HU’s Impact

1. The Hebrew University's Faculties and Schools

  • 2. NEWS

1. The Hebrew University's Faculties and Schools

Founded by visionaries. Propelled forward by innovation.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is one of the world’s most distinguished academic and research institutions. The university is located in Israel, but its work transforms our world. Its students, faculty, and alumni have won eight Nobel Prizes, developed cures for diseases, and spawned innovation that has led to more than 8,900 patents. We think our founding fathers, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Chaim Weizmann, and Martin Buber would be quite proud.
The Hebrew University's List of Faculties and Schools
Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment
The Smith Faculty has developed groundbreaking innovations such as irrigation technologies, soil solarization, and long shelf-life vegetables. Students take courses in agricultural biotechnology, soil and water sciences, hotel, food and tourism management, and more.
Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities focuses on the scope of human civilization in the past and present, as expressed in language, literature, the visual and performing arts, culture, folklore, philosophy, religion, and history.
Faculty of Medicine
Encompasses the School of Pharmacy, School of Occupational Therapy, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and two research institutes.
Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences
This Faculty is an Israeli leader in the research and teaching of basic and applied science. It encompasses leading academics in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, and Earth Sciences. The Faculty also incorporates cutting-edge research institutes including: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Marine Biogeochemistry, and more.
Faculty of Dental Medicine
Founded in 1953 by the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity. The Faculty is Israel's first dental school and is the leading center for dental education, clinical care, research, product/technology development and community outreach.
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Faculty houses nine departments: Geography, International Relations, Economics, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, Statistics, Psychology, Communication and Journalism, the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government, an interfaculty program on Internet and Society, and Glocal, an international development master's program.
Faculty of Law
The Faculty is Israel's first law school and is the cornerstone of Israel's legal research and education. It is home to the Minerva Center for Human Rights, the Center for the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity, the Institute of Criminology, and the Israel Matz Institute for Jewish Law.
Rothberg International School
Attracts more than 2,000 students annually from over 80 countries to its diverse undergraduate and graduate degree exchange programs.
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences
ELSC is Israel's foremost institute for interdisciplinary brain research and at the forefront of the revolution of neuroscience research. Researchers work to better understand our minds, from alleviating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's symptoms, sensory substitution devices, and more.
Advanced School of Environmental Studies
Consists of the study of environmental policy and resource management. Students learn to be adaptive to the capacity of the populations, and learn tools to rationally evaluate technological solutions for environmental issues.
Federmann School of Public Policy and Government
Seeks to develop the new generation of professional civil servants who will provide the state of Israel–and the Israeli society–with stability and growth.
Koret School of Veterinary Medicine
Israel's first and only veterinary school and the only facility of its kind in the Middle East. The School builds bridges to peace through animal care, shares medical knowledge, and offers joint research projects with countries around the world.
Seymour Fox School of Education
A leader in academic instruction, training, and research. Faculty members advance new ways of thinking about education by using an interdisciplinary approach while accounting for today's social and cultural challenges.
School of Pharmacy
A globally recognized leader in training pharmacists and conducting basic research in drug science. The School trains students for professional practice in the pharmaceutical industry, providing them with a scientific and professional basis. It also offers higher education in pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences, as well as a doctoral degree in Clinical Pharmacy.
Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine
On a mission to improve the physical, mental, and social welfare of the global community with a commitment to excellence in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary public health research, training, and practice.
Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare
Endeavors to further social justice and the personal and social well-being of individuals through path-breaking research and the development of social services and policies for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in Israel and across the globe.
Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering
Maintains world-renowned excellence in research and is at the forefront of the technological revolution, with strength in Applied Physics and Biomedical Engineering. The School has a substantial impact on the high-tech industry in Israel.
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School Advanced Studies in the Humanities
Israel's first graduate school in the humanities, the School fosters a dynamic and vibrant academic comunity, prioritzing intellectual interaction, and placing Jewish Studies within the broader fabric of Western and Eastern cultures.
School of Business Administration
Israel's premier academic business school, playing a central role in shaping the Start-Up Nation's business and management leadership ecosystem.



