KKL-JNF Awards 2010 Samuel & Paula Elkeles Outstanding Scientist in Medicine Prize

At a festive ceremony that took place on Tuesday, November 2 at the Ben Gurion University in the Negev, KKL-JNF awarded the Outstanding Scientist in the Field of Medicine prize, which amounts to 15,000 Swiss francs. This year's recipient was Professor Roni Apte, chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and vice dean of the Basic Sciences Division at Ben Gurion University.

Participating in the ceremony were Ms. Yael Shealtieli, KKL-JNF Director General; Professor Rivka Carmi, president of Ben Gurion University; Professor Binyamin Sardani, Head Scientist of the Ministry of Health; Professor Zvi Stern, head of Hadassah Hospital at Mount Scopus; Mr. Harry Elyashiv, the accountant responsible for the trust fund; Professor Shaul Sofer, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences; and medical staff and members of the Elkeles family.

Professor Roni Apte, the prize recipient, said at the ceremony that what made him chose to study biology was the love KKL-JNF instilled in him as a child for nature and Israel: "As a child, I grew up in the Shikun Olim neighborhood in Holon, and for me, KKL-JNF was how I learned about our land and fell in love with it. By means of posters at school and various KKL-JNF activities, I learned about KKL-JNF's accomplishments at a very young age - the drainage of the Hula, settling the Adulam region, settling the Lachish region and of course we put money in the Blue Box every Friday. Thanks to KKL-JNF's efforts to connect us to Israel and nature, I already knew what I wanted to do at a very young age."

At the ceremony, KKL-JNF Director General Ms. Yael Shealtieli presented a KKL-JNF Blue Box to Professor Apte.

This is the twenty-third year that KKL-JNF and the Elkeles family are awarding the prize to outstanding Israeli scientists who contribute towards the advancement of medical research. Professor Apte was awarded the prize for his unique achievements in the field of medicine. His major field of research involves inflammation in malignant processes and the feasibility of intervening in malignant processes by neutralizing inflammatory components in the "normal" microenvironment of a tumor. The prize is administered by KKL-JNF's Legacies and Trusts Department and is considered Israel's most prestigious prize in the field of medicine.

The Elkeles Foundation was established thanks to an endowment bequeathed by Dr. Ludwig Elkeles for grants to outstanding scientists in the field of medicine. Dr. Elkeles was a very generous supporter of KKL-JNF, and thanks to his contributions, KKL-JNF was able to realize a number of projects, including a playground in Kadesh Barnea in the Arava desert; land preparation for greenhouses in Kadesh Barnea, where tomatoes and spices are grown on an area of one hundred hectares; and a beautiful resting corner at Nesher Park near Haifa.

Dr. Elkelis aspired to furthering medicine in Israel, which led him to establish a prize for outstanding scientists to be awarded over a period of twenty-five years. KKL-JNF, which administers the fund, serves as a trustee for people who bequeath funds in their wills for study grants and prizes for outstanding achievements in various fields. 

For Articles, comments or use please contact
 Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Publications
Email: ahuvab@kkl.org.il 
 Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493

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