Sleep medicine expert Prof. Peretz Lavie was appointed president of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology on Thursday, replacing Professor Yitzhak Apeloig.
Prof. Lavie made clear that one of his primary goals would be to "re-educate the Israeli public and our government about the value of higher education, and clearly show that Israel's future is tied to world-class education in science and technology."
Lavie's presidency comes after serving for seven years as the vice president for Technion's Resource Development and External Relations. He also served as dean of the Nobel-Prize winning Faculty of Medicine for six years.
Lavie's work has also had major impact on the public in Israel and in other countries. His studies on the negative impact of "zero hour," which involved starting school an hour earlier, convinced the Ministry of Education to abolish the practice in elementary and middle schools, which was later adopted by several US states. During the first Gulf War Lavie convinced government officials to use the "Silent Channel" on the radio, which left the channel open, without disturbing people's sleep and sounding a siren only when there was actual danger.