Letter from Our CEO

September 9, 2022


Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that the summer is over and the holidays are a couple of weeks away. New York City feels alive with energy, anticipation, and excitement. In-person meetings are more prevalent and this return to normalcy is encouraging. Last month we were fortunate to have visits from two of Tel Aviv University's (TAU) new deans, Professor Karen Avraham and Professor Dan Amiram, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Coller School of Management respectively. In the next two weeks we will welcome President Porat and colleagues from Israel and host meetings in which we share the happenings at TAU.

In breaking COVID news, Dr. Natalia Freund's lab has demonstrated that antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients are effective in neutralizing all known strains of the virus, including the Delta and Omnicrom variants. This discovery may eliminate the need for repeated booster vaccinations and strengthen the immune system of populations at risk. Dr. Freund is a proponent of people getting vaccinated and says we must "look at the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of previous disease outbreaks and realize that people who were vaccinated still have antibodies."

From cures to causes, a new study from Dr. Maya Weinberg in Professor Yossi Yovel's lab concludes that there is no evidence that COVID-19 was transmitted from bats to humans. According to the researchers, the correlations between the virus breakout and bats were not based on scientific proof and caused confusion worldwide. Bats have a highly effective immune system that enables them to deal with viruses easily and protects them, making it unlikely that they would be the source of transmission.

Dr. Lior Mayo's lab has had a breakthrough in addressing glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer for which there is no treatment. The team has eradicated the tumors (in mice) by starving them of energy. The findings from the research provide a promising basis for developing effective medications for glioblastoma and other types of brain tumors. I encourage you to watch the research video in which Dr. Mayo explains the process.

I often talk about Tel Aviv University's DNA and the mission of the University to make the world a better place. Researchers from TAU and the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute have developed an innovative method for growing seaweed enriched with nutrients, proteins, dietary fiber, and minerals for human and animal needs that has the potential to be a natural superfood, and to help ease the global food crisis.

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of Tel Aviv University — the work, the students, the mission. As a reminder of why we do what we do, I am pleased to introduce you to Bat El Bogala, an Ethiopian student and scholarship recipient. For a little inspiration, please click on the link and watch her video.

Wishing you Shabbat shalom and an early shanah tovah u'metuka.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer