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Board of Directors

Prof. Mordechai Sheves
About:

Born in Tel Aviv, Mordechai Sheves gained a B.Sc. degree in 1969 at Bar-Ilan University (Ramat Gan, Israel) and M.Sc. (1973) and Ph.D. (1978) degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Prof. Sheves carried out postdoctoral work with Prof. Nakanishi of Columbia University, and in 1981 he returned to Israel and the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Organic Chemistry, where he was appointed Associate Professor in 1987, and Full Professor in 1994. In 1992, he served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana), where he worked in the Beckman Institute and in the Department of Biophysics.

From 1994 to 2004, Prof. Sheves headed the Weizmann Institute’s Chemical Research Support and from 2004 to 2006, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry, and in December 2006, he was appointed Vice President for Technology Transfer. Prof. Sheves is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Landau Research Prize (1977), the Ernst David Bergmann Prize for Chemistry (1985) and the Israel Science Foundation’s prestigious Center of Excellence Grant (1999). At the Weizmann Institute, Prof. Sheves is the incumbent of the Ephraim Katzir-Rao Makineni Professorial Chair in Chemistry. Prof. Sheves has served as the Chairman of Yeda's Board of Directors since January, 2007.

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Prof. Daniel Zajfman
About:

Born in Belgium in 1959, Daniel Zajfman moved to Israel in 1979. He received a B.Sc. in 1983 and a Ph.D. in 1989 from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, in atomic physics. After working as a consultant for Elscint in Haifa, Prof. Zajfman spent two years at the Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago, as a postdoctoral fellow. He returned to Israel in 1991 and joined the staff of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Particle Physics as a senior scientist. He was appointed associate professor in 1997 and full professor in 2003. Since March 2001, he has been an external member of the Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, and in 2005, he was appointed Director in that institute. In November 2006, Prof. Zajfman was elected the tenth President of the Weizmann Institute by Institute’s Board of Governors. He assumed this position on December 1, becoming, at 47, the youngest president the Institute ever had.

Prof. Zajfman's research interests focus on atomic and molecular physics, with a strong emphasis on molecular breakup via electron or photon interactions. These issues are most relevant not only to the field of molecular dynamics, but also to the understanding of laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. In essence, Prof. Zajfman wishes to determine how, under harsh conditions, molecules are formed in galaxy's diffuse and dense interstellar clouds. Prof. Zajfman’s experiments involve the use of storage rings, advanced devices in which molecular ions move through a circular vacuum at speeds of approximately 10,000 kilometers per second. The “hot” ions that are produced are then cooled to interstellar temperatures by retaining them in the storage ring. In recent years, Prof. Zajfman developed an improved version of the so-called “ion trap” for the study of molecular reactions, thus enabling him to create a tabletop version of the huge and very expensive storage rings. This, coupled with a new technique he developed for long-term ion storage, enables him to reproduce, in the laboratory, some of the conditions (e.g. low temperature and a low-density environment) existing in interstellar space.

Prof. Zajfman also seeks to understand the astrophysical conditions found in star-forming regions or supernova remnants. Stars are born when an interstellar cloud, made up of atoms and molecules, collapses on itself. Prof. Zajfman and his colleagues work to solve the riddle of star formation by recreating interstellar conditions in a laboratory environment. For years, scientists believed that molecular collisions occurring as interstellar clouds collapse cause energy to be released in the form of radiation, which cools the system down. Prof. Zajfman was among those scientists who proved that an important component of this radiating “coolant” was ordinary water.In other studies, Prof. Zajfman has developed new techniques for the direct, three-dimensional imaging of molecular breakup events, providing new insight into these basic chemical processes. In addition to his research, Prof. Zajfman has invested much time and effort in community outreach, to the public in general and youth in particular. One of his goals is to broaden interest in and knowledge of the advances taking place on the scientific front. He has also taught various undergraduate and graduate physics courses, both at the Technion and at the Weizmann Institute

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Prof. Michal Neeman
About:

Michal Neeman holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science and B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Neeman is a member of the Department of Biological Regulation, studying vascular development by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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Prof. David Mirelman
About:

Born in Argentina in 1938, David Mirelman emigrated with his family to Israel in 1949. He received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1968, and then spent two years as a Research Associate at Tufts University Medical School in Boston. In 1970, Prof. Mirelman returned to Israel, where he joined the staff of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Biophysics (now Biological Chemistry). He was appointed Associate Professor with tenure in 1976, and Full Professor in 1985. Sabbaticals include periods at the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, and as a Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1987, Prof. Mirelman was appointed Chairman of the Board of YEDA Research and Development Company, Ltd., which commercializes the inventions of Weizmann Institute scientists. In 1993, when the post of Vice-President for Technology Transfer was established, he was nominated to be in charge of all aspects of technology transfer of Institute research, in addition to serving as Chairman of Yeda. At the end of 1998, he completed his term of office in both these posts, returned to his laboratory full-time, and at the same time was appointed to serve as Dean of the Institute’s Faculty of Biochemistry, a post he held until January, 2004. He also headed the Weizmann Institute’s Y. Leon Benoziyo Institute for Molecular Medicine until January, 2004.

