Letter from Our CEO

May 12, 2023


Dear Friends,

As I write this letter, I am preparing to leave for Israel to attend Tel Aviv University's (TAU) Board of Governors convening. This is a special week spent mainly on campus, celebrating generous gifts and learning about exciting new developments. Unfortunately, tensions are high as the security situation in Gaza intensifies, but we remain hopeful that a ceasefire will happen quickly and remain in place. In a letter to University governors planning to travel to Israel, TAU leadership reminded us that "the best way to respond to terrorism is to continue with our daily life and not let it undermine our research, teaching, and social activities." That's the thing about TAU and Israel — they persevere regardless of the environment in which they are operating, and the researchers and professors remain laser focused on solving problems, improving the world, and lending their expertise to accomplish goals.

I hope you are as inspired and proud as I am to know that many of Tel Aviv University's professors play critical roles in current global issues. For example, Professor Uzi Rabi, Dr. Harel Chorev, and Dr. Michael Milstein, all experts from the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC), are regularly called upon by global media outlets to comment on the situation in the Middle East and to explain the complexities of the modern Middle East. Similarly, at the Porter School of Environmental Studies, researchers work with environmental NGOs, businesses, and governments to contribute to public debate and disseminate environmental knowledge.

I am looking forward to hearing firsthand about the work being done on campus including the new collaboration between Google and Tel Aviv University. This partnership is a program to promote multidisciplinary research in artificial intelligence. Launched through TAU's Center for AI and Data Science, the new collaboration was funded with a $1M grant from Google and is a continuation of the partnership between both organizations.

At the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, research never stops and the extraordinary discoveries that come from this world-class facility will hopefully save countless lives. A global team led by Tel Aviv University's Vice President for Research & Development, Professor Dan Peer, has presented a new approach to the treatment of ovarian cancer using RNA-based nanodrugs. The exciting news is that this novel approach had an 80% survival rate in animal lab models. According to Professor Peer, ovarian cancer is a good target on which to test this approach because it is highly resistant to both chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

It is thanks to your support and partnership that Tel Aviv University thrives. In my next letter, I will update you on what I learned while on campus.

Shabbat shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer