HU’s Impact

1. The Hebrew University's Faculties and Schools

  • 1. FACULTIES AND SCHOOLS
  • 2. NEWS
  • 3. PARTNERSHIPS
  • 4. COURSERA

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 founders, 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.

2. NEWS

Science/Technology
NEWS

We can design driverless cars that cannot cause an accident

The rules of the road today are all focused around one key element: drivers. Licensing, insurance, traffic laws — everything assumes vehicles are operated under the control of a human.For driverless vehicles, this presents a dilemma: How can you tell which car is at fault in an accident? Should we license and insure owners or manufacturers or the cars themselves? More importantly: How can self-driving and human-driven cars co-exist safely?Before society will welcome autonomous cars en masse, we must answer those questions — and others — with certainty. People have expressed apprehension about self-driving vehicles and are unlikely to accept them if it is not clear that they are inordinately safer than human-driven vehicles. We’ve already seen incidents involving current driver-assistance technology where fault was unclear during months-long investigations, leading to consumer wariness.This issue will become more acute as vehicles take on more of the driving tasks. Although crashes caused by human error kill more than one million people annually, it may only take a few fatal crashes of a fully autonomous vehicle, where fault is uncertain, to meaningfully delay or forever foreclose on the tremendous life-saving potential of this technology.Governments around the world are recognizing the need to tackle these issues, and the U.S. has been proactive with pending self-driving vehicles legislation and new Department of Transportation Automated Vehicle Guidelines. Industry can be an important partner.An important next step is to collaboratively construct industry standards that definitively assign accident fault and thereby prove the safety of driverless vehicles when collisions with human-driven vehicles inevitably occur. Clear standards of blame are critical, as the autonomous vehicle’s decision-making software (i.e. driving policy) can then be programmed to follow these agreed-upon standards.In this scenario, the self-driving vehicle could not cause an accident that would be attributable to the vehicle’s system’s fault. We’ve proposed a model we call Responsibility Sensitive Safety (RSS), offering a safe and scalable approach to consider.RSS is a formal, mathematical model for ensuring that a self-driving vehicle operates in a responsible manner. It provides specific and measurable parameters for the human concepts of responsibility and caution and defines a “safe state,” where the autonomous vehicle cannot cause an accident, no matter what action is taken by other vehicles.The ability to assign fault is the key. Just like the best human drivers in the world, self-driving cars cannot avoid accidents due to actions beyond its control. But the most responsible, aware and cautious driver is very unlikely to cause an accident of his or her own fault, particularly if they had 360-degree vision and lightning-fast reaction times like autonomous vehicles will. The RSS model formalizes this in a way that avoids putting self-driving vehicles in danger of violating those same rules.We’ll use the common rear-end collision to illustrate how this works. When two cars are traveling in the same lane, one behind the other, and the rear car crashes into the front car, the driver of the rear car is deemed to be at fault. Often this is because the rear car did not maintain a safe following distance and was unable to stop in time when the lead car braked suddenly.If the rear vehicle was a self-driving car and employed the RSS model, this accident would never have happened. Using software that evaluates all actions against a comprehensive set of driving scenarios and rules of responsibility, the driverless car will continuously calculate a safe following distance wherein the autonomous vehicle maintains a safe state.With a model like RSS, an self-driving vehicle’s system of sensors will collect and maintain definitive data of all activity involving the vehicle at all times, think of it like the “black box” in an airplane cockpit.This vital data can be used to rapidly, conclusively determine responsibility for incidents that may involve an autonomous vehicle, but only if there are clear definitions of fault on which to compare the data. Such a model for safety could be formalized by industry standards organizations — and ultimately regulatory bodies — to establish clear definitions for fault. That can later be translated into insurance policy and driving laws.There is little argument that machines will be better drivers than humans. Yet there is very real risk that self-driving vehicles will never realize their life-saving potential if we can’t agree on standards for safety. We believe self-driving vehicles can and should be held to a standard of operational safety that is inordinately better than what we humans exhibit today. And the time to develop those standards is now.Amnon Shashua is CEO and CTO of Mobileye, an Intel company launched in 1999 with focused on making our roads safer, reducing traffic congestion and saving lives. Shashua holds the Sachs Chair in computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Shashua is also senior vice president at the Intel Corporation.Shai Shalev-Shwartz is vice president of technology at Mobileye. Shalev-Shwartz holds an associate professor position in the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Shalev-Shwartz previously worked as a research assistant professor at Toyota Technological Institute in Chicago, as well as having worked at Google and IBM research.Read the source article at The Hill
Science/Technology
NEWS

