Letter from Our CEO

December 2020

Dear Friends,

With Thanksgiving behind us and Hanukkah a week away, the holiday season is upon us and I find myself reflecting on 2020 and the new normal it has brought. While our continued separation from family and friends is difficult, there is much to be grateful for including the partnerships, the hope, and the innovation emanating from Tel Aviv University (TAU) that I am privileged to share with you, our friends, and supporters.

Last month Professor Dan Peer's lab released news of the revolutionary breakthrough in curing cancer that was developed using a CRISPR-based genome editing system to cut cancerous cells so that they can never again become active. The technology that allows for the editing and destruction of cancer cells without side effects may increase life expectancy in brain and ovarian cancer cases. Professor Peer and his team successfully tested the treatment on two of the deadliest cancers and will now experiment on other types of cancer as well as rare genetic diseases. This utilization of genetic editing to cure disease is the same principle being applied to many of the Covid-19 vaccines currently under development.

We are grateful for partners like the Kadar Foundation, which for the past six years has presented the Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research to Tel Aviv University scientists and scholars who have reached the highest levels of excellence in both research and teaching. The award is given across multiple disciplines to both senior and junior faculty members. This year's winners — Professors Ilit Ferber, Ishay Rosen Zvi, Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, and Tal Ellenbogen — embody the spirit of innovation and excellence found at TAU.

Tel Aviv University has academic collaborations with 280 universities in 46 countries and is a leader in establishing relationships worldwide. Professor Moshe Zviran, Dean of the Coller School of Management and Chief Entrepreneurship and Innovation Officer at TAU, has been actively exploring new opportunities that have arisen due to the signing of the Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain. He has initiated contacts with several business schools and recently published an opinion piece in Khaleej Times, the UAE's leading English-language paper.

On behalf of the AFTAU team and my colleagues at Tel Aviv University, thank you for being our most important partners. Your support, your participation, and your continued interest in the groundbreaking work and innovation coming out of TAU is paramount to our success and for that I am grateful.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Shabbat shalom,

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer