£1.5 million awarded to four new joint medical research projects by British and Israeli scientists

 The British Council is proud to announce that UK and Israeli research institutions will work together on four new three-year bilateral projects in the use of stem cells to tackle degenerative diseases.

 The projects, that will develop stem cell therapies to treat diabetes, heart disease, leukaemia and Anaemia and Alzheimer’s, are the latest additions to the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange programme (BIRAX), a £10 million initiative of the British Council investing in world-leading research jointly undertaken by scientists in Britain and Israel.

 The new round of funded projects, selected under BIRAX third call for proposals, brings together scientists from the University of Edinburgh, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Technion – Israel Institute for Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Exeter University, University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow.

 BIRAX was initiated 6 years ago by the British Council, British Embassy in Israel and the UK Science & Innovation Network in collaboration with founding partners Pears Foundation and the UJIA. Through the initiative they teamed up with philanthropic Foundations and leading UK Medical Research charities including the British Heart Foundation, JDRF, and Alzheimer’s Society. The programme is also generously supported by funders including Weizmann UK, Clore Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and Pears Foundation.

 Mr David Quarrey, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Israel said: “I am excited that four new projects have been selected for our flagship science research programme, the BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative. I am delighted that our valued partners, including some of the UK’s leading medical foundations, have reaffirmed their partnership with us as we work together to deliver world-class, cutting-edge collaborative research projects that will both bring the UK and Israeli academic communities closer together, and take us a step closer to making the world’s most debilitating diseases a thing of the past.”

 Sir Trevor Pears, Founder of the Pears Foundation, added: “The BIRAX Initiative continues to earn its reputation as a successful model for promoting academic collaboration between the UK and Israel through its commitment to science excellence. We are delighted about the new collaborations and we are proud to be one of the initial supporters of this important initiative that will have an enduring impact and legacy.”