Thursday, June 28, 2012

Technion Honorary Fellows, 2012.




Among the International Board of Governors June events in this cornerstone centennial year are dedications of new facilities, prizes for research and academic excellence, book launches celebrating Technion’s contributions to Israel and the world, and honorary awards to public figures.


Honorary Doctors
Prof. Srulek Cederbaum, Germany
Prof. François Diederich, Switzerland
Gary Goldberg, Canada
Itzhak Nissan, Israel
Dr Eli Opper, Israel
Joan Seidel, USA
Prof. Günter Spur, Germany
Moshe Yanai, Israel
Honorary Fellows
Drora Avissar, Israel
Jeffery Cosiol, USA
Ruth E. Flinkman-Marandy, USA
Raphael Mishan, USA
Prof. Gerd-Volker Röschenthaler, Germany
Maurice Shashoua, Brazil
Senator Paul B. Steinberg, USA
The Honourable Laura Wolfson Townsley, UK



 Drora Avissar, Israel

In recognition of your outstanding contribution to the Technion over the years, first as a staff member of the Israel Technion Society, and later as the Society’s director for two decades; for initiating and directing large-scale, vital projects for the Technion; for establishing a wide-ranging and impressive network of donors and supporters; for your role in narrowing educational gaps – an area that you see as your mission; and for serving as a role model for social involvement, dedication, and ceaseless efforts.  




Jeffery Cosiol, USA

In recognition of your passion for Israel and the Technion based on your belief in the centrality of science and technology to Israel’s future; in gratitude for your support, especially for Technion graduate students; and in appreciation of your effective leadership at the local and national levels of the American Technion Society.  



Ruth Elaine Flinkman-Marandy, USA 
In acknowledgement of your devotion to Israel and to the Technion; your deep understanding of the importance of medical science to the people of Israel and the world; and your service on the local and national levels of the American Technion Society.

Raphael Mishan, USA

In sincere appreciation for your profound love of Israel and dedication to the Technion; in thanks for your support of Technion research and caring for our students; and with gratitude for your understanding of the Technion’s vital role in Israel’s future, and for being a role model for Technion alumni.



Prof. Gerd Volker Roeschenthaler,  Germany

In acknowledgement of your active leadership role in the German Technion Society; in tribute to your continuing devoted engagement as bridge-builder between Israel and Germany; and in recognition of your active volunteer efforts on behalf of the Technion as well as Jewish and Israeli causes in German society.



 Maurice Shashoua, Brazil

In recognition of your active leadership as president of the Brazilian Technion Society and your active membership of the Brazilian Jewish community; in gratitude for your longtime friendship, devotion and persistent support of the Technion; and in appreciation of your voluntary role as a good-will ambassador for the Technion and through it for the State of Israel.

Senator Paul B. Steinberg, USA


In acknowledgement of your devotion to the Technion and the State of Israel; in appreciation for your sincere commitment to Israel’s future through your support of the Technion; and in admiration for your many accomplishments on behalf of the American Jewish community and the State of Florida.



Laura Wolfson Townsley, UK
In recognition of your support for the State of Israel and the Technion in both a personal capacity and through your Chairmanship of the Wolfson Family Charitable Trust and Trusteeship of the Wolfson Family Foundation whose outstanding contributions have had a major impact on higher education and charitable institutes in Israel; in gratitude for your commitment to many worthy Jewish causes in the UK and throughout the world; and in appreciation of your work as Honorary President of the British Technion Society.



Technion Honors, 2012, Centennial Events.


Among the International Board of Governors June events in this cornerstone centennial year are dedications of new facilities, prizes for research and academic excellence, book launches celebrating Technion’s contributions to Israel and the world, and honorary awards to public figures.

Honorary Doctors
Prof. Srulek Cederbaum, Germany
Prof. François Diederich, Switzerland
Gary Goldberg, Canada
Itzhak Nissan, Israel
Dr Eli Opper, Israel
Joan Seidel, USA
Prof. Günter Spur, Germany
Moshe Yanai, Israel
Honorary Fellows
Drora Avissar, Israel
Jeffery Cosiol, USA
Ruth E. Flinkman-Marandy, USA
Raphael Mishan, USA
Prof. Gerd-Volker Röschenthaler, Germany
Maurice Shashoua, Brazil
Senator Paul B. Steinberg, USA
The Honourable Laura Wolfson Townsley, UK



Prof. Lorenz (Srulek) Cederbaum
Lenz
In recognition of your many significant contributions to molecular sciences, in particular for your contributions to the understanding of the quantum mechanical foundations of structure and dynamics of molecules, and for the discovery of the ICD (Intermolecular or Interatomic Coulombic Decay) phenomenon, which has emerged to be a highlight in chemical and physical science; and for your many years of support for and cooperation with the Technion.


Prof. François Diederich, Switzerland

In tribute to your outstanding scientific achievements and your important fundamental contributions to the fields of organic chemistry, advanced materials and chemical biology; in recognition of your outstanding leadership in the international scientific community; and in gratitude for your friendship and support of the scientific community in Israel and the Technion in particular.



Gary Goldberg, Canada

In recognition of your selfless commitment to social and communal responsibility, your charitable pursuits for the benefit of your community, and in particular your efforts on behalf of the Technion and the State of Israel; in gratitude for the transformative influence that you have had on the Canadian Technion Society; and the effective visionary leadership you have demonstrated.


Itzhak Nissan, Israel

For your contribution to the security of Israel in your many roles in the defense industries; for your contribution to the Israel Aerospace Industries, which you have helped lead to unprecedented achievements, making it a leader in aviation, space, electronics, science and security; and for your role in establishing a fruitful collaboration between Technion and Israel Aerospace Industries, which serves as a model of cooperation between industry and academia.


For your contributions to the promotion of research and development in the State of Israel in your capacity as chief scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and chairman of EUREKA, the leading industrial R&D program in Europe; for your part in laying the foundations for the development of advanced technologies in general, and the advancement of the State of Israel and the Technion in the field of nanotechnology in particular, efforts that resulted in the establishment of six research centers, including the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at Technion; and for your leadership and vision - a role model for Technion alumni. 


Joan Seidel, USA

With admiration and gratitude for your many years of devoted and skillful leadership at the helm of the American Technion Society; in tribute to your inspiring and infectious enthusiasm, which helps expand our circle of supporters; and in appreciation for the valuable professional expertise you bring to your involvement.


Prof. Gunter Spur, Germany  

In recognition of your outstanding scientific achievements through significant contributions to manufacturing systems and processes, and machine tools technology; for educating generations of leaders in mechanical engineering; for your continuous and dedicated support of the Technion and promotion of its cooperation with German universities; and for your unveiling the contributions of Jewish scientists in Berlin prior to World War II.


Moshe Yanai, Israel 

In recognition of your pioneering technological leadership in revolutionizing computer storage systems and advancing this industry, both globally and in Israel; in tribute to your being an iconic “high-tech sabra” and an inspiring role model for Technion students and alumni; and in gratitude for your friendship and support of the Technion and your unique contribution to the quality of teaching by establishing the Yanai Awards for Excellence in Education.

Microsoft CEO Danny Yamin: New Chairman of Technion Council.

Danny Yamin with Technion President Peretz Lavie.

Microsoft CEO Appointed to Leading Technion Position

Danny Yamin, head of Microsoft Israel,
is new chairman of the Technion Council, succeeding Yoram Alster

Danny Yamin, CEO of Microsoft Israel, has been appointed chairman of the Technion Council.
He replaces Yoram Alster, who served in this position for nine years.


The Council serves as the guiding and deciding authority with regard to Technion matters, between meetings of the Board of Governors, which the highest authority of the Technion. Among its powers are supervision of administrative and financial matters, enactment of regulations and appointments, awarding of honorary degrees, and more.


Danny Yamin, who is a Technion graduate, has been serving as CEO of Microsoft Israel since 2004. In recent years he has also held various positions in the Technion, including member of the Council and Chairman of the Technion alumni's '100 Club'.


Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie: "Danny Yamin's vast management experience in a global organization is essential at a time when the Technion itself is treading deeper into the global arena. The establishment of the Technion and Cornell research campus in New York is one type of the challenges we will be contending with in the coming years, as is the advancement of the Technion in Israel. I am looking forward to working with Danny in his new role, and believe that his vast experience will ccontribute greatly to the way we contend with the new local and global challenges".


Danny Yamin: "I am pleased to expand my activity in the Technion, an institute which plays a major role in the State of Israel. The relationship between industry and academia is essential to both sides, and it is my hope that together with Technion President Peretz Lavie, the Technion's management and its Council members, we will continue to realize the Technion's great potential in Israel and worldwide".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pull of Light - optics innovation from Technion.


Distinguished Prof. Mordechai (Moti) Segev,
Technion Faculty of Physics.
Developing a real, working tractor beam has regularly been an exercise in frustration: it often relies on brute force attempts to induce a magnetic link or an air pressure gap, either of which falls a bit short of science fiction-level elegance.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's Mordechai Segev has a theory that would use the subtler (though not entirely movie-like) concept of negative radiation pressure in light to move objects. By using materials that have a negative refraction index, where the light photons and their overall wave shape move in opposite directions, Segev wants to create a sweet spot where negative radiation pressure exists and an object caught in the middle can be pushed around. His early approach would use extremely thin crystals stacked in layers to manipulate the refraction.

As it's theorized, the technology won't be pulling in the Millennium Falcon anytime soon -- the millimeters-wide layer intervals dictate the size of what can be pulled. Nonetheless, even the surgery-level tractor beams that Segev hopes will ultimately stem from upcoming tests would bring us much closer to the future that we've always wanted.

Negative radiation pressure in light could make some tractor beams real, we're already sucked in
Source: Optics Express

Read more about Distinguished Prof. Motti Segev at the Technion Book of Faces.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spit it out! How nature joins up with rodents.




Technion researchers discover how the defensive chemicals of a fruit turn a seed predator into a quality seed disperser.

Researchers from the Technion Faculty of Biology have discovered how fruit chemistry alters animal behavior. The researchers found a chemical mechanism that encourages seed dispersal in the fruit of the desert plant 'sweet mignonette' or 'taily weed'.

This mechanism contains stable, non-toxic substances called glucosinolates, which are found only in the fruit pulp and break down into toxic products when the seed, which contains the enzyme myrosinase, is damaged mechanically. Apparently, the compartmentalization of glucosinolates and myrosinase in the fruits of sweet mignonette affects the interaction between the plant and rodents that are known to be seed predators. One of the rodents examined, the common spiny mouse, was even found to be a quality dispenser of the sweet mignonette seeds. This is the first documentation of a chemical mechanism in fruits that encourages seed dispersal by mammals.

According to the directed deterrence hypothesis, defensive chemicals (secondary metabolites) in ripe fruits deter seed predators, but have no or little effect on seed dispersers. Indeed, there is some evidence that birds (seed dispersers) and mammals (seed predators) differ in their responses to defensive chemicals. However, this mechanism was only demonstrated based on differences at the class level, namely differences in vanilloid receptors found in mammals but not in birds.  

"Here we present the findings of physiological and behavioral experiments demonstrating the use of defensive chemicals of the mustard oil bomb to encourage broad-range, class-independent (e.g. mammals vs. birds) seed dispersal in sweet mignonette fruits, in order to force a behavioral change at an ecological timescale, converting rodents from seed predators to seed dispersers,"  writes researcher Michal Samuni-Blank, who was supervised by Profs. Zeev Arad of the Technion and Ido Izhaki of Haifa University.

"This change is achieved through the unique compartmentalization of the mustard oil bomb, which causes activation of the system only upon seed and pulp co-consumption. This 'motivates' seed dispersal which has led to the first ever documentation of a rodent dispersing seeds via seed spitting".

The research findings demonstrate the power of fruits defensive chemicals to shift the animal-plant relationships from predation to mutualism, and supports the directed deterrence hypothesis at the intraspecific level, in addition to the interspecific level.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jewelry ~ a whole new matter ~ Technion Nobel Laureate.





Private Collection: A Jewel for My Wife
Nobel Laureate 2011 Prof. Dan Shechtman

A JEWEL FOR MY WIFE


By Curator: Anat Har-gil

1972, Dayton, Ohio.  It all began innocently enough. Zippi, Dan’s wife, was busy in the evenings studying for a Master’s Degree in Sociology, and Dan Shechtman, a postdoctoral fellow, found himself studying stone polishing in the arts center during his free time.

Before long, five pairs of polished stones accumulated. Each pair, a different color. What would he do with them? He found himself attending a silver jewelry making course led by Mrs. Audrey Cray: “A very dear and special woman who taught me that esthetics is not an exact science. "Jewelry is created with feeling, love and patience,”

From that moment onwards, sensitively and delicately, Dan has been creating and designing jewelry. Jewelry for his wife: only for his wife.

The art of jewelry making became incorporated and condensed into the inherent knowledge he already possessed. Working with metal is familiar for Dan since he is a metallurgist. He understands metal; he handles it, in this case, to create his jewelry. The  enamel is sealed, at times melting in his hands until it becomes transparent. The metal expands and contracts. Together, enamel, metal and stone merge into a melting pot of
matter and spirit.

The scientific thinking behind his art is very powerful. Yet, at the same time, jewelry making is an excuse for him, a reason to be released from the clutches of the laboratory. The thinking is now visual in form and it begs awareness for its own existence.

Professional knowledge is translated into plastic values, and what really takes place is the transformation of his sketches and his technical ability into a beautiful creation.
Behind every design lies the story. Each piece of jewelry serves as an expression of emotion or the marking of an event. The process is fed, fertilized, and examined by “an audience of one” - his wife Zippi.

When this journey comes to end, it is not yet completed. A ceremony – heartfelt and modest then begins. The piece of jewelry is presented to Zippi as a surprise. Even though she is present before it is even made, she is not a partner in its making.

Dan Shechtman is a research professor in the Faculty of Materials Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In the year 2011, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals.


An exhibition of handcrafted jewelry created by Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman is to be displayed on campus.Designed exclusively for his wife, Prof. Zipora Shechtman, the exhibition showcases 15 unique pieces ranging from earrings to bracelets with a single item — an Aztec-inspired silver belt buckle pictured bottom left — which Distinguished Prof. Shechtman made for himself. The exhibition, curated by Anat Har-Gil, will show June 10 to June 14, 2012, on the 4th floor of the Ullmann Teaching Center at Technion City in Haifa.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Physics research brings new strategies for brain tumor treatment.


File:PET-image.jpg


Modeling the demise of migrating brain tumor cells

Evolution of brain tumor cells under treatment reveal that it is the peripheral tumor cells that need to be targeted

An Israeli physicist has developed a theoretical model to simulate the evolution of highly proliferating brain tumour core cells subjected to treatment by alternating radio frequency electric field. The research, by Alexander Iomin from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Technion in Haifa, is about to be published in EPJ E¹. In another model, the author examines the possibility of enhancing the level of treatment by targeting the outer area of the tumour.

Iomin introduced a theoretical evaluation of the effect of a standard treatment known as tumour-treating-field (TTF) on the speed of development of a type of brain tumour called glioma. To do so, he adapted a well-established model -- the so-called fractal comb model, which looks like the regularly spaced teeth of a comb -- based on a mathematical approach called fractional calculus. This model is based on the hypothesis that TTF treatment had limited efficiency in the outer region and would only be effective on the inner part of the tumour, which is characterised by a higher proliferation rate of cancer cells.

By contrast, the peripheral part of the tumour is characterised by high migration and low proliferation rates of cancer cells. In his second model, the author considered glioma cancer as a composite of cancer cells and normal tissue cells. Each cell type exhibits a distinctive polarisation by an electric field, following a pattern similar to fractal geometry. He established a model reflecting the difference between the two types of cells and applied fractal calculus to their geometry. Iomin suggested that because of the fractal nature of cancer cells the TTF treatment might be enhanced at certain frequencies. As a result, the cancer cells' plasma membrane permeability would irreversibly increase, which could lead to their demise. This approach may constitute an effective non-invasive method for treating brain cancer.

Article extracted from: EurekaAlert.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Parkinson's in the genes? Technion isolates the 5 genes for early diagnosis.

3 June 2012

Technion Researchers Identify a Cluster of Five Genes in the Blood that Predict Parkinson's Disease

Technion researchers from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine have identified five genes that predict Parkinson's disease, reports the scientific journal Molecular Neurodegeneration. The research was conducted by Dr. Silvia Mandel, Vice Director of the Eve Topf Center of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research and Teaching, together with her colleagues Prof. Moussa Youdim (Technion), Prof. Judith Aharon (Rambam Medical Center), and Prof. Martin Rabey (Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center), as well as her colleagues from the Universities of Würzburg and Pisa.

"Currently, there is no blood test that can diagnose PD, making the detection of individuals at risk or at earliest stages of PD practically impossible. Instead it is identified by a clinical neurological examination based on findings suggestive of Parkinson’s disease. Finding biomarkers for Parkinson's disease will help to capture those high-risk subjects before symptoms develop, a stage where prevention treatment efforts might be expected to have their greatest impact to slow disease progression", says Dr. Silvia Mandel. "The first aim of our study was to assess whether a gene signature could be detected in blood from early Parkinson's disease patients that could support the diagnosis of the disease".



The examination was conducted on blood samples from 62 early stage Parkinson's disease patients and 64 healthy age-matched controls. The selection of the genes and determination of their expression in the blood was based on previous research conducted by Drs. Silvia Mandel and Moussa Youdim on the brains of Parkinson's disease patients, in which a group of genes was identified with defective expression compared to the brains of healthy people (control group). Five genes were found that are optimal predictors of Parkinson's disease.
The predictive ability of the model was validated in an independent cohort of 30 patients at advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, with 100% accuracy, which suggests a potential for the genetic signature to assess disease severity. Lastly, the model fully discriminated between Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

"The findings strengthen the assumption that a five-gene panel in the blood allows to diagnose early stage Parkinson's disease, with a possible diagnostic value for detection of the disease before the appearance of the characteristic motor symptoms", say the Technion researchers. "The biomarker could assist in diagnosing individuals at presymptomatic stages of the disease (patients with depression, sleep disturbances or hyposmia (reduced ability to smell) or patients carrying genetic risk factors) who are good candidates for neuroprotective treatment. Such a biomarker will be of value in clinical trials for the identification of that subgroup of Parkinson's disease patients that may respond favorably to therapies targeting the mechanisms reflected by the gene panel. All five genes play a role in the ubiquitin-proteasome system, whose involvement in the pathology of Parkinson's disease has previously been demonstrated.

The Technion researchers believe that, in the future, the blood test may be combined with brain imaging and/or biomarkers in the spinal fluid or other peripheral tissues, as a gold standard not only for early diagnosis, but also for the differential diagnosis of Parkinson's and motor disorders mimicking the disease.