Prof. Mirelman's research interests lie in the field of molecular biology, within which he is especially interested in the interactions between microbial pathogens and mucosal cells in the human intestinal tract. His studies of the molecular biology of the amoeba parasite (Entamoeba histolytica) are directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of virulence, differentiating between pathogenic and non-pathogenic forms, and investigating the host response and effects of the associated microbial flora. Prof. Mirelman has also developed a novel delivery system for a potent anti-amoebic drug, and is currently attempting to develop a vaccine using a genetically modified and non-virulent amoeba. In recent years, he has also become interested in the mode of action of allicin, the biologically active molecule of garlic, and its application against a number of human diseases, including cancer. Prof. Mirelman has published over 180 scientific publications in international journals, and is the recipient of a number of research prizes. He is the incumbent of the Besen-Brender Professorial Chair of Microbiology and Parasitology.

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Prof. Zvi Artstein
About:

Born in Tel Aviv, Zvi Artstein received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1974. After working as an assistant professor at Brown University for two years, he joined the staff of the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1975. He has held a number of senior posts at the Institute: he served as Head of the Mathematics Department from 1986 to 1988, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science from 1989 to 1997, Chair of the Council of Professors in 1998 and Vice President for Technology Transfer from 1999 to 2002. In 2005, he was once again appointed Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. He is the incumbent of the Hettie H. Heineman Professorial Chair of Mathematics.
An expert on the mathematics of decisions, control and optimization, Prof. Artstein deals with mathematical problems that arise when a natural or man-made phenomenon is subjected to manipulation. He examines various models for decisions made under conditions of uncertainty, stability and stabilization. Though rooted in abstract mathematics, these studies are applicable to diverse physical, industrial and economic systems.

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David Assia
About:

David Assia is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, being one of the pioneers of the vibrant Israeli high tech software industry. David founded multiple global companies and listed them on either NASDAQ or TASE (Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange). 
David is the Chairman of iAngels, a leading crowd funding platform and is also the Chairman of Biocatch, the Cognitive Authentication Biometrics Company. David is actively involved as a lead angel and a director in multiple high tech companies. David runs his family's, privately held, investment company, Nadyr Investments Ltd. 
David is highly involved in educational institutions such as the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Israel Education Fund and Yeda Research and Development, the technology transfer office of the Weizmann Institute.
David is also on the boards of RR Media (RRSAT), a media services company, The First International Bank of Israel and the Israel Association of Electronics and Software. 
In 1980, David co-founded Mashov Computers, the leading micro-computer software company in Israel, being one of the first high tech companies to be listed 3 years later on TASE. 
In 1986, he co-founded Magic Software, where he served as either Chairman or CEO until 2007. Magic Software is a global international software company with world class innovative development and integration platforms. Magic Software was the first Israeli Software Company to be listed on NASDAQ (MGIC).
David was a major investor, either directly or through one of the above companies , in Aladdin Knowledge System, eventually merged into Safenet (Gemalto), Babylon.com, Walla Communications, Paradigm Geophysical, AOD Software and many others. 
Since 2007, David has been involved in multiple start-ups as either an angel investor, chairman or mentor, such as in eToro, the world's leading social investment network.

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Abraham Ben-Naftali, Adv.
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Abraham Ben-Naftali, Chairman of the Executive Council and Committee of the Weizmann Institute from 2002 until November 2008, is an Israeli lawyer specializing in corporate law and capital markets. Graduating with an M.J. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mr. Ben-Naftali taught company law for many years.

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Mr. Joshua Maor
About:

In a remarkable career spanning a wide range of civic, business, and military undertakings, Joshua Maor has focused his talents on the advancement and enhancement of industry, business and culture in Israel for close to four decades. Born in Israel in 1936, he obtained a BSc in Mathematics and Physics and MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He later joined the Computing Center of Israel's Ministry of Defense – of which he eventually became Deputy Head. In 1969, he directed his energies toward the private sector, becoming IBM Israel's Marketing Manager. In 1984, having been elected the company's General Manager and Chairman of its Board, Maor was also made Board Chairman of IBM Israel's science and technology arm, IBM Haifa Labs. He has also held several senior position at IBM's European headquarters.

Notwithstanding his demanding professional responsibilities, which include directorial duties on several Israeli venture capital funds and stat-up companies specializing in information technology, Joshua Maor has invested his philanthropic activities with equal earnestness and integrity. These include the Israel-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, of which he was President, the European Council of American Chambers of Commerce, the Israel Information Technology Association, and the Israel Philarmonic Orchestra.Maor's involvement with the Weizmann Institute of Science is of long duration. Elected to its Board of Governors in 1988, he has, since 1995, chaired both its Executive Council and its Executive Committee, in which capacities he has played a significant role in the promotion of new and important Institute initiatives.