The Goal: Printing the Perfect Burger from Cellulose

Israeli food tech company Chef-it is about 18-24 months away from disrupting the fast food burger industry, according to Oded Shoseyov, Chef-it’s co-founder. The startup’s secret weapon: cellulose.Chef-it is developing a machine that can instantly “print” a juicy burger from a cartridge containing plant-based proteins, fats, and flavor components and the aforementioned cellulose, a common fiber that can be manipulated into a variety of textures, including that of beef muscle and fat. Chef-it’s technology uses infrared light to simultaneously cook the food as it prints.
Oded Shoseyov. Photo: Tal Azoulay
Oded Shoseyov. Photo: Tal Azoulay
According to Mr. Shoseyov, a professor of plant molecular biology, protein engineering and nano-biotechnology at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Chef-it can imitate the flavor effect of different cooking styles, such as grilling, baking, and frying.A prototype of this machine, located at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, in central Israel, currently takes 10 minutes to print a single burger, Mr. Shoseyov told Calcalist in an interview Tuesday. Chef-it’s team is hard at work bringing the printing time down to three minutes, he added.The company’s first target markets include coworking spaces, offices, and food trucks, Mr. Shoseyov said. The company successfully printed its first burger six months ago and is expecting to hit the market within two years.A fast and convincing alternative to meat, Chef-It is setting out to deliver products that are environmentally-friendly and potentially healthier than traditional processed foods. Cellulose, Mr. Shoseyov says, has a zero glycemic and caloric value.Along with Scientific co-founder Ido Braslavski, Mr. Shoseyov began the research behind Chef-It’s technology in 2013. In 2016, the company received a $282,000 (NIS 1 million) grant from Israel’s government innovation investment arm. Currently employing a team of eight, the company is in the process of raising a $2 million funding round, which Mr. Shoseyov said is expected to complete within two months.The global meat industry is ripe for disruption, being one of the world’s biggest polluters, generating as much greenhouse gas emissions as all of the world’s cars, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes combined, and using 30% of all land and over 25% of all freshwater on Earth, Mr. Shoseyov said Monday speaking at a Food and Tech conference. The conference was hosted by Calcalist, and by Israel’s Bank Leumi at Labs TLV, a co-working and events space in central Tel Aviv.By using cellulose as a malleable binder, Chef-It could potentially print every type of food known to men, and even invent new foods, Mr. Shoseyov said.As a first target, the company set out to print the perfect its burger. By utilizing adjustable infrared cooking levels the company hopes it can get it just right.“We are a few months away from delivering a burger that is indistinguishable from the real thing,” Mr. Shoseyov said.
Read the source article at

Prolonged acetaminophen use during pregnancy linked to...

April 24, 2018 – A study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem sheds new light on the possible relationship between prolonged use of acetaminophen (paracetamol) during pregnancy and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood.

Acetaminophen is one of the most common medications used for the treatment of pain and fever reduction during pregnancy and is considered safe in humans. However, evidence of neuro-disruptive properties is accumulating: past studies have shown that long-term administration of low doses of acetaminophen may affect the development of the fetal nervous system and that this effect is often seen years after exposure during childhood.

Now, researchers led by Dr. Ilan Matok at the Institute for Drug Research in the School of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine, together with doctoral student Reem Masarwa, conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the possible association between prolonged exposure to acetaminophen during pregnancy and the risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

The analysis, which appears in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that prolonged exposure to acetaminophen during pregnancy is associated with a 30% increase in relative risk for ADHD (compared to those who did not take acetaminophen during pregnancy) and a 20% increase in relative risk for ASD.

This is the first meta-analysis and the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the possible association between prolonged use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research data covered 132,738 mother and child pairs with a follow-up period of 3-11 years.

Given the significant limitations of existing studies, the researchers believe the results should be interpreted with caution, as they may cause unnecessary anxiety among pregnant women. It is important to understand that pain and fever during pregnancy can have a detrimental effect on the developing fetus and that acetaminophen is still considered a safe drug for use during pregnancy. Therefore, if a pregnant woman has fever and/or pain, acetaminophen can be taken for a short period, and if the fever or pain continue beyond that, she should consult her physician regarding further treatment

Dr. Amichai Perlman and Dr. Hagai Levine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center participated in the research.

