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A new home for the Center for Lipid and Atherosclerosis Treatment and Research was dedicated Friday at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.
Named for the late Bert W. Strassburger of Germany, the curved glass and steel ultramodern building was donated by his son Robbie, an Israeli. More than 200 dignitaries and guests were on hand as Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau affixed the mezuza at the main entrance to the building. Sheba Director-General Prof. Zeev Rotstein delivered the main address.
The center integrates a sophisticated patient care program with advanced scientific research into lipid metabolism disorders and cardiovascular diseases, integrating a lipid clinic, service laboratory and research laboratories.
Since its founding in 1993, the facility has gained nationwide recognition as the leading Israeli center in this field; and this year, the Health Ministry will formally designate it the Israel National Center for Lipids.
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in the Western world. More than 10,000 Israelis die each year from the disease and its many complications. It is caused by the buildup of lipids - blood fats - in the coronary arteries.
Founded and directed by Prof. Dror Harats, the center conducts primary and secondary preventive programs for cardiovascular diseases; in the diagnosis and treatment of complicated cases of lipid disorders; and in sophisticated biochemical and genetic testing.
Harats diagnosed the first cases of congenital deficiency of lipoprotein lipase (a critical enzyme in lipid metabolism) - a diagnosis which has allowed for lifesaving treatment of ill newborns; the ApoCll and ApoB48 genetic mutations; and of severe pregnancy-related Hyperlipidemia (type V dyslipidemia) that causes recurrent miscarriages in women.
The labs are actively engaged in research of lipoprotein metabolism and cholesterol homeostasis, hypolipidemic drugs, targeting therapeutic genes to the vascular wall and the development and progression of the atherosclerotic lesion. They are accredited by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta and provide blood lipid profiling services to all Israeli hospitals.