Letter from Our CEO

July 2021


Dear Friends,

Summer is here and life seems to be moving forward as we embrace the new freedoms that come with more people being vaccinated and states lifting restrictions. For this, we can thank science, including the thousands of researchers who made it possible for us to return to a world where we can celebrate (or mourn) together, businesses can open at greater, if not full, capacity and we can lower our masks, at least some of the time.

Science never sleeps and that is evident across Tel Aviv University's (TAU) campus. In more than 400 labs in nine faculties, scientists are continuously working on innovative technologies and treatments for diseases. Professor Dan Peer's lab recently announced a groundbreaking technology that can have important positive implications for cancer treatment and immune related diseases. This discovery provides a targeted delivery of therapeutic RNAs to disease-inflamed cells only, causing no harm to healthy cells. The technology can be used for multiple medical conditions. Please watch this research video in which the team explains their work.

In another lab at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, Professor Ehud Gazit and his team have developed technology that can improve the safety and longevity of implanted medical devices like pacemakers by powering them with kinetic energy. Using a biological material such as collagen, which is non-toxic and causes no harm to the body’s tissues, the charging of pacemakers will use only heartbeats themselves. Eliminating batteries, this technology is more cost-effective, safer and removes the current need to change batteries every five to ten years via surgery in devices like pacemakers.

Science also happens off campus. TAU archeologists and researchers recently discovered remains of early humans in fossils that are 130,000 years old at an Israeli cement site. This discovery of a prehistoric human that was previously unknown to science challenges the prevailing hypothesis that Neanderthals originated from Europe, suggesting that at least some of them came from the Levant in Israel. The new finding also provides clues about a mystery in human evolution.

Your support of Tel Aviv University and interest in its work helps to strengthen Israel. I invite you to mark your calendar for Thursday, October 7th, for AFTAU's virtual gala where we will honor Dr. Anita Friedman with the Visionary Leadership Award, Maya Kadar Kovalsky and Nadav Kadar with the Changemaker Award, and Israeli actress, activist, and author Noa Tishby with the Trailblazer Award. I hope you will join me and many special celebrity guests for an interesting and entertaining evening to benefit a great cause.

Enjoy summer and Shabbat shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer