UK-Israel Science Council
UK-Israel Science Council ©

Photo by: Mati Milstein

Photo by: Mati Milstein

The UK-Israel Science Council is a body of 25 leading scientists from the UK and Israel whose core mandate is to improve science collaboration between the two countries. The group was launched by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in November 2010. Mr Hague said then that “science is rightly one of the cornerstones of the relationship between Britain and Israel - our countries are scientific superpowers. Both are countries that have built up our economies and our identity through being leaders in science and technology.”

Members of the UK-Israel Science Council: 

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Professor the Lord Robert Winston, Imperial College London (Co-Chair, Founding member)

Robert Winston is the first Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London. Winston’s current research activities, a collaboration between researches at the California Institute of Technology and Imperial College, London, has a genetic focus with diverse aims that include improving the production of stem cells from embryonic tissue and reducing genetic abnormalities in embryos.

Professor Ruth Arnon, Weizmann Institute of Science (Co-Chair, Founding member)

Former Vice-President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Head of the Department of Chemical Immunology, Dean of the Faculty of Biology, and Director of the Institute's Center for Molecular Biology of Tropical Diseases. Among the developers of Copaxone®, a drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. A member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and former Chairperson of its Sciences division, and President of the Academy. Currently a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, the American Philosophical Society, the European Academy of Science & Art as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Formerly: President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies, Secretary-General of the International Union of Immunological Societies, President of the Association of Academies of Sciences in Asia and a member of the European Union Research Advisory Board. Winner of numerous prizes and honorary doctorates. 

 

Professor Sir John Bell FRS, University of Oxford (Founding member)

From 2006 to 2011, Professor Sir Bell was President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and since 2002 has held the Regius Chair of Medicine at Oxford University. He has been Chairman of OSCHR since 2006. Professor Sir Bell’s research has identified genes involved in susceptibility to diabetes mellitus type 1 and rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. He has been directly involved in applying genetics in a clinical settings and helped developed the 100,000 genome project in England. Professor Sir Bell was knighted for services to medicine in the 2008 New Year Honours.

Professor Sir Marc Feldmann, University of Oxford (Founding member)

Professor Sir Feldman is the head of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Oxford. His research has focused on understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and has led to the development of new drugs which tackle the inflammation and tissue destruction caused by rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Professor Sir Feldman was knighted in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Professor Sir Aaron Klug OM PRS, Cambridge University, Nobel Laureate (Founding member)

Professor Sir Klug is a chemist and biophysicist. In 1962 he moved to the newly built MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Over the following decade he used methods from X-ray diffraction, microscopy and structural modelling to develop crystallographic electron microscopy in which a sequence of two-dimensional images of crystals taken from different angles are combined to produce three-dimensional images of the target. Professor Sir Klug was the recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Professor Chris Mason, University College London (Founding member)

Professor Mason is a professor of regenerative medicine bioprocessing. He Chairs the BIA Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine Industry Group and is a member of the ISSCR Industry Committee, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) Communication & Education Committee and ISCT Commercialization Committee. In May 2012, he became the first President of The Regenerative Medicine Coalition. He is a Senior Partner at Proteus Venture Partners.

Professor the Lord Naren Patel, KT Kt FMedSci FRSE, University of Dundee (Founding member)

Professor the Lord Patel is an obstetrician and cross bench peer, and Chancellor of the University of Dundee. His academic and clinical interests were in the field of high-risk obstetrics. He has published on pre-term labour, foetal growth retardation and obstetric epidemiology. Professor the Lord Patel received a knighthood in the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours, and was created a life peer on 1 March 1999, as Baron Patel, of Dunkeld in Perth and Kinross.

Professor Sir Richard Sykes DSc FRS FMedSci FKC, Imperial College (Founding member)

Professor Sir Sykes is a biochemist and former executive of GlaxoSmithKline. He is the former rector of Imperial College and Since December 2011, Sir Richard Sykes has been Chair of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Professor Sir Sykes is currently the Chairman of The UK Stem Cell Foundation and Non-executive Director of Lonza AG.

Professor Sir John Walker, Cambridge University, Nobel Laureate (Founding member)

Professor Sir Walker is currently a group leader at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge, and a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. Professor Sir John Walker was the 1997 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. Sir John was knighted in 1999 for services to molecular biology.

Professor Yossi Shiloh, Tel Aviv University (Joined 2010)

Professor Shiloh is incumbent of the David and Inez Myers Chair in Cancer Genetics and head of the Myers Laboratory for Genetic Research at the Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. He is a member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the Human Genome Organization. Professor Shiloh’s research focuses on the response of mammalian cells to damage caused to the DNA by environmental agents such as radiation and carcinogenic chemicals.

Professor Gal Richter Levin, University of Haifa (Founding member)

Professor Richter-Levin is currently the head of the Institute for the Study of Affective Neuroscience (ISAN), at the University of Haifa. Professor Richter-Levin has made major contributions to developing novel translational animal models of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as towards the understanding of the role of emotional and amygdala activation in traumatic memory and depression. He earned his PhD (1992) at the Weizmann Institute of Science. 

Professor Ehud Gazit, Tel Aviv University (Founding member)

Professor Gazit is Nano-Biology Chair at Tel Aviv University. From 2012-2014 he also served as the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). Professor Gazit's research focuses on the study of biomolecular self-assembly. His work resulted in the identification of minimal recognition elements that facilitate the assembly of amyloid fibrils and identified novel ways to inhibit this process. His laboratory was the first to identify aromatic dipeptides that form nanotubes and nanospheres of unique mechanical and chemical properties.

