Three Weizmann Scientists among those named as International Research Scholars

Amit Ido 2014 Web Crop
Dr Ido Amit in the lab.

Three Weizmann Scientists, Dr Ido Amit, Dr Eran Elinav and Dr Shalev Itzkovitz, are among 41 researchers from 16 countries who have been chosen as International Research Scholars.  They have been selected as exceptional early-career scientists poised to advance biomedical research across the globe.

The awards have been made by a group of philanthropic organisations including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.  They have awarded a total of nearly $26.7 million with each researcher receiving a total of $650,000 over five years.

The three Weizmann Scientists are amongst six from Israel who have been selected to receive the substantial reward.

More about the Weizmann Scientists receiving the award:

Dr Ido Amit wants to reveal how immune cells work, and what role they play in health and disease. His lab develops new single cell genomic technologies to study these cells in unprecedented resolution. Figuring out immune cells’ actions will help advance the next generation of immunotherapy to fight cancer and other disorders.

Dr Eran Elinav is fascinated by microbes that live around and in our body -- our microbiome. He has discovered important links between nutrition, gut microbes and the risk of developing common diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Now, he wants to figure out how gut microbes impact human relapsing (or “yo-yo”) obesity and its many complications.

Dr Shalev Itzkovitz studies the design principles of mammalian tissues. He’s taking a close-up look at individual cells to figure out how they work together in organs such as the intestine, liver, and pancreas. Advanced imaging techniques combined with single cell sequencing will help researchers determine the job description of cells in different organs.

The other Israeli scientists are:

Dr. Yossi Buganim of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is advancing stem cell research by finding improved ways to reprogram adult stem cells into other types. He did his PhD work in the lab of Prof. Varda Rotter in the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute, and received his degree in 2008. 

Dr. Idan Efroni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture studies what underlies plants remarkable regeneration abilities, focusing on how plants can recruit cells to form new stem cells and meristems. His research will lead to improved plant propagation methods with the goal of increasing food production. He received his PhD in 2010 at the Weizmann Institute under the guidance of Prof. Yuval Eshed at the Institute’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

Prof. Asya Rolls of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology studies the relationship between the immune system and the brain as it pertains to health and disease. She performed her doctoral studies in the lab of Prof. Michal Schwartz in the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute, receiving her degree in 2007.

The only woman of the group, Prof. Rolls is a prior Clore Fellow of the Weizmann Institute’s Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science. The highly selective program, now in its tenth year, funds outstanding women PhD graduates to perform postdoctoral studies abroad. The program is fully funded by Weizmann Institute supporters and open to female graduates of all Israeli universities.

More about the International Research Scholars Awards.

Published: May 10, 2017

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