Israel Science Foundation awards research grants

Proud universities, hospitals receive 141 grants varying in size.

ben gurion university building 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
ben gurion university building 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Academy of Science’s Israel Science Foundation has awarded 141 prestigious research grants this year varying in size from a few hundred thousand shekels to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The largest number of grants, 35, went to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, followed by 23 to Tel Aviv University and 17 to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
Although hospitals usually have a much lower chance of winning such a grant because doctors are busy most of the time treating patients, physician researchers at the two Hadassah University Medical Centers were awarded seven, followed by two for Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and one each at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.
Dr. Oren Shibolet, head of Hadassah’s research committee, who is a physician in the Ein Kerem hospital’s liver unit, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the grants are given in three categories: the exact sciences and technology; life sciences and medicine; and the humanities.
The hospital presented about two dozen applications, and of the seven winners, six of them are women.
“We are really happy about that,” said Shibolet.
“In general, the close connection between physicians and researchers in the basic sciences, our Ein Kerem biopark and the Hadassah tradition of biomedical research has given us an advantage,” he said.
Among the research projects are studies regarding cellular treatments for Parkinson’s disease and neuron stem cell transplants; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; local long-acting anesthesia for pain; and techniques to build bone in osteoporosis patients.
Asked to comment, the Sheba Medical Center spokesman said it was happy to receive grants as an expression of its “prominent presence among leading researchers along with out outstanding excellence in clinical work as the largest and leading medical center in the country.
“We congratulate the others on the list... When all the parameters of medical research are taken into consideration, including all the research grants we receive throughout the year and over the years, one will see that Sheba is at the top.”
Meanwhile, NIS 40 million were donated on Monday night by participants in the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of American’s biennial national convention, which is currently being held in Miami.
The money was given in honor of Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Prof. Shlomo Mor- Yosef, with most of it going toward the completion of the Ein Kerem hospitalization tower, which in 2012 will be completed to mark HWZOA’s centennial.