Collision of Stars Confirms Accurate Prediction

Two years ago, the LIGO gravitational wave detector stunned the world with the discovery of a merger of two black holes. This past August, LIGO did it again: with the help of a second detector called VIRGO, it discovered a new source of gravitational radiation. Seconds later, NASA’s Fermi satellite detected a gamma-ray burst from the same direction. Several hours later, a telescope in Chile identified the source at a Galaxy located 120 million light-years away. While this is an enormous distance for us, on a cosmological scale it is relatively close.Since these initial discoveries, most of the telescopes in the world, including the Hubble Space Telescope, have observed this galactic event. The results, which have been kept secret until now (despite a partial leak), are reported today in several scientific papers published in the prestigious journals Physical Review LettersNature, Science, and the Astrophysical Journal.These observations confirm a longstanding prediction made almost thirty years ago by a team headed by Professor Tsvi Piran at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Piran is the Schwartzman Chair for Theoretical Physics at the Hebrew University's Racah Institute of Physics. The prediction, published in Nature in 1989 ("Nucleosynthesis, neutrino bursts and γ-rays from coalescing neutron stars"), suggests that when two neutron stars merge they emit, in addition to gravitational waves, a burst of gamma-rays. They also synthesize and eject to outer space rare heavy elements, like gold, plutonium, and uranium. The merged neutron stars form a black hole in this process.Neutron stars are rare types of stars that are produced in supernova explosions when a regular star dies. Unlike regular matter that is composed of 50% neutron and 50% protons, neutron stars are made just from neutrons. Due to their strange composition, they are extremely dense: a teaspoon of neutron star matter weights about 100 million tons, and a neutron star of 10 km (smaller than the width of Jerusalem) weights about a million times the mass of Earth.The first neutron star was discovered in 1967 by Antony Hewish, who received the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics. Later a binary pair of neutron stars rotating around each other was discovered by Hulse and Taylor, who were awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics.Shortly after the discovery of a binary neutron star pair in 1975, researchers realized that such a pair would emit gravitational radiation and eventually merge. The question that Piran and colleagues asked in 1989 was: in addition to the gravitational radiation, what else will be emitted as a result of this merger?They suggested that the merger will produce a burst of gamma-rays — which have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any other wave in the electromagnetic spectrum — and at the same time will synthesize and eject into outer space freshly synthesized heavy elements like gold, plutonium, and uranium. The ultimate result will be a black hole.This prediction, which Piran and colleagues published in Nature, was met with skepticism and initially ignored. However, Piran continued to work on it, and indirect evidence in its favor mounted over the years. These last observations confirm it without any doubt. “I am exhilarated by this confirmation of a prediction we made nearly 30 years ago,” said Professor Tsvi Piran following today’s announcement confirming his prediction. “I also remember how difficult it was to convince the scientific community of our idea: at the time it was against the standard model that was published even in freshman textbooks on astronomy. When we made this prediction in 1989, we did not expect it to be confirmed within our lifetimes. But with continued curiosity and the development of new technologies, we are able to learn ever deeper truths about the nature of our Universe.”LIGO’s observations have now confirmed that the recent event involved a binary neutron star merger and the formation of a black hole. The Fermi satellite detected the predicted gamma-rays, and the optical observation confirmed the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements. All of this is published today in multiple research papers, with Piran’s participation in several papers published in the journals Nature, Science and The Astrophysical Journal. These observations solve several puzzles that have bothered astronomers over the years and open new ways to understand the nature of our Universe.
Science/Technology
NEWS

