Prof. David Lichtstein Elected Dean of Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine
Prof. David Lichtstein has been elected Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Lichtstein is the Walter & Greta Stiel Chair in Heart Studies at the Hebrew University. He replaces Prof. Eran Leitersdorf, who recently completed his four-year term as Dean.
According to Prof. Lichtstein, “The Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine is devoted to creating innovative teaching, research and patient care programs that will meet the demands of 21st century health care. As global health care moves toward prevention, wellness and cost effectiveness, we are adapting how we train the next generation of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and biomedical researchers. Through fruitful collaborations between preclinical and clinical faculty, we are also translating basic biomedical insights into clinical treatments. Thus, the Faculty of Medicine is well-positioned to maintain its leading role in the scientific community of Israel and the world.”
Prof. Lichtstein was born in Lodz, Poland and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1957. As a student at the Hebrew University, he completed a B.Sc. in Physiology and Zoology in 1970, followed by an M.Sc. in Physiology in 1972 and a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1977. He joined the Department of Physiology of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in 1980 as a lecturer, and received full professorship in 1994. He held many roles at the Hebrew University and its Faculty of Medicine, including Chairman of the Neurobiology Teaching Division, Chairman of the Department of Physiology, Chairman of the Institute for Medical Sciences and, until recently, Chairman of the Institute for Medical Research, Israel-Canada (IMRIC). From 2007-2011, Prof. Lichtstein was the Jacob Gitlin Chair in Physiology at the Hebrew University. In 2011 he was named the Walter & Greta Stiel Chair in Heart Studies at the Hebrew University. He also served as the President of the Israel Society for Physiology and Pharmacology from 1996 to 1999.
From 1977-1979 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in New Jersey, USA. He was a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1985-1986) and the Eye Institute (1997-1998) at the National Institutes of Health, MD, USA, and a Visiting Professor in Toledo School of Medicine, OH, USA (2007).
Prof. Lichtstein's main research focus is the regulation of ion transport across the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. His work led to the discovery that specific steroids that were known to be present in plants and amphibians are actually normal constituents of the human body and have crucial roles, such as the regulation of cell viability, heart contractility, blood pressure and brain function. His research has implications for the fundamental understanding of body functions, as well as for several pathological states such as heart failure, hypertension and neurological and psychiatric diseases.