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Israeli Global Edge
As a small, struggling country, Israel had to be inventive and stretch limited resources. Today, Israel is known as an innovation powerhouse.
Nothing represents this spirit of creativity, resourcefulness and inventiveness more than Tel Aviv University. But this is only the start.
- Graduates rank 8th in the world for producing VC-backed companies (PitchBook)
- 50% of Israel’s entrepreneurs are TAU graduates
- Among top 30 Business Schools (Eduniversal)
- Among top 100 Innovation universities (Reuters)
Entrepreneurship: In 2018, TAU was chosen by Israel’s government to establish an Entrepreneurship Center which will train students from all faculties and backgrounds to contribute to the next phase of the “startup nation.” The Center will work in tandem with TAU Ventures, the University’s startup incubator.
Defense Technology: Prof. Yossi Yovel, Zoology, and his team developed the first “robat,” an autonomous bat-like robot, technology that the Israeli military is considering for rescue missions and navigation.
Nanomedicine: Prof. Tal Dvir, Microbiology, Materials Science & Nano, is creating personalized tissue implants from a patient’s own cells, which reduce the risk of organ rejection.
Climate change and other environmental developments are rapidly damaging our planet. Protecting the environment is not a cause or goodwill endeavour: it is an imperative.
- Produces alternative energy sources, i.e. algae, solar
- Conducts critical research on climate change
- Has the largest natural history museum in Middle East, the only one in a university
- Educates tens of thousands of Israelis each year – including schoolchildren– on nature conservation via Botanic Garden, Zoological Garden and now the Museum
- Is at the forefront of sustainable agriculture and crop yield improvement
- Reintroduced six endangered animal species back into nature
Latest Exciting Research:
Natural History: A team led by Prof. Israel Hershkovitz, Anthropology, is using DNA analysis on rare human bone remains to study disease, climate change and nutrition from ancient times until today.
Smart Transportation: Prof. Michal Tzur, Industrial Engineering & Food Security, uses math to solve gnarly logistics problems of getting emergency supplies or donated food to where it needs to go, quickly and equitably.
Renewable Energy: Dr. Alex Golberg, Environmental Studies, is building a pilot bio-refinery in the Mediterranean for transforming seaweed into fuel and food protein.
Agriculture: Dr. Assaf Distelfeld, Plant Sciences, is the first in the world to crack the wild wheat genome, making possible the identification of genes that will make cultivated wheat more disease resistant, nutritious and adaptable to climate change.
Since its founding Israel has progressed at an astounding pace, but equal access to education and other social resources remain a concern.
Tel Aviv University works to redress gaps in society through novel social investment initiatives.
- Forerunner in Israel in practical, socially oriented programs:
– Free legal clinics
– Institute for Local Government: Hands-on training for municipal leaders
- Gives disadvantaged groups access to a world-class university education
- Launched a plan to get all 5,000 undergraduates volunteering 200,000 hours per year for the benefit of 50,000 people in the community
- Initiated a revolution in university admission: Online courses to replace the standard university entrance exam
Latest Exciting Research:
Volunteerism: Led by Dean of Students Prof. Tova Most, TAU has launched a revolutionary program to get every undergraduate student learning about social leadership in required, accredited courses.
Music: A program run by TAU’s music school in collaboration with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra set up 15 orchestras for over 800 children from distressed and minority communities.
Government: Customized academic training of mayors and their deputies, steered by TAU’s Ophir Pines- Paz, former Minister of the Interior, is helping impoverished and peripheral cities in Israel become solvent and flourish.
Health and Wellness
Despite tremendous advances in understanding and treating disease, medical scientists are only now beginning to grasp how much there is still to know. What’s needed more than anything is original, out-of- the-box and interdisciplinary thinking to vanquish global killers like cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
- Houses the largest medical research and training complex in Israel, serving 2 million people
- Collaborates with a network of 1,400 physicians in 17 affiliated hospitals
- Global leader in translational medicine (lab-to-bedside approach)
- Basic science and clinical collaboration
- 22 drugs in the approval pipeline
- Produced 330 cancer-related patents
- World expert on understanding and treatment of trauma, with 100 researchers
- International programs in the field include:
- Crisis and Trauma Program (Social Work)
- Emergency and Disaster Management Program (School of Public Health)
- Attracts dozens of world-class researchers yearly to its Summer School on public health in the developing world
Latest Exciting Research:
Trauma: Prof. Yair Bar-Haim, Psychology, is working with the IDF and the US Army to test the effectiveness of a computer program he developed to prevent and treat PTSD among combat soldiers.
ALS: A technique using the patient’s own stem cells, pioneered by Prof. Dani Offen, Medicine, successfully treated ALS patients in Phase II clinical trials; now he wants to adapt the technique for curing Parkinson’s.
Cancer: Dr. Carmit Levy, Medicine, has discovered how to block melanoma, the most aggressive and lethal type of skin cancer, from sending out “scout cells” that pave the way for the cancer’s spread throughout the body.
Diagnosis: Prof. Yuval Ebenstein, Chemistry & Nano, is developing a DNA-reading chip that will enable very early diagnosis of any diseased tissue in the body—at the single molecule level—using a simple blood test.
The humanities and arts encourage critical thinking and cultural dialogue, promote a vibrant democracy and strengthen diversity on campus and in civil society.
- Broad, pluralistic approach to the Humanities and Arts that includes underrepresented groups and involves the community
- Offers unique programs, such as cognition and consciousness (philosophy and psychology) and the new Engineering and Humanities Program
- Modern, inclusive approach to Jewish Studies–and a model for unity in the Jewish world
- Has defined Israel’s artistic discourse for 60 years—TAU graduates are among Israel’s top artists and art educators and hold key positions in cultural institutions
- Tisch Film and TV School among world’s top 15 film schools (Hollywood Reporter)
- 80% of feature films produced in Israel have involved TAU students or alumni
- Founder and organizer of the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival—world’s largest and among most prestigious
Latest Exciting Research:
Jewish Studies: Dr. Guy Stiebel, Archeology, brings the latest in biological and exact science methods to paint a new and more complete picture of life on Masada and among the Romans who besieged it.
Theater: One of the leading programs of its kind in the world, TAU’s Community Theater track gives voice and helps empower and rehabilitate prison inmates, at-risk youth, battered women and other marginalized groups in society.
Language: An expert in the emerging field of neurolinguistics, Dr. Einat Shetreet, Humanities, uses brain imaging and eye-tracking to discover the relationship between language skills and other cognitive abilities in children and adults.
History: Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Biblical Studies, is introducing the world’s first and only free-access database on nature imagery in the Bible, an invaluable source for learning about the plants, animals, landscape and climate of the ancient world.
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