubble in 2000 raised questions about its global sustainability, as well as about the ability of Israeli firms to recover in this market. Dr. Lev’s BSF research project explores the “post-bubble” jolt, focusing on the "re-surge," based on the learning capabilities of Israeli high-tech firms. This project seeks to extend existing theories in organizational learning by focusing on joint learning of collaborating firms: global alliances between American firms together with the current fast-growing Israeli innovative high-tech sector. Her research team’s main hypothesis is that organizations should develop both common and separate learning abilities: The common pursuit of external knowledge for commercial purposes; and separate assimilation and transformation of knowledge. They are developing a comprehensive model, encompassing environmental, organizational, innovational and performance factors. This novel extended framework, supported by empirical findings, is expected to provide a valuable addition to the theory of organizations strategy and multi-national corporations. On the practical level, it should be useful to global executives and public policy makers for developing guidelines to enhance economic growth and public wealth. 12 Dr. Liza Barki-Harrington — Department of Biology, University of Haifa Receptor Signaling in Heart Failure BSF Start-up Grant for Young Researchers (2006-2008) Dr. Liza BarkiHarrington Dr. Barki-Harrington: “The BSF start-up grant, my first competitive source of funding, was crucial in enabling me to start my own laboratory at the University of Haifa. The requirement for close collaboration with a U.S. partner gave me the opportunity to carry out research with state-of-the-art technology and invaluable scientific exchange. Our comprehensive study, together with Dr. Rockman's group, is expected to lead to individual tailor-made drug therapy for heart failure patients. On a personal level, Dr. Rockman’s continued support and enthusiasm are highly significant for my development as an independent researcher.” Collaborating with Dr. Howard Rockman, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina: “With funding from the BSF, Dr. BarkiHarrington and I have been able to study novel mechanisms of β-adrenergic receptors in heart failure. These receptors are thought to be directly involved in causing heart failure and are the primary targets for the well known drugs called β-blockers. The BSF start-up grant offered a unique opportunity for me to form a long-lasting, synergistic collaboration with Liza as she has evolved into a splendid independent scientist at the University of Haifa. Together, we have already made a number of exciting discoveries that I believe will greatly advance our understanding of why the heart fails in response to stressful conditions, such as after a heart attack or with chronic high blood pressure." Summary of Scientific Career Dr. Barki-Harrington is a lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of Haifa. She earned her B.Sc. in life sciences in 1992, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in clinical pharmacology, in 1995 and 1999 respectively, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She then served as research associate at the Duke University Medical Center for five years. She was a research associate at the University of Haifa’s Department of Neurobiology and Ethology from 2004 to 2007. Research Interests G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), the largest and most diverse super-family of cell-surface receptors, mediate a vast array of biological responses. The classical model for signaling by receptors is based on activation by ligand (a molecule that binds to it causing physiological changes or activity). In this case, ligand stimulates coupling to G protein, which in turn leads to the generation of intracellular second messengers. However, increasing evidence suggests that there are also alternative pathways. Dr. Barki-Harrington’s research team employs in vitro and in vivo techniques to shed light on these novel GPCR signaling mechanisms, focusing in particular on their role in heart failure and therapy for this condition. BSF Project The research carried out with the BSF start-up grant, jointly with Dr. Rockman, focuses on the role of β-adrenergic signaling system in the heart and the changes it undergoes during heart failure. These new signaling pathways (involving β-arrestin and trans-activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor) were identified by combining an in vitro tissue culture approach with in vivo physiological and pathological tests. Using transgenic animal models, these researchers discovered that signaling by this pathway is highly protective against deterioration of the heart under pathologic conditions. These findings suggest that further understanding of these signaling patterns is likely to lead to novel therapeutic approaches for treatment and management of heart failure. 13 Dr. Hossam Haick — Wolfson Department of Chemical Engineering and Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion New Approaches with Electronic Devices BSF Research Grant (2007-2011), winner of the Bergmann Award for the most outstanding research proposal by a young investigator in 2007. Dr. Hossam Haick Dr. Haick: “The BSF’s unique mission to promote excellence in multidisciplinary collaborative research between the United States and Israel paved the way for my joint work with Prof. Tung, enabling us to extend a very important research area, which would not otherwise have been done. In our BSF project, Prof. Tung’s experience in physics of semiconductors completes my expertise in materials and interfaces. Through this work, I have become familiar with new ways of thinking and techniques, which have moved me in new scientific directions.” Collaborating with Prof. Raymond Tung, Department of Physics, City University of New York (CUNY): “It has been amazing for me to witness Dr. Haick's ability to recognize the great value of laboratory findings, which many people would have regarded as routine and not given a second thought to, and envisage their possible applications. The collaborative work Dr. Haick and I are doing has given a breath of new life and many innovative ideas to my own research program. I hope it will also provide a fresh and more physical perspective in the interpretation of experimental results from Dr. Haick's laboratory.” Summary of Scientific Career Dr. Haick is a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and head of the Marie Curie Excellence Center for