"Our study provides the first comprehensive overview of developmental outcomes following prolonged acetaminophen use during pregnancy," said Dr. Ilan Matok, Head of the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Lab, Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine. "Our findings suggest an association between prolonged acetaminophen use and an increase in the risk of autism and ADHD. However, the observed increase in risk was small, and the existing studies have significant limitations. While the unnecessary use of any medication should be avoided in pregnancy, we believe our findings should not alter current practice and women should not avoid use of short-term acetaminophen when clinically needed."

CITATION: Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen and Risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression Analysis of Cohort Studies. Reem Masarwa, Hagai Levine, Einat Gorelik; Shimon Reif, Amichai Perlman, Ilan Matok. American Journal of Epidemiology, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwy086.


Scientists chart a new map of human genome using stem cells

April 22, 2018 – Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem generated an atlas of the human genome using a state-of-the-art gene editing technology and human embryonic stem cells, illuminating the roles that our genes play in health and disease. The scientists reported their findings in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

Embryonic stem cells are a unique resource as they can turn into any adult cell in our bodies. Their versatile nature puts them at the center of attention in the fields of regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and drug discovery. In parallel to the discovery of human embryonic stem cells, another milestone in biology was completed with the sequencing of the human genome, and the identification of the entire set of genes responsible for our genetic identity. This finding has led to a new challenge of understanding the function of the genes in the human genome. Now, the new study by scientists at the Hebrew University provides a novel tool to map the function of all human genes using human embryonic stem cells.

The researchers analyzed virtually all human genes in the human genome by generating more than 180,000 distinct mutations. To produce such a vast array of mutations, they combined a sophisticated gene-editing technology (CRISPR–Cas9 screening) with a new type of embryonic stem cells that were recently isolated by the same research group. This new type of stem cells harbors only a single copy of the human genome, instead of two copies from the mother and father, making gene editing easier thanks to the need of mutating only one copy for each gene (see: Scientists generate a new type of human stem cell that has half a genome, March 17, 2016).

A colony of haploid human embryonic stem cells
The researchers show that a mere 9% of all the genes in the human genome are essential for the growth and survival of human embryonic stem cells, whereas 5% of them actually limit the growth of these cells. They could also analyze the role of genes responsible for all hereditary disorders in early human development and growth. Furthermore, they showed how cancer-causing genes could affect the growth of the human embryo. 

“This gene atlas enables a new functional view on how we study the human genome and provides a tool that will change the fashion by which we analyze and treat cancer and genetic disorders,” said Professor Nissim Benvenisty, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research and the Herbert Cohn Chair in Cancer Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the senior author of the study.

Another key finding of the study was the identification of a small group of genes that are uniquely essential for the survival of human embryonic stem cells but not to other cell types. These genes are thought to maintain the identity of embryonic stem cells and prevent them from becoming cancerous or turning into adult cell types.

“This study creates a new framework for the understanding of what it means to be an embryonic stem cell at the genetic level,” said Dr. Atilgan Yilmaz, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow and a lead author on the paper. “The more complete a picture we have of the nature of these cells, the better chances we have for successful therapies in the clinic.”

The paper is titled Defining essential genes for human pluripotent stem cells by CRISPR-Cas9 screening in haploid cells and published in Nature Cell Biology. The research was led by Nissim Benvenisty, MD, Ph.D., Atilgan Yilmaz, Ph.D. and Motti Peretz, the Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Additional authors include Aviram Aharony and Ido Sagi also of the Hebrew University. The research was supported by Israel Science Foundation, US-Israel Binational Science Foundation and most generously by the Azrieli Foundation.

CITATION: Defining essential genes for human pluripotent stem cells by CRISPR–Cas9 screening in haploid cells. Atilgan Yilmaz, Mordecai Peretz, Aviram Aharony, Ido Sagi, and Nissim Benvenisty. Nature Cell Biology (2018), doi:10.1038/s41556-018-0088-1.


Your memories could be read and replayed after you die

Our memories leave a clear and unique genetic mark on our brains, according to researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. These can be decoded after we die.

That's the remarkable discovery of scientists in Israel who say these genetic markers could be used to unlock memories after people die.

The technology opens the door to strange scenarios, similar to those portrayed in the series 'Black Mirror', where investigators can record and playback the memories of suspected criminals.

