HU getting ‘unique’ nano lab

A center for pharmaceutical research and treatment of children will be established by the Hebrew University.

June 24, 2013 19:46
2 minute read.
The grounds of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Hebrew U 370. (photo credit: Courtesy of the Hebrew University)

Hebrew University is preparing to establish a center for pharmaceutical research and treatment of children, the dean of HU’s School of Pharmacy, Prof.

Simon Benita announced on Monday.

The pharmacy school, which is marking its 60th anniversary, will deal with fields that no other pharmaceutical research institutions works on, Benita said this week.

“There are very serious diseases that affect children, such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy, that have no cure,” he said.

“People don’t completely understand the importance of special pharmaceutical treatments for children.”

“Half-a-million dollars have already been collected towards establishing the center in the pharmacy school’s Jerusalem Ein Kerem campus.

The dean remarked that there are drugs for these serious diseases given only by injection into the muscle, but this is problematic.

These difficulties could be solved with research invested to treatment specially for children,” said Benita, who is to be director of the center.

The Jerusalem center joins three others – in Boston, Britain and Heidelburg, Germany – that focus on suiting drug formulations to children.

But the HU center will deal with fields in which these three do not conduct research, Benita said. These include the study of mostly incurable genetic diseases; building new models for testing drugs for children on lab animals, without the currently existing need to conduct clinical trials on children; and synthesizing new molecules suited for children.

This last field has especially been overlooked around the world because it is not financially profitable, Benita said.

The HU center aims to conduct research in such fields as obesity and hypertension that used to affect only adults but today have also hit many children.

A unique nanotechnology laboratory was inaugurated at HU’s Peter Brojde Center, which received a NIS 6 million donation from the Brojde family through the Canadian Friends of the the Hebrew University (CFHU).

“The new Miniature Integrated Systems Laboratory will merge the top-down approach of ubiquitous computing with the bottom-up approach of Nano science and nanotechnology,” a Hebrew University spokesman said. “The alliance between the bottom-up development of new micro-sensing/manipulating capabilities with the top-down approach to fuse the information generated in sensor ensembles and networks is expected to play a major role in a world striving to optimize the use of its energy resources, preserve the environment, combat terror and provide medical services to all.”

Anna Brojde and her family, who have donated significantly in the fields of engineering and computer science, dedicated the facility this week.

“This marks a new era of innovative research at the Brojde Center,” said CFHU president and CEO Rami Kleinman, “We thank Anna Brojde and her family and welcome this pioneering venture which will enhance scientific knowledge and academic excellence.”

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