Letter from Our CEO

January 2021


Dear Friends,

January is a month of new possibilities. It's a time when many of us, excited for a fresh start, analyze what worked and what didn't work during the past year, and make New Year's resolutions and plans for the year ahead. With the incredible news about Israel leading the world in vaccination rate, there is tremendous pride and hope that there is a light at the end of this pandemic induced tunnel. As of earlier this week, Israel inoculated more than one million people and is delivering doses of the vaccine so quickly that there is concern they will run out. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the US. Let's hope that the US government can borrow a page from Israel's playbook and rapidly increase the number of Americans being inoculated.

I think I can safely say that we are happy to see 2020 end. While it was a year filled with loss and unprecedented difficulties, there was also positive news, discoveries, and breakthroughs coming out of Tel Aviv University (TAU). We ended the year with the announcement of the possibility of curing deafness using gene therapy to replace defective genes with healthy genes that may prevent deafness in children born with genetic mutations that cause hearing loss. To learn more about the joint study Professor Karen Avraham led with doctors at Harvard/Boston Children's Hospital, click here.

Tel Aviv University was a global leader in the fight against the coronavirus in 2020. From Professor Johnny Gershoni's US patent for his vaccine candidate and Dr. Natalia Freund's antibody cocktail to be used as medicine to treat or prevent the virus, to discoveries such as LED lights being used to kill coronavirus, TAU researchers worked non-stop to do what they could to end the global pandemic. In a project funded by Google, TAU's new AI and Data Science Center is applying artificial intelligence techniques and advanced statistical methods to improve Covid-19 public health measures. I have shared some of these stories with you over the past year and encourage you to read about other advancements and discoveries in the fight against Covid-19.

I hope you will be as excited as I was about a recent study done by Stanford University in which Tel Aviv University was repeatedly recognized for academic excellence and as a leading interdisciplinary university. Twelve TAU researchers were identified among the world's top 50 researchers in their fields, TAU's Vice President for Research, Professor Dan Peer, ranked among the top 0.4% in the world in nanotechnology and 333 of TAU's researchers ranked among the top 2% of the world's best researchers. I am confident that it will not be too long before I will be sharing global initiatives and innovations from the researchers who were recognized in the study as well as many others across campus.

In 2021, we will continue to bring the best of Tel Aviv University directly to you with bi-monthly webinars on a variety of topics and subjects featuring researchers and leading alumni. I encourage you to view the over 50 webinars and complimentary on-line classes which can be found in our webinar library. On Thursday, January 21st, at 11:00 a.m. EST, Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel and TAU alum, joins me for a conversation about business, philanthropy, and his time at TAU. Please register here.

Wishing you a new year filled with possibilities and renewed optimism for a bright future.

Shabbat shalom,

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer