For the benefit of patients in northern Israel: The Technion and Rambam Health Care Campus announces the establishment of the Wolfe Center for Translational Medicine and Engineering

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Rambam Health Care Campus, and philanthropists Andi and Larry Wolfe announced the establishment of the Wolfe Center for Translational Medicine and Engineering on Sunday, June 12. The Center will combine engineering and medicine to promote new technologies for the benefit of human health.

The Wolfe Center will bring the partnership between Rambam and the Technion to new heights and will serve as a platform for extensive and in-depth clinical applied research. The Center will foster collaboration between physicians, scientists, and engineers. The interdisciplinary teams will work together on real problems from bench to bedside, translate research insights into innovative therapeutic tools and train the next generation of doctors and engineers to work together on a joint effort to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. The technologies that will be developed within the framework of the Center will be designed to address unmet clinical needs. These innovations will be examined in the clinic and laboratories and  rapidly implemented in the field as part of an overall concept of bringing scientific and technological developments closer to the patient.

The Wolfe Center will be established in the Helmsley Health Discovery Tower, which is located within the Rambam campus and adjacent to the Technion’s Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. The Tower is the first joint project of its kind between Rambam, academia, and the biomedical high-tech industry. The Tower will also include centers of excellence and clinical institutes such as the Leir Foundation Clinical Research Institute at Rambam, the Uzia Galil Innovation Center. It will also feature several floors for start-up companies, as well as an exhibition and visitor center. 

Andi and Larry Wolfe are involved in supporting the Michigan-Israel Partnership for Research and Education, in which the Technion plays a central role. Over the last decade, the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation (named for Andi’s parents and of which Larry is the President) have supported many vital initiatives at Rambam and the Technion, including the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation Pediatric Pulmonary Institute, the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation Center for Interventional Cardiology, and the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation Mechanical School of Engineering. Larry Wolfe has been a member of the American Friends of Rambam Board of Directors for many years. Andi is a member of the Technion Board of Governors and on the National Board of Directors of the American Technion Society (ATS). Both Andi and Larry have also been involved in many other projects in Israel and in the State of Michigan.

“We are very proud and excited to be part of this transformational and collaborative research and innovation initiative between Rambam Health Care and the Technion,” Andi and Larry Wolfe said. “Our gift allows us to continue the legacy, vision and philanthropy of D. Dan and Betty Kahn in Israel.”

Technion President Professor Uri Sivan said, “Human health is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century and coping with this challenge requires a combination of capabilities from different worlds of content, from the patient’s bed and the doctors around it, to scientists and engineers from a variety of disciplines. Today, the Technion is creating a revolution aimed at connecting all those disciplines to deal with major challenges in human health, and the Wolfe Center will express the combination of the capabilities of one of Israel’s leading hospitals with a world-renowned scientific-technological university. We are grateful to Andi and Larry Wolfe for a long-standing partnership and for their contribution to enabling the establishment of the Center.”

General Director of Rambam Health Care Campus General Professor MikI Halberthal said, “Research and innovation are critical components in the success of the healthcare system in the 21st century. The tremendous contribution of the Wolfe family will enable us to increase our capabilities. Research is now a necessity for keeping Israeli doctors relevant in a competitive and constantly evolving field. The new center will allow us to convince doctors who are engaged in the difficult, demanding clinical field to continue to work in a large medical center, by providing opportunities for advanced research”

The Technion is one of the few technological academic institutions in the world in which the Faculty of Medicine operates in conjunction with engineering and scientific faculties. The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1969 with the vision and understanding that the future of medicine lies in its connection to science, engineering, and technology. Today, the Technion conducts extensive teaching and research activities in connection with the world of medicine and many fields of study including biomedical engineering, computing, design, and architecture.

The cooperation between the Rambam Medical Campus and the Technion, which has been going on for decades, has been very strong in recent years and is a promising platform for technological applications on the ground. In August 2020, the Technion launched the Human Health Initiative, which connects researchers across various fields and faculties at the Technion to jointly address the challenges of contemporary medicine. The Larry and Andi Wolfe Center for Translational Medicine and Engineering will play a crucial role in this endeavor

The Rambam Health Care Campus is heavily active in the fields of research and innovation through its partnerships with its Division of Research, the Rambam MedTech (technology transfer company), the MindUp incubator in cooperation with IBM, Medtronic, and Pitango VC.

Professor Rafi Beyar, a physician and engineer by trade and former director of Rambam who also served as the dean of the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, added, “The Wolfe Center for Medicine and Engineering in the Helmsley Health Discovery Tower is the realization of Rambam’s master plan to connect clinical medicine and academic research with an emphasis on engineering. The joint center will house Rambam physician-researchers, Technion academic researchers, data science experts, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Bio-Convergence, which is at the forefront of Israeli Innovation, will be advanced at the Wolfe Center, connecting biology to engineering for the benefit of the patient and serving as fertile ground for strengthening the biomedical industry in Israel and around the world.”