Low-Tech Bubbe, High-Tech Mission

So you’re a grandmother whose kids and grandkids apparently are too busy to keep in touch — how do you remind them? Handwritten notes. Email messages. Guilt-laden phone calls. Or, since late last month, a new app touted on the revamped website of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. A video on the website features an octogenarian identified as Judith Cohen who describes the “Would It Kill You to Call?” app she’s developed that will send periodic cell phone reminders to delinquent members of the mishpocha. “Do they ever remember to call their bubbe?” she asks. After seven days without a call, a text message goes out to the offender. It seems like a great way to reach out and touch forgetful ones. Just one problem — the app isn’t real. The 90-second video, one of three that the U.S. branch of Hebrew University (afhu.org) unveiled a few weeks ago, is designed to spread the message of the school’s high-tech reputation. With a light touch. In online comments, many people said they thought the app “was real,” said Eileen Hume, chief marketing officer for the American Friends. Some asked, “where can I find the app?” Others responded with “a lot of laughing emojis and LOLs.” So far, Hume said, the video has gotten “nearly a million views. It’s a pleasant surprise.” People who have seen its closing message, “Bubbe may not have the most advanced tech, but the Hebrew University does.” “Hebrew University is at the forefront of technology,” Hume said. “It’s important to get the message out to new, wider audiences.” The video came out of a brainstorming session on new ways to get the word out about Hebrew University’s work. Then came an aha moment. Or, in this case, an oy vey moment. What about a bubbe-centered video? “Everyone has a bubbe,” Hume said. “It’s a shared cultural experience.” A casting call went out. More than a dozen actresses tried out for the role. Judith Cohen is played by Barbara Malley, an 84-year-old actress whose TV and movie credits include a nurse, a mobster’s mother and a “grandma.” Malley is not Jewish. She “nailed” the Yiddish accent and Jewish inflections, Hume said. Two other videos Malley did for Hebrew University have her “delivering desirable Jewish boys to loved ones’ doorsteps,” and reminding people “to put on a jacket when the temperature dips below 80 degrees.” All stereotypical bubbe behavior. Any complaints from the bubbe lobby? No, Hume said. “The reception has been nothing but positive. It’s all been taken in a good manner.” The American Friends are now planning their next videos. Bubbe Cohen may return, Hume said. “It’s certainly within the realm of possibility. We will build on the success that bubbe will bring.”Read the source article at Jewish Week
Medicine/Health
NEWS

Cleveland Clinic researchers find link between bacterial...

October 5, 2017, Cleveland: In a newly published study, Cleveland Clinic researchers have uncovered differences in the bacterial composition of breast tissue of healthy women vs. women with breast cancer. The research team has discovered for the first time that healthy breast tissue contains more of the bacterial species Methylobacterium, a finding which could offer a new perspective in the battle against breast cancer. Bacteria that live in the body, known as the microbiome, influence many diseases. Most research has been done on the "gut" microbiome, or bacteria in the digestive tract. Researchers have long suspected that a "microbiome" exists within breast tissue and plays a role in breast cancer but it has not yet been characterized. The research team has taken the first step toward understanding the composition of the bacteria in breast cancer by uncovering distinct microbial differences in healthy and cancerous breast tissue. "To my knowledge, this is the first study to examine both breast tissue and distant sites of the body for bacterial differences in breast cancer," said co-senior author Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Cleveland Clinic's Genomic Medicine Institute and director of the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare. "Our hope is to find a biomarker that would help us diagnose breast cancer quickly and easily. In our wildest dreams, we hope we can use microbiomics right before breast cancer forms and then prevent cancer with probiotics or antibiotics." Published online in Oncotarget on Oct. 5, 2017, the study examined the tissues of 78 patients who underwent mastectomy for invasive carcinoma or elective cosmetic breast surgery. In addition, they examined oral rinse and urine to determine the bacterial composition of these distant sites in the body. In addition to the Methylobacterium finding, the team discovered that cancer patients' urine samples had increased levels of gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus and Actinomyces. Further studies are needed to determine the role these organisms may play in breast cancer. Co-senior author Stephen Grobymer, M.D., said, "If we can target specific pro-cancer bacteria, we may be able to make the environment less hospitable to cancer and enhance existing treatments. Larger studies are needed but this work is a solid first step in better understanding the significant role of bacterial imbalances in breast cancer." Dr. Grobmyer is section head of Surgical Oncology and director of Breast Services at Cleveland Clinic. The study provides proof-of-principle evidence to support further research into the creation and utilization of loaded submicroscopic particles (nanoparticles), targeting these pro-cancer bacteria. Funded by a grant from the Center for Transformational Nanomedicine, Drs. Grobmyer and Eng are collaborating with investigators at Hebrew University to develop new treatments using nanotechnology to deliver antibiotics directly to the bacterial community in breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (after skin cancer) in the United States, where 1 in 8 women will develop the disease in their lifetimes. The study was funded by a Clinical Research Mentorship Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Society of Surgical Oncology Foundation, Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute, Earlier.org, and Randy and Ken Kendrick. Dr. Eng holds the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Endowed Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Among Cleveland Clinic's 51,000 employees are more than 3,500 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic's health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 10 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations - including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers - and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2016, there were 7.1 million outpatient visits, 161,674 hospital admissions and 207,610 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic's health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 180 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. Editor's Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request. The Lerner Research Institute is home to Cleveland Clinic's laboratory, translational and clinical research. Its mission is to promote human health by investigating in the laboratory and the clinic the causes of disease and discovering novel approaches to prevention and treatments; to train the next generation of biomedical researchers; and to foster productive collaborations with those providing clinical care. Lerner researchers publish more than 1,500 articles in peer-reviewed biomedical journals each year. Lerner's total annual research expenditure was $260 million in 2016 (with $140 million in competitive federal funding, placing Lerner in the top five research institutes in the nation in federal grant funding). Approximately 1,500 people (including approximately 200 principal investigators, 240 research fellows, and about 150 graduate students) in 12 departments work in research programs focusing on heart and vascular, cancer, brain, eye, metabolic, musculoskeletal, inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. The Lerner has more than 700,000 square feet of lab, office and scientific core services space. Lerner faculty oversee the curriculum and teach students enrolled in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM) of Case Western Reserve University - training the next generation of physician-scientists. Institute faculty also participate in multiple doctoral programs, including the Molecular Medicine PhD Program, which integrates traditional graduate training with an emphasis on human diseases. The Lerner is a significant source of commercial property, generating 64 invention disclosures, 15 licenses, 121 patents, and one new spinoff company in 2016.Read the source article at EurekAlert! Science News
Medicine/Health
NEWS

Israel: land of milk, honey and medical cannabis

In August, a joint feasibility committee of the Health and Finance ministries submitted a recommendation that Israel open its booming medical marijuana business to international exports. The market could be worth as much as $4 billion a year in revenue. In the expectation that the proposal will be approved by legislators, an Israel company – Breath of Life Pharma (BOL) – is positioning itself to become the world’s largest medical cannabis facility. BOL’s new production, research and development campus in central Israel has a 35,000-square-foot plant, an 8,000-square-foot storage room, 30,000 square feet of grow rooms and labs, and a million square feet of cultivation fields. BOL CEO Dr. Tamir Gedo says his firm can store enough medical marijuana to supply the entire United States. Gedo estimates that BOL will produce 80 tons of medical cannabis per year. “Just don’t call it ‘marijuana,’” Gedo told a group of visiting journalists under high security (marijuana is, after all, a controlled substance in much of the world, including Israel). The word “marijuana” was used by US drug enforcement agents in the 1930s to make it sound foreign and dangerous. Gedo, like most in his industry, prefers to use the plant’s real name, cannabis. He refers to BOL’s business as the growing, packaging and distribution of “medical-grade cannabis” (MGC for short). BOL has no interest in pushing the legalization of recreational cannabis, Gedo says. Rather, BOL works toward bringing pharmaceutical-grade quality and delivery systems to purified extracts of the plant. Because the chemical composition of cannabis flowers from different branches is not at all consistent, companies in the medical cannabis space don’t use the whole plant but instead isolate specific molecules and turn those into controlled, consistent drugs. That can be quite a challenge: Cannabis has 142 different cannabinoids – active components – and each targets different illnesses. The two best known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. The former is the psychoactive component responsible for marijuana’s “high.” It also helps with pain and nausea, which has made it a much sought-after medication for patients undergoing chemotherapy. CBD, on the other hand, works on the autoimmune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is being tested on inflammatory bowel diseases (including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) and has shown to be effective with conditions as diverse as autism, epilepsy, diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, you can’t get high from CBD. In order to get FDA approval, a company like BOL, which was founded in 2007, must conduct the same kind of double-blind clinical trials any drug would go through. Some 120 trials are currently under way in Israel – more than in any other country. Gedo says that if even 10 percent of trials underway at his facility result in a patentable drug, BOL could be the Pfizer of MGC. BOL’s autism trial, under the supervision of Dr. Adi Aran, director of the neuropediatric unit of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, will go to the FDA in 2018. If it’s approved, a commercial drug could be available as early as 2021. Medical cannabis drugs are delivered via pills you swallow, delayed-release gel capsules, sublingual tablets, drops, ointments, transdermal patches and metered inhalers. You don’t smoke MGC because that destroys the CBD and other components aside from THC. BOL is building on Israel’s reputation as one of the most cannabis-friendly countries in the world. Israel, which has the world’s highest ratio of cannabis users – 27 percent of the population aged 18-65 used marijuana in the last year – recently reduced penalties for recreational cannabis use to a fine. Prof. Raphael Mechoulam from the Weizmann Institute of Science was the first to successfully isolate THC. That was in 1964. Mechoulam, now 86, is still active in cannabis research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is on the board of directors of BOL. Testing medical cannabis on human patients has been part of the research landscape in Israel for years, but it’s nearly impossible to do in the United States. Only one facility, the University of Mississippi, is a licensed source for medical cannabis, and production is limited to just 650 kilograms per year. “We can produce that amount in half a day,” Gedo says. “Israel is a hotbed of quality cannabis research, because it has a much more favorable regulatory climate for doing serious scientific research on medical cannabis,” says Charles Pollack, director of the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As a result, companies are increasingly turning to Israel to conduct their phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. If you can point to previous studies done overseas, the FDA is more likely to approve a phase 3 trial in US. Of the 15 companies signed up so far to conduct their R&D at BOL’s facility in Israel, at least six are American. And while importing cannabis into the United States remains illegal (even though 29 US states have legalized medical cannabis), if a product has FDA approval companies can circumvent that ban. Israel is also blessed with a climate conducive to growing cannabis, BOL’s Gedo said. “The many days of sunshine make it more suitable than many parts of the US and Europe.” BOL isn’t the only company in Israel to jump on the medical cannabis bandwagon. Tikun Olam was Israel’s first medical cannabis distributor and opened an American subsidiary in 2016. One World Cannabis Pharmaceuticals is working on a topical cannabis cream to treat psoriasis. NASDAQ-listed Therapix Biosciences is deploying THC to address Alzheimer’s and Tourette syndrome. And there are others. The Israeli firm iCAN sponsors CannaTech, a leading medical cannabis conference and trade show that started in Israel and is now on the road to London and Australia. While Israel’s medical cannabis industry is targeting the international market, big changes are afoot domestically. Last summer, 81 doctors completed a medical cannabis course from the Ministry of Health. And the number of licensed cultivators has increased from eight to 60, including several kibbutzim. The aim is to open up the Israeli market from just a few dispensaries serving the entire country to allowing doctors to prescribe MGC preparations that can be picked up at a local pharmacy. “There are 30,000 patients in Israel getting medical cannabis,” ICAN’s Saul Kaye told ISRAEL21c. “Most people know someone who’s getting it. The stigma is being removed.” Israel has gone so far as to publish a “Cannacopeia,” a guide to the use of MGC. “We call it the ‘Green Book,’” quipped Yuval Landschaft, director of the Medical Cannabis Unit in the Israeli Ministry of Health. Some 21 countries have requested a copy. In 2016, more than $250 million was invested in Israeli cannabis companies and about 50 American companies have established R&D operations in Israel or partnerships with Israeli companies like BOL. The medical cannabis industry in Israel may not eclipse high-tech, but the two share the common root of Israeli chutzpah and the belief that bucking the rules often yields the biggest payout. When Mechoulam first wanted to study cannabis, there was none to be had. So his boss at the Weizmann Institute called a buddy at the local police station and scored a confiscated stash of 11 pounds of Lebanese hashish (also from cannabis) that the cops were planning to burn. Mechoulam hopped on a bus to pick it up. This creative approach jump-started an entire industry. Now the only question is: how high can Israel leap? Four billion dollars in potential exports (and taxable revenue) certainly raises the bar. For more information, click here.Read the source article at ISRAEL21c

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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