Symposium Showcases Technion Partnership with University of Michigan, Weizmann Institute

October 28, 2013
By: Kevin Hattori

A 20-member delegation from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology joined research partners from the University of Michigan and the Weizmann Institute of Science last week for the third annual UM-Israel Partnership for Research Symposium. The event was held at the University of Michigan from October 18 through 21.

Attendees were treated to more than 35 presentations about cardiovascular, cancer and neurobiology research advances by scientists from the three partner institutions.  Topics spanned the life sciences, medical science, imaging, physics, nanotechnology, and more – all with the goal of collaborating on new discoveries, therapies and tools for treating disease.  The symposium’s competitive peer-reviewed process will be used to the awarding of $50,000 research grants, to be announced at a later date.

CVC, Ryan Resinger

Prof. Amir Landesberg, dean of the Technion Faculty of Biomedical Engineering

“Collaboration is the means to get good, fruitful research,” said Prof. Eliezer Shalev, dean of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, during the symposium. “There are few scientists that can do by themselves all of the work that is required.” He added that life sciences and medical science have undergone huge changes over the last 30 years, and emphasized their convergence with engineering, physics, math, and computer science.

The first symposium was held in 2011, when philanthropist D. Dan Kahn – an ardent supporter of the Technion and University of Michigan – funded the effort to bring the two universities together for collaborative research on cardiovascular disease.   The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation remains one of the symposium’s main supporters.  In 2012, cardiovascular disease and diabetes were added as research topics.  In 2013, the Weizmann Institute of Science was added as a partner, and cancer and neurobiology as additional topics.

CVC, Ryan Resinger

The partnership conducts and funds joint scientific investigations, student and faculty exchanges, institutional collaborative ventures and technology commercialization.  According to Professor David Pinsky, director of the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center and the symposium’s coordinator, the goal is bringing together people of different backgrounds to make breakthrough discoveries in human health.

This year’s symposium concluded with a celebratory gala dinner at the Ann Arbor Museum of Art.  Among those in attendance were Technion International Board of Governors Chair Larry Jackier and his wife, Eleanor; American Technion Society President Scott Leemaster and his wife Susie; ATS Detroit Chapter President Linda Kovan; and Chairman of the ATS Detroit Board of Directors Hannan Lis.

Among the speakers at the closing gala was Michigan State Governor Rick Snyder, who talked about the State’s ongoing efforts to enhance its business ties with Israel, and his belief that academic cooperation is a key element in increasing investment in Michigan.

The Technion contingent was comprised of Prof. Boaz Golany, Vice President for External Relations and Resources Development; Prof. Yehuda Assaraf, dean of the Faculty of Biology; Prof. Pini Bar-Yoseph, dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering; Prof. Amir Landesberg, dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering; and Prof. Eliezer Shalev, dean of the Faculty of Medicine.  Dr. Zaid Abassi, Prof. Ami Aronheim, Pro. Doron Aronson, Prof. Michael Aviram, Prof. Ofer Binah, Prof. Mordechai Choder, Dr. Ofer Fainaru, Dr. Peleg Hasson, Prof. Izhak Kehat, Prof. Marcelle Machluf, Prof. Gad Rennert, Dr. Ariel Roguin, Prof. Ronen Rubinshtein, Dr. Yuval Shaked, and Prof. Shelly Tzlil.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is a vital component of Cornell NYC Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City’s economy.

American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion—more than $1.9 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.