Professor Hermona Soreq, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Founding member)

Professor Soreq is a professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2005 she was elected to serve a 3-year term as the first female Dean of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Science. Professor Soreq is a founding member of the Hebrew University’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences. Her research is focused on the mechanisms underlying malfunctioning of communication by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in muscle, nerves and blood cells, which involves changes in pre-mRNA processing and microRNA regulators, and may be manipulated by Oligonucleotide-mediated therapeutics (successfully completed Phase II clinical trials for treating inflammatory bowel disease) that can be also relevant for anxiety-related, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's) diseases.

Professor Benny Geiger, Weizmann Institute of Science (Founding member)

Professor Geiger is the Dean of the Department of Molecular Cell Biology. His research includes the mechanisms responsible for communication between cells, both normal and cancerous, and the specific molecules playing a role in these cellular interactions. He is the incumbent of the Erwin Neter Professorial Chair in Cell and Tumor Biology. Previous Institute positions held by Geiger include Dean of the Feinberg Graduate School from 1989 to 1995 and Head of the Molecular Cell Biology Department from its 1995 inception until 2004.

Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Nobel Laureate (Founding member)

Professor Ciechanover is a distinguished research professor at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and Honorary President of the Israel Cancer Association. He received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. Professor Ciechanover has made a great contribution to the understanding of the mechanism of intracellular processes. He revealed in his laboratory that the ubiquitin system, which is responsible for breaking down proteins in body cells, controls the activities of proteins that act like multiple gene “operating switches” in the cell. 

Professor Eilon Adar, Ben-Gurion University (Joined 2015)

Expert in arid zones hydrology and Middle East water issues. His main research activities focus on quantitative assessment of groundwater flow systems,  and sources of recharge in complex arid basins with puzzling geology and scarce hydrological information. He developed the Mixing Cell Model (MCM) used in numerous basins worldwide. Prof Adar is also dedicated to cross-border water resources in the Middle East, as well as to strengthening the R&D of water innovations within the industry.

Professor Alon Friedman, Ben-Gurion University (Joined 2015)

Prof Alon Friedman is head of Lab for Experimental Neurosurgery at Ben-Gurion University. His research focuses on the pathophysiology of brain disorders and the effects of stress on the nervous system. Through his work,  Prof Friedman is involved in the prevention and treatment of brain diseases, specifically injury-related epilepsy and neuro-degeneration. Awarded in 2007 the Michael Foundation Prize in Germany. 

Professor Irit Sagi, Weizmann Institute of Science (Joined 2015)

Prof Irit Sagi researches tissue and extracellular re-modeling molecular processes.  She revealed the complex molecular nature of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a group of human enzymes linked to cancer and autoimmune diseases. Insights derived from these studies led her to design a new class of inhibitory antibodies that thwart the negative action of these enzymes.  These prototype antibodies are currently being developed for clinical use in inflammatory and cancer diseases. Received numerous prizes, including the 2013 Juludan Prize award for outstanding research and the 2006 YEDA inventor of the year. President of the Israel Biophysical Society and Dean of Weizmann’s Feinberg Graduate School.

Professor Uri Banin, The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem (Joined 2015)

Prof Banin's research focuses on nanoscience and nanotechnology of nanocrystals. He is the founding director of the Harvey M. Kreuger centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University. Prof Banin was the scientific founder of Qlight Nanotech, a start-up company based on his inventions and developing the use of nanocrystals in display and lighting applications. Awarded, inter alia, the Israeli Alon fellowship for young faculty, the Yoram Ben-Porat prize from The Hebrew University and the Michael Bruno Memorial Award.

 

 

Sir Gregory Paul Winter CBE FRS FMedSci, University of Cambridge (Joined 2015)

Sir Greg Winter is a genetic engineer and biochemist, best known for his research and inventions relating to the humanisation of antibodies for therapeutic uses. He founded three Cambridge biotech companies based on his inventions: Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca), Domantis (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) and Bicycle Therapeutics. Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded the Scheele Award, the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine and the Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award. He is currently the Master of Trinity College in Cambridge.

Professor John Anthony Hardy FRS, University College London (Joined 2015)

Prof John Hardy is a geneticist and molecular biologist whose research interests focus on neurological disease and Alzheimer. Through his research Prof Hardy successfully dissected the causes of the Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease and frontotemporal dementia, and described the first genetic mutations in in the amyloid gene in Alzheimer's disease. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2009 and awarded, inter alia, the 2014 Dan David Prize and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize.

Dr Hagit Schwimmer, The Israeli Ministry of Science Technology and Space (Joined 2016)

Dr Hagit Schwimmer is the Deputy Chief Scientist in the Israeli Ministry of Science Technology and Space. 

She joined the ministry in 2014, as the scientific director of bio-medical sciences. 

She got her Ph.D. in thermal physiology in 2005, studied sleep physiology during her PostDoc in Stanford University, in which her main study was on the mutual effects of different sleep stages on the cardiovascular and the thermoregulatory systems. In the University of Haifa, dr. Schwimmer studied the effects of light interference on diurnal rhythms of mammals. 

 

Professor David Harel , Weizmann Institute of Science (Joined 2016)

Prof Harel is a computer scientist at the Weizmann Institute, serving in the past as Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. He is now Vice President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He has worked in logic and computability, software and systems engineering, modeling biological systems and more. Among his books are “Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing” and “Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do”. His awards include the ACM Outstanding Educator Award, the Israel Prize, the ACM Software System Award and five honorary degrees. He is also a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Previous members :

Professor Ada Yonath (Until 2016)

Professor Moshe Abeles (Founding member, until 2014)

Professor Nurit Yirmiya (Until 2016)

Professor Rivka Carmi (Founding member, Co-Chair)

Susan Greenfield 

Professor Raymond Dwek CBE FRS (Founding member, Co-Chair)

Sir Andre Konstantin Geim ( 2015 - 2017)

See also