PROF. YECHEZKEL Barenholtz and Prof. Alberto Gabizon 370.
(photo credit: JUDY SIEGEL)
For the first time, an Israeli university is celebrating its researcher
innovators by setting up a permanent photo exhibition to showcase work that has
led to commercial products on the market.
The “Innovators’ Way” was
opened on Sunday morning in a sunny hallway in the Social Science Building on
the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.
The idea, suggested by HU
spokeswoman Orit Sulitzeanu, was launched to celebrate National Science Day,
which will be held on March 14, the anniversary of the birth of Albert
The exhibition showcases 27 researchers, ranging from younger
scientists to those in their 90s, whose work at the university succeeded in
improving the quality of life and human welfare worldwide in fields such as
health, safety, environment and nutrition.
The attractive and imaginative
photos, taken by Nati Shohat, feature the scientists posing with objects
representing their work. The innovators were lauded by HU president Prof.
Menahem Ben-Sasson; board of governors chairman Michael Federmann; Prof. Shay
Arkin, the vice-president of research and development; Yaacov Michlin, CEO of
the Yissum, the university’s technology transfer company; and representatives of
the executive committee.
“If Israel is the start-up nation, then the
Hebrew University is the start-up of the start-up nation,” said
“So far, the university has registered approximately 7,000
patents protecting roughly 2,000 developments and inventions, and founded 72
companies based on some of those inventions.”
Among the products on the
market are Exelon, a drug that slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
developed by Prof. Marta Weinstock- Rosin; a system developed by Prof. Amnon
Shashua that prevents accidents by warning drivers in real-time about dangerous
conditions; cherry tomatoes and cluster tomatoes, now popular consumer products
worldwide, that were developed by Prof. Nachum Kedar and Prof. Haim Rabinowitch;
a delivery system for treating gum disease by releasing an antibacterial agent
into the periodontal pockets that was developed by Profs. Michael Friedman,
Michael Sela, Doron Steinberg and Aubrey Soskolne; Doxil, a chemotherapy drug
developed by Profs. Yechezkel Barenholtz and Alberto Gabizon that is used around
the world to fight various types of cancers; a technology that enables hours of
security camera footage to be viewed in minutes developed by Prof.
Peleg; an eye-drop therapy and an ointment for treating psoriasis developed by
Shabtay Dikstein; and a nanotechnology delivering drugs and
treating skin disorders, such as herpes, developed by Prof. Elka
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the university and the Jerusalem
Municipality will celebrate National Science Day with an unusual event:
Professors in Slippers, where the general public will be able to talk with 40
university researchers in intimate and informal settings such as faculty
members’ homes, students’ apartments, college dorms and cultural venues
throughout the city.
Some of the professors opening their homes to the
public include prize-winning cancer researcher Prof. Howard Cedar, who will host
a lecture at his home as a tribute to his son and Oscar nominee Joseph Cedar,
the director of the film Footnote
; Prof. Israel Yuval, whose talk is titled “Not
Kosher for Passover: A Subversive Reading of the Haggadah”; psychology
Raz Yirmiya, who will speak about “a healthy mind in a healthy
body” and “the relationship between body, mind and mental processes”; and Prof.
Raz and Prof. Orna Kupferman, who will discuss “mathematics of the elementary
All presentations are in Hebrew except for a special English
event taking place at the Jerusalem Theater from 7 to 9 p.m., where Prof. Isaac
Benabu from the Department of Theater Studies will present “Probing the
Playwright’s Pen: Shakespeare’s Theatrical Writing.”