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Mortimer B. Zuckerman Announces Transformative Program to Support Future Generations of American & Israeli Leaders In Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Fields

25/01/2016

American business leader and philanthropist Mortimer Zuckerman announced today the launch of the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program, a transformative initiative designed to support future generations of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States and Israel and, over time, foster greater collaboration between two of the world’s most advanced scientific research centers.

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will give the highest-achieving American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students the ability to collaborate with leading researchers at Israel’s top research institutions — the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Tel Aviv University; and the Weizmann Institute of Science — which are among the world’s most advanced.  

By providing American graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with exposure to Israel’s renowned cutting-edge research and startup culture, the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will raise a generation of academic, scientific and industry leaders in the United States infused with a unique spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. The program will simultaneously bolster Israeli research institutions as world-leading centers for cutting edge research by providing Israeli institutions access to large-scale funding needed to develop top-tier research labs, projects and programs.

“At a time when collaboration is essential to advanced scientific research, this program gives the next generations of leading American and Israeli academics the ability to work together on cutting edge research in ways that stand to benefit their fields for years to come,” said Mr. Zuckerman. “The result will help transform not just the work of the scholars involved, but the way the United States and Israel approach collaboration and cooperation across the sciences.”

“Mort’s friendship is demonstrated yet again through this important initiative,” said Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. “Together with the Technion, The Weizmann Institute, The Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, this project will help bring back home some of Israel’s most brilliant sons and daughters, allow them to advance their own careers here and in so doing contribute to Israel’s growing scientific excellence. It will also enable some of America’s brightest young scientists to conduct their research in Israel.

“New York and Israel share a deep and unparalleled connection – and the Zuckerman Scholars Program is a prime example of how we can keep that relationship strong today and in the future,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “By helping some of America’s best and brightest students work and learn alongside leading researchers in Israel, this program gives us a new model for cooperation and partnership that will ultimately better society as a whole. This is a great way to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Empire State, and I applaud Mort Zuckerman for launching this program today.”

“Science is the only language with no borders or limits; it belongs to all,” said Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “The new Zuckerman initiative will strengthen connections between two important academic communities, North America and Israel, at a critical juncture – that where a new generation of scientists begin their careers, who will develop with roots firmly planted in the best institutions in both regions and will continue throughout their careers as catalysts for collaboration, enriching both Israeli and North American science and advancing knowledge for the benefit of humanity.”

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will be supported by funding from Mr. Zuckerman’s foundation to inaugurate the program and ensure that the first class of Zuckerman Scholars will begin with the 2016–2017 academic year. The foundation’s long-term intent is to ensure that the Zuckerman Scholars and the program’s related educational activities continue in perpetuity. In the next twenty years alone, the program intends to provide over $100 million in scholarships and related educational activities that will benefit not only the participating scholars and universities, but the general public as well.

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will, over time, help strengthen the U.S.-Israel partnership as Zuckerman Scholars return to the United States after building long-lasting relationships based in mutual collaboration. Israeli academic leaders returning to research institutions in Israel will similarly advance the overarching collaborative effort in science between the two nations as they continue to build bridges with their American colleagues.

The Zuckerman Scholars Program will initiate with the two main tracks: (1) the Postdoctoral Scholars Program, which is open to highest-achieving postdoctoral researchers from the United States to pursue research at leading Israeli research institutions; and (2) Zuckerman Faculty Scholars, which is designed to support Israeli academic leaders by fostering world-class labs, programs and projects at the Israeli institutions.

Additional information on the program, including how to apply, is available through the program’s website at http://zuckerman-scholars.org.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman Announces Transformative Program to Support Future Generations of American & Israeli Leaders In Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Fields
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Mortimer B. Zuckerman honored for $100 Million STEM Initiative

16/01/2017

Donation by Zuckerman Institute will herald unprecedented collaboration between Israel’s major research universities

The President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, honored the American business leader and philanthropist Mortimer B. Zuckerman at the President's Residence in Jerusalem today, for the Zuckerman Institute’s $100 million initiative to provide scholarships to the next generation of STEM leaders in the United States and Israel. 

Photo, L to R: http://media.huji.ac.il/new/photos/hu170116_zuckerman.jpg - Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund, former president of the Hebrew University, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, and Prof. Asher Cohen, rector of the Hebrew University, at the President's Residence on January 16, 2017 (Photo: Israel Hadari)

Mortimer Zuckerman launched the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program to support future generations of leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the United States and Israel and, over time, foster greater collaboration between two of the world’s most advanced centers of scientific research.

President Rivlin said: “The essence of science is rules. But maybe the most important rule is that collaboration and modern development can only happen together. As an Israeli, I know that you, Mr. Zuckerman, are one of the great people that has helped us create something that allows Israel to be appreciated all over the world for its education and responsibility. It is a great honor to welcome you at the President's Residence today.”

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will give the highest-achieving American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students the ability to collaborate with leading researchers at Israel’s top research institutions – the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Tel Aviv University; and the Weizmann Institute of Science – which are among the world’s most advanced.

Mr. Zuckerman said: "I was a guest in this country many times and have been fascinated and always moved by the many achievements of Israel. This is a society that knows how to develop and created a state that is absolutely a miracle. I have always admired what the Israelis could achieve in the country that is not rich in natural resources but rich in human resources. It is not oil, not gold or silver, but people who are willing to work hard and sometimes fight hard and I'm an advocate of Israel. I am deeply honored to be here.”

Mr. Zuckerman, Eric J. Gertler and James S. Gertler, Zuckerman Institute Trustees, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Prof. Joseph Klafter, President, Tel Aviv University, Prof. Peretz Lavie, President, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Prof. Daniel Zajfman, President, Weizmann Institute of Science were in attendance along with a number of Zuckerman Scholars.

Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: "The Zuckerman STEM initiative will strengthen connections between the academic communities of North America and Israel, and enrich the science and knowledge emerging from both regions for the benefit of people everywhere. As a new generation of scientists begin their careers, this initiative will allow them to develop roots in the best institutions in both regions, and to serve as catalysts for collaboration going forward.

By providing American graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with exposure to Israel’s renowned cutting-edge research and startup culture, the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will raise a generation of academic, scientific and industry leaders in the United States infused with a unique spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Prof. Peretz Lavie, President of Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, said: "Today, Israel is in the front-line of scientific research and Israeli universities are at a stage where they are attracting post-doctoral students from around the world, creating networks and fellowships. The power of this $100 million donation will help create coherent scientific endeavors.  Four leading universities working together is absolutely unprecedented.”

The program will simultaneously bolster Israeli research institutions as world-leading centers for innovative research by providing Israeli institutions access to large-scale funding needed to develop top-tier research labs, projects, and programs.

Prof. Joseph Klafter, President of Tel Aviv University,  said: "Through the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program, creativity will soar, discovery will soar, and the American-Israeli cooperation will soar farther than ever. We are deeply grateful for this vote of confidence in Israel by Mort Zuckerman."

The Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program will, over time, help strengthen the US-Israel partnership as Zuckerman Scholars return to the United States after building long-lasting relationships based in mutual collaboration. Israeli academic leaders returning to research institutions in Israel will similarly advance the overarching collaborative effort in science between the two nations as they continue to build bridges with their American colleagues.

Prof. Daniel Zajfman, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said: “The Zuckerman program aims at supporting the collaboration of the best minds between Israel and North America. This is one of the better ways to make a major impact in the world of STEM and an efficient way to support the world of science and technology. I can already imagine, in 10 years, the room full of Zuckerman fellows who have gone through this program, the impact of their work in the various Israeli and North America research programs, and the incredible network which will be created among these people."

The first cohort of 14 Zuckerman Scholars began with the 2016–2017 academic year. In the next twenty years alone, the program intends to provide over $100 million in scholarships and related educational activities that will benefit not only the participating scholars and universities, but the public as well.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman honored for $100 Million STEM Initiative
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New Device Shortens Chest-Tube Insertion From Minutes To Seconds

09/03/2016

VIDEO: Hebrew University students develop life-saving device following a wave of stabbing attacks that leaves some civilians with collapsed lungs

Pneumothorax is a medical emergency: the collection of air in the pleural space separating the lung from the chest wall, causing it to collapse and resulting in suffocation. Pneumothorax is caused by chest trauma, and is believed to be responsible for over a third of preventable deaths on the battlefield and in terror attacks.

The current treatment involves two steps: a fast needle decompression of the thorax (between the neck and abdomen, where the lungs and other vital organs are located), followed by a 10-minute tissue separation and tube insertion procedure into the chest to drain air and blood, allowing the lung to re-inflate.

“This is a very laborious and technically difficult procedure,” said Dr. Ariel Drori, an internal medicine expert at Hadassah Medical Center, “leading caregivers to neglect the second step in favor of rapid evacuation from the scene to the hospital.”

The need for an alternative solution was made evident by a recent wave of stabbing attacks that left dozens of Israeli civilians dead or wounded. Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, set out to solve this problem.

To address this challenge, Dr. Drori partnered with Yoav Kan-Tor and Bettina Nadorp, engineering students at The Hebrew University’s Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, along with Dr. Liran Levy, a pulmonologist from Hadassah Medical Center, and Chen Goldstein, an MBA student at The Hebrew University. Together they developed ThoraXS.

Video about ThoraXS can be seen at https://youtu.be/jZ3fhZmgyiY

ThoraXS is a one-handed thoracic portal opener that shortens the procedure time of chest-tube insertion from minutes to less than 30 seconds. Its closed knife-shape allows fast penetration of the pleural space, and its mechanical opening mechanism enables rapid and easy opening of a portal through which a chest tube can be quickly inserted. ThoraXS is thus a single-step, rapid life-saving solution for treating pneumothorax.

Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Hebrew University’s Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, said: “Our students responded to terror attacks by developing life-saving medical devices, an approach that is the very essence of our BioDesign: Medical Innovation program. ThoraXS is a life-saving innovation that exemplifies our commitment to helping the local and global communities through practical research and development projects.”

Nahmias added that ThoraXS's market potential was estimated at $300 million annually, and that continued investment is actively being sought.

The innovations produced by the Biodesign program participants are commercialized by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Hadasit, the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Center.

BioDesign: Medical Innovation is a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to medical innovation, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center. Sponsored by Boston Scientific and the Terumo Medical Corporation, the program takes outstanding medical fellows, bioengineering and business graduate students, and tutors them in the science and practice of bringing a medical innovation to the market. The program is directed by Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Chaim Lotan, director of the Heart Institute at Hadassah Medical Center.

New Device Shortens Chest-Tube Insertion From Minutes To Seconds
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