9 PhD students to receive Adams fellowships

Fellowships equal upwards of $100,000; each student will also receive exemption from tuition.

May 14, 2012 00:55
2 minute read.
marcel adams meets with previous recepients

marcel adams meets with previous recepients_370. (photo credit: Israel Academy of Sciences)


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Nine doctoral students in the sciences will receive a total of $1 million in stipends for up to four years of PhD studies donated by Canadian philanthropist Marcel Adams.

Each student will also receive an exemption from tuition. The nine students will be presented with their fellowships at the annual Adams Seminar on May 20 at the Israel Academy of Sciences.

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Graduates of the fellowship program are currently conducting postdoctoral training in universities around the world, including Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Cornell.

Adams, the founder of the fellowship fund, established the fund at the academy seven years ago, and 69 Israeli researchers have already received the fellowships. The philanthropist and enthusiastic Zionist will celebrate his 92nd birthday this year. He began as a penniless Holocaust survivor from Romania who fought in the War of Independence, eventually becoming an entrepreneur in Montreal.

Adams will meet in Jerusalem with a number of graduates of the program who have returned to academia and hi-tech positions here after their post-doctoral work.

Miri Krupkin, a doctoral student in structural biology of Weizmann Institute of Science Prof. Ada Yonath – who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry a few years ago – is one of the recipients.

Krupkin, considered by Yonath as one of her best students, is studying the structure of ribosomes. She made aliya from Russia at the age of two and as a child in elementary school did experiments in a home lab. As a high school student she participated in summer camps for young scientists and in the Hetz Program for Young Scientists at the Weizmann Institute.

Another research student to receive the fellowship is David Tsivion, who is on a direct PhD track at Weizmann in the field of nanotechnology. He is an F-16 pilot with the rank of major, serving over 60 days a year in the air force reserves. The 32-yearold fellow was born in Rehovot and raised in Givat Ada. He found science fascinating from a young age and he completed his BSc at the Open University with honors during his military service, studying at night and on weekends.

Amit Daniely is a Hebrew University of Jerusalem doctoral student who had a strong passion for mathematics since childhood. He completed two first degrees in mathematics and computer science with high distinction, while working in a software company, but left a promising career to continue on to his doctorate. The 27-year-old Jerusalemite published his research in a journal of discrete mathematics, contributing to laying the firm mathematical foundation of machine learning.

Another Adams Fellow is Liel Sapir, who is on a direct track to his HU doctorate in physical chemistry. The son of an X-ray technician who immigrated from Iran, whose mother came as a teacher from Argentina, the 28-yearold scholar completed his first degree studies in the Amirim program and finished his second degree with a 99 percent average. He is studying osmolytes, which are used as protein stabilizers in the food, drug and biochemical industries.

Tslil Ast is another Adams Fellow at Weizmann and is researching molecular genetics. At the age of 26, she has shown much talent at synthesizing material and developing hypotheses.

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