Nanomaterial-Based Artificial Olfactory Systems at the Technion. He earned his B.Sc. in chemical engineering from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 1998, and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Technion in 2002. He then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. David Cahen in the Department of Materials and Interfaces at the Weizmann Institute, followed by another two years as postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. He has received many awards and honors, most recently being included in MIT’s Technology Review’s list of the world’s top 35 young scientists for 2008. Research Interests Dr. Haick works in two main areas of research in nanomaterials (materials with at least one dimension less than one micron) that have unique properties because of their small size. To date, many potential molecules could not be used in electronic devices because they do not form well-ordered and uniform layers. Recently, Dr. Haick, together with Prof. David Cahen at the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Tung showed, both theoretically and experimentally, that a “jumbled,” hole-filled layer of molecules (“Swiss cheese”) solves many of these problems. Dr. Haick continues to work in this field using various molecules to produce tailor-made opto- and other electronic devices for a broad range of applications. Dr. Haick and his co-workers have also been developing a pocket-size electronic device (“nose”) consisting of nanomaterials. In exhaled samples, this inexpensive, compact and simple-to-use instrument can distinguish between “healthy” and “cancerous” states, as well as determine the stage of the disease from cancer biomarker patterns, with particular emphasis on early detection. The initial results of clinical trials carried out at the Oncology Division of Rambam Hospital, Haifa, are highly encouraging. BSF Project Dr. Haick and his collaborators are investigating two aspects relating to the use of molecules for modifying the properties of electronic materials or devices: They are developing ways of producing such materials reproducibly. They seek to understand the interaction between a variety of molecules and semi-conductors, the nature of the contact, and how different molecules and modes of contact affect semiconductor properties. They also study how organic molecules in metallic and/or semiconductor electrode(s) affect electronic transport through such hybrid structures. They are probing possibilities and limitations of device structures, with the aim of optimizing them. The eventual aim is to design externally controllable, molecule-based electronic devices, which may be important for smart systems. 14 Dr. Marcelo Ehrlich — Department of Cell Research and Immunology, Tel Aviv University Membrane Traffic in Reovirus Infection BSF Start-up Grant for Young Researchers (2006 - 2008) Dr. Ehrlich: “The funds from the BSF start-up grant were essential for setting up my laboratory at Tel Aviv University. This grant was also used to establish the experimental system, recruit a graduate student, and to initiate a fruitful collaboration with Prof. Parker, which we plan to continue and expand beyond the period of the grant.” Dr. Marcelo Ehrlich Collaborating with Prof. John Parker, Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York: “My collaboration with Dr. Ehrlich has been particularly valuable and led to branching out into a new research area in my laboratory, probing the pathogenesis of Bluetongue and Ibaraki viruses. These insect-borne viruses cause significant disease morbidity in domestic animals in Europe and the Middle East. In addition, there is renewed concern about the impact of these diseases in the United States. We are investigating the role of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in the viral life cycle. Our findings suggest that, similar to my work with mammalian reoviruses, a single viral protein is responsible for apoptosis induction.” Summary of Scientific Career Dr. Ehrlich is a lecturer at the Department of Cell Research and Immunology at Tel Aviv University. In 1987, he completed a B.Mus. in flute performance at Tel Aviv University, and was principal flutist of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra for ten years. He then returned to study, earning his B.Sc. in biology in 1995, his M.Sc. in cell biology in 1997, and Ph.D. in neuro-biochemistry in 2002, all from Tel Aviv University. He then spent three years as a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Tom Kirchhausen’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School. Research Interests Dr. Ehrlich’s current research projects focus on unraveling various aspects at the interface between membrane trafficking and signal transduction mechanisms in the cell: • Regulation of clathrin-mediated endocytosis (the process whereby a cell membrane folds inward to take in substances bound to its surface). • The role of phospholipases (enzymes con- verting phospholipids into fatty acids) in regulating signaling and membrane traffic in mouse mammary tumor cells. • How the membrane trafficking machinery serves as a platform for entry, infection and induction of apoptosis (cell death) by Orbiviruses (vector-borne pathogens that mainly affect animals, which are transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes, gnats and midges). BSF Project Dr. Ehrlich’s BSF-supported studies, carried out in collaboration with Dr. Parker, focus on characterizing basic virus-cell interactions of two Reoviruses (Bluetongue Virus 16 -BTV-16) and the Ibaraki strain of the Epizootic Hemmorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV). While both these Orbiviruses pose a considerable economic threat to cattle and sheep, the infection process, interaction of host cells with the membrane-trafficking machinery, and virally-induced apoptosis are not understood. Main findings include: • Identifying the infective route of entry of these viruses (the clathrin endocytic pathway). • Characterizing how these viruses modify the cell-membrane trafficking machinery. • Determining the mechanism of virally- induced apoptosis and the function of NS3 (a virally encoded non-structural protein) in viral release. In September 2006, an outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) caused serious economic damage in cattle farms on Israel's eastern border. In the future, this research project will be expanded to include these viral strains, which are structurally closely related to Orthoreoviruses.
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