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Mr. Ido Yoseph Dissentshik
About:

Born in 1940 in Tel Aviv. Career: 2008- Chairman of the investment Committee of Clal Insurance participating Policies. 2008 - Chairman Executive Board – Weizmann Institute of Science. 1991-2008 -Chairman of Bezeq; Chairman of Globcall; Director - Bank Hapoalim, Pelephone, Yes Satellite Television, the Caesarea Development Company, Hadar and Dolev insurance companies. 1965- 1991-Maariv - numerous editorial and management positions including editor in chief from 1985 to 1991.

Public Service: IPI member: IPI is an organization of editors-in-chief (past Board member, 1991-1999), publishers and executives representing every type of media from 121 countries. The IPI is headquartered in Vienna. Member of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Member of the Executive Committee and Board of the Davidson Institute of Science Education: Member of the Board of the Caesarea Development Fund, until 2008. Member of the Board of the Jabotinsky Institute, until November 2003.Member of the Board of Trustees of Tel-Hai College.Member of the Advisory Council of the Foreign Relations Association. Chair of the tourism nonprofit association of the Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality, until March 2004.Member of the public committee for deciding on the fate of estates bequeathed to the State of Israel, until the beginning of 2006. Education: Diploma studies: Business Administration, the School of Business Administration at Tel Aviv University, 1992-1993. M.A.: Journalism, Columbia University, New York, 1965-1966, cum laude. B.A.: Economics and Statistics, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 1961-1964. Military: Lieutenant Colonel. Personal: married to Batya (Barbara). Two sons: Ittai and Alon.

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Mr. Martin Gerstel
About:

Martin Gerstel was born in 1941 in Norwalk, Connecticut. He received a BS degree from Yale University in 1964 and an MBA from Stanford University in 1968.Directly after graduation from Stanford, Mr. Gerstel participated in the founding of ALZA Corporation in Palo Alto, California, a pharmaceutical company based on developing new technologies for controlled drug delivery. Initially vice president and treasurer, he subsequently held a number of management positions leading to his appointment as President and Chief Operating Officer (1982 to 1987), and Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (1987 to 1993). During his tenure, ALZA Exchange listed company with a multi-billion dollar market valuation.Since retiring as CEO of ALZA in 1993, Mr. Gerstel has focused on board and consulting activities with a number of educational, civic and research organizations including, in the United States, the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford University and, in Israel, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Beit Amir, the Shalem Center, and in Jerusalem Foundation. In the private sector in Israel, he is Chairman of Compugen (a bioinformatics company), Founder/Vice Chairman of Itamar Medical (a medical device company), and a director of Teva Pharmaceuticals (a pharmaceutical company) and Yeda Ltd. (Technology Licensing company for the Weizmann Institute). In addition, Mr. Gerstel is a frequent lecturer and seminar leader in various areas of corporate management and strategy, negotiations and finance.

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Dr. Isaac (Tsachi) Shariv
About:

Dr. Isaac (Tsachi) Shariv serves as CEO of Weizmann Institute of Science Assets and Development (Mul Nof) Ltd.. Dr. Shariv earned a B.Sc. degree in physics and computer science as well as an MBA degree from Tel Aviv University, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the Weizmann Institute. 
His previous positions include Vice President for Administration and finance at the Weizmann Institute of Science; Managing Director of Sydnovate, the commercial arm of the University of Sydney, Australia; CEO of Yeda Research & Development Co. Ltd; and CEO of El-Mul Technologies, an Israeli high tech company.

 

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Prof. Haim Aviv
About:

Haim Aviv,Received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute(1970) and was Associate Professor (emeritus).He was the founder of several Biotechnology companies and held executive positions in several(Biotechnology General,Pharmos,Predix,Diatech ,Novamed and Herbamed).He chaired and was a member of the Israel National Committee for Biotechnology and other advisory committees on this subject.Dr Aviv is a member of the Board of Directors of Ben Gurion University

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Mr. Shimon Cheifetz
About:

Shimon Cheifetz received a B.Sc. degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and studied Business Administration at Tel Aviv University. From 1972 to 1992, he held senior positions at Maariv-Information Publications Ltd., serving from 1978 as joint CEO of the Maariv group and as a member of the Board of Directors of the holding company. From 1992, Mr. Cheifetz has been an active businessman in the fields of industry, communications and advanced technologies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Mifratz Flour Mills Ltd., Synel Industries Ltd., El-Mul Technologies Ltd. and Eretz Israel Museum-Tel Aviv.

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Dr. Avishay Gal-Yam
About:

Dr. Avishay Gal-Yam
Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics
Born in Jerusalem