Technion Professor Receives STEM Grant from Johnson & Johnson

April 26, 2019
Kevin Hattori

Professor Naama Geva-Zatorsky, of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, has been named a winner of the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholars Award. She is the first researcher from outside the United States to be selected for the honor, and one of just six winners selected this year from more than 400 qualified applications.

Technion Professor Naama Geva-Zatorsky (left) is the first researcher from outside of the United States to win the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholars Award. Also pictured is Kathy Wengel, Executive Vice President & Chief Global Supply Chain Officer for Johnson & Johnson

Prof. Geva-Zatorsky was selected for her research about how the billions of bacteria teeming in our intestines interact with the body’s immune system. These bacteria were previously invisible to researchers, but Geva-Zatorsky has developed a tool that labels them with fluorescent markers. Now that she can see them in action in their natural environment, she’s one step closer to discovering the signaling process between the bacteria and immune systems.

“I am interested in understanding the mechanisms,” said Prof. Geva-Zatorsky. “How do the microbes regulate certain immune cells, and which molecules are important for this interaction?” Once she and her team discover the answers, they may be able to develop more precise treatments for chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, targeted to people’s individual gut bacteria.

Launched in June 2017, the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholars Award aims to fuel development of female STEM2D leaders and feed the STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring women at critical points in their careers, in each of the STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing, and Design.

“Through this Award and other programs, Johnson & Johnson is hoping to increase the participation of women in STEM2D fields worldwide,” said Cat Oyler, Vice President, Global Public Health, Tuberculosis, Johnson & Johnson and WiSTEM2D University Sponsor. “We want to nourish the development of women leaders building a larger pool of highly-trained, female researchers so that they can lead STEM2D breakthroughs in the future.”

For more than a century, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has pioneered in science and technology education and delivered world-changing impact. Proudly a global university, the Technion has long leveraged boundary-crossing collaborations to advance breakthrough research and technologies. Now with a presence in three countries, the Technion will prepare the next generation of global innovators. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world, innovating in fields from cancer research and sustainable energy to quantum computing and computer science to do good around the world.

The American Technion Society supports visionary education and world-changing impact through the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Based in New York City, we represent thousands of US donors, alumni and stakeholders who invest in the Technion’s growth and innovation to advance critical research and technologies that serve the State of Israel and the global good. Over more than 75 years, our nationwide supporter network has funded new Technion scholarships, research, labs, and facilities that have helped deliver world-changing contributions and extend Technion education to campuses in three countries.