Event Details:

21.07.2013, 08:00
Israel Academy of Science

Seminar 2013


Adams Fellowships of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities are considered the most prestigous of Israel. Marcel Adams will arrive in Israel to grant the fellowships and celebrate his 93rd birthday.

Livnat Jerby Arnon, a doctoral student in computer science, who conducted the first ever research on the genome level of the metabolic progression of breast cancer, Eitan Schechtman, a doctoral student conducting brain research, focused on the disease Schizophrenia, Assaf Manor, a doctoral student who is the first of the second generation of Adams Fellows and seven more brilliant research students will receive the highly regarded Adams Fellowships in a ceremony on Sunday, July 21st at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

10 exceptional doctoral students of the sciences from Israel’s research universities will receive the most esteemed fellowships – the Adams Fellowships of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Each one of the students will receive a stipend of more than $100,000 over four years of doctoral studies in addition to exemption from tuition. They will come on Sunday, July 21, 2013 to the ceremony granting their fellowships at the Annual Adams Seminar at the Israel Academy House in Jerusalem. At the Seminar, at 6 p.m. the guest lecturer, Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Academy Member and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will lecture on “The Revolution of Personalized Medicine – Are we going to cure all diseases and at what price?”

Prof. Ruth Arnon, Academy President, explains that the meticulous selection process of the universities and the professional committee of the fellowship program, ensure that those granted fellowships will be at the forefront of Israel’s cadre of future researchers in the fields of the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, life sciences and engineering. The graduates of the program conduct their postdoctoral training at Ivy League universities around the world, including Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Oxford and others, returning to take up senior positions in universities and high-tech companies.

Mr. Marcel Adams of Montreal, Canada, founded the fellowship fund in 2005 and until now (besides this year’s ten), another 78 promising Israeli researchers received the valued fellowship. Mr. Adams, an avid Zionist, will arrive in Israel to grant the fellowships, to meet with the former fellows and scientists who returned to Israel and to celebrate his 93rd birthday. Adams started out as a penniless holocaust survivor from Romania, who fought in the War of Independence and eventually became a real estate entrepreneur in Canada.

Among this year’s new fellows is Livnat Jerby Arnon, a doctoral student of computer science at Tel-Aviv University. Livnat develops and applies computational methods for cancer research under the guidance of Prof. Eytan Ruppin. Her research is dedicated to the systematic characterization of cancer cells based on their genetic profiles, aiming to pinpoint their unique sensitivities. Biologic processes, says Livnat, among them the cancerous process, include tens of thousands of components. Computational-experimental studies are therefore essential for advancing towards a systematic understanding of cancer. In the last decade technological breakthroughs took place, providing us with huge amounts of clinical information. Based on this information, the computational frameworks we develop, says Livnat, profile the unique properties of the patient’s cancer. By doing so, we aim to improve cancer diagnosis and help designing new, and more effective, therapeutic strategies, with fewer side effects.

Livnat Jerby, 25, born in Rishon Lezion, married, and resides in Tel-Aviv, won the Dan David Prize for young researchers last year. Livnat collaborates with prominent research groups in Scotland, Barcelona, Finland and Canada. From a young age Livnat wanted to conduct research. She feels very lucky to take part in the research activity, which, she believes, will lead to meaningful advancement in cancer treatment.

Another researcher being granted the fellowship this year is Eitan Schechtman, a doctoral student at the Center for Neural Computation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the course of his first degree studies in psychology, Eitan began taking part in academic research and has already published three articles in prominent scientific journals. His doctorate, under the guidance of Prof. Hagai Bergman at the Faculty of Medicine, examines a new method of dealing with Schizophrenia, a disease which affects 1% of the population. To date, there is no efficient treatment to deal with the disease, even though in the last decades there was certain advancement in the development of drugs that affect some of its symptoms. Eitan’s research focuses on treatment based on brain stimulation through electrodes which are planted deep inside the patient’s brain. His research could open the door to a novel and effective treatment of Schizophrenia and will teach us about the neural symptoms of the disease.

Eitan resides together with his husband Nir and their daughter Noga in Moshav Ora, near Jerusalem. Since 2007 he volunteers in a number of organizations of the Lesbian-Homo-Transgender-Bisexual Community and until recently even served as chairperson of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance.

Another new Adams Fellow is Assaf Manor, student of Dr. Carmel Rotschild, himself a graduate of the second cycle of the fellowship program, and therefore inaugurating the second generation of Adams Fellows. Assaf, 32, a resident of Haifa who was born in Hadera, was attracted to sciences and experiments from an early age. He completed his first degree in electrical engineering and physics at the Technion and his second degree at the Department of Solar Energy of Ben-Gurion University’s Institute for Desert Research in Sde-Boker, where he studied the effect of concentrated sunlight on photovoltaics. Assaf is a doctoral student in the Excitonics Laboratory at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Technion in Haifa. His research focuses on the possibility of boosting solar cells efficiency through the thermodynamic manipulation of sunlight, as current state of the art cells are limited in efficiency due to their mismatch in harvesting the solar radiation. Novel cell concepts that solve this inherent problem can in fact reach efficiencies that are as twice as high, enabling a new generation of photovoltaics. The newly founded Excitonics laboratory, headed by Dr. Rothschild, has only recently moved to its permanent premises and already includes five researchers who concentrate their efforts on novel solar energy conversion concepts.