May 11, 2017- The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation selected 41 International Research Scholars from 16 countries who are early-career scientists poised to advance biomedical research across the globe. Of the six Israeli recipients, two are from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yossi Buganim, Ph.D. and Idan Efroni.

Yossi Buganim is a multiple award-winning scientist, for his work on stem cells and regenerative medicine. Buganim’s goal is to bring therapeutic cells from the lab to the clinic. His team invented and improved ways to reprogram adult cells into other cell types, including those able to generate nearly any kind of cell in the body. One day, such cells could be tapped for regenerative medicine, replacing damaged tissues with those grown in the lab.

Idan Efroni’s work is in plant sciences. He studies the molecular biology of plant regeneration. HHMI chose Efroni as a recipient because he has been “unraveling the mystery of plants’ impressive regenerative abilities. He uses tomatoes to study how plants generate new stem cells and meristems to replace damaged or missing roots.”

The hope is that Efroni’s work will “reveal clues about tissue regeneration in other organisms,” which in turn will help grow more food for an increasingly hungry planet.