It could even lead to a future in which police are able to read and replay memories of murder victims to help them piece together the events leading up to their death.

'It's a fascinating proposal,' said Clea Warburton at the University of Bristol told New Scientist. 

'You would have to get in there extremely quickly, as proteins start to degrade within minutes of death,' says Dr Warburton.

'It probably wouldn't give you more information than a good forensic scientist could, but I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with a film about this.'

The discovery was made by researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

 Read the source article at Home | Daily Mail Online

Israel: The Startup Charitable Nation

Throughout the world, Israel is known as the “startup nation,” where investors are increasingly drawn to the innovation and brainpower that are its greatest natural resources. Accordingly, philanthropists are starting to look at their Israel-related donations less as one-shot gifts and more as charitable contributions with characteristics more typically associated with venture investments.An anonymous donor recently gave $1 million to the American Friends of Hebrew University (AFHU). The university invested the same sum of money in Agrinnovation, an Israeli agricultural investment fund partially owned by Yissum, HU’s technology commercialization company. Agrinnovation invests exclusively in cutting-edge agricultural technologies, food, plant and animal sciences originating from HU.Rather than simply supporting a cause with a single gift, this sort of impact philanthropy seeks to create a virtuous cycle: Dollars are invested to do social good and create financial returns that can be reinvested in the same enterprise. It has become so widespread that in December, JLens, a network of more than 9,000 Jewish investors, held a summit in New York City on impact investing.“The donation to Hebrew University assumed some characteristics of a typical venture investment, though it is purely philanthropic and the university will benefit from all the returns,” said AFHU board member Clive Kabatznik, “This is a new model for us, and we are meeting with potential donors about what they think is good for the world and coming up with bespoke investment ideas.”HU has a long history of innovation. Mobileye, a vehicle collision warning and driver safety software system, was founded in 1999 by a researcher at the university; it was purchased by Intel last year for $15.3 billion. Blockbuster chemotherapy drug Doxil and Alzheimer’s disease medication Exelon also originated in HU’s laboratories. Among its agricultural advancements, the university is responsible for a cherry tomato variety with a long shelf life sold around the world.Despite a difficult topography, Israel has been a pioneer in agriculture for decades, making the “desert bloom” and turning a water shortage problem into a surplus through desalination. The agriculture sector is appealing to investors because the time frame from patent to profit is relatively short: five years, on average.There are currently six companies in the Agrinnovation fund’s portfolio. Among them, ChickP has invented a high-grade plant-based protein for food; Sufresca has created a safe-to-consume vegetable and fruit coating to increase the shelf life of such products. Gemma-Cert, a medical marijuana company, is developing an affordable device for the detection, analysis and sorting of medical cannabis flowers.“If you are a donor and want to celebrate Israel’s economy and young democracy, then you can accomplish many different goals through an investment in Israel and its agriculture sector,” said Charlene Seidle, executive vice president of the Leichtag Foundation, who visited Hebrew University recently to discuss her foundation’s agricultural property in California.While philanthropy in Israel was traditionally about Zionism and giving back to the Jewish nation, experts say that has become a tougher sell for younger donors from the tech and hedge fund worlds. Those reasons might be in the back of their minds, but they are increasingly motivated by economic considerations. They want to see their donations actually making a difference.“What we are seeing among second- and third-generation donors is that they’re giving with their heads rather than their hearts,” said Jeff Solomon, president emeritus of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman philanthropies. “There’s an expectation that you will see a return on your charitable investment just as you would on a business investment.”
Diane Hess is a New York-based writer and alumna of Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School.
Read the source article at Jewish Journal

3. Partnerships

Pioneering Partnerships

Strategic partnerships are the foundation for tackling the world's greatest challenges. The Hebrew University, a global research powerhouse, collaborates with other world-class academic and cultural institutions to address global needs in the areas of health and medicine, cyber security, and diplomacy to name a few. At the core of these critical alliances are beliefs deeply rooted in the notion that knowledge moves us toward a brighter future.

4. Coursera

Free online courses

We envision a world where anyone, anywhere, can transform their life by accessing knowledge. Explore the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s free online courses on Coursera.
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