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Prof. Eshhar and other Israeli scientists help build dialog through science this year

Scientific Collaboration and Nature’s List

In the stars, the Middle Eastern synchrotron or the cure for a children with leukemia, Israeli researchers are engaged in building dialogue through science

Prof. Eshhar and other Israeli scientists help build dialog through science this year

Prof. Zelig Eshhar, immunotherapy founder

Israeli scientists were not those named among Nature’s 10, the scientific journal’s ten people who mattered this year. Scratch the surface, however, and Israeli scientists are there, working to develop cures for all of humanity or collaborating with researchers from all over the world, or all over the region.

Take the second person on the list:  Marcia Branchesi, the Italian astronomer who led the Virgo collaboration that announced the observation of a clash between neutron stars in October. She led 70 teams of astronomers that observed and verified the crash and analyzed the results, solving several astrophysical mysteries in the process. Among them were Israeli teams. Weizmann Institute astrophysicists Profs. Avishay Gal-Yam and Eran Ofek were in on the discovery.

Right below Branchesi on the list is Emily Whitehead. Emily was the first child to receive CAR-T therapy for leukemia. Five years later, CAR-T, a form of immunotherapy, has been approved by the FDA for childhood leukemia. Prof. Zelig Eshhar of the Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the pioneers of immunotherapy, and further treatments based on his work are in the pipeline.

Scroll down and you’ll see Khaled Toukan, founding director of the SESAME light synchrotron project in Jordan. After 20 years, SESAME of development and construction, SESAME began functioning this year. Israeli scientists are partners in SESAME, along with Jordanians, Palestinians, Cypriots, Turks, Egyptians and even Iranians. Toukan calls the project a “light in a sea of conflict.”

We call it “building dialogue through science.”


Israel BDS – building dialogue through science – aims to promote the kind of international collaboration that can lead to true understanding between people. Israel BDS stands for the free and open exchange of ideas among scientists everywhere. By reporting on the benefits of Israeli-international scientific research and the web of connections that these scientists create around the world, Israel BDS takes a vibrant approach to highlighting the global necessity of continued international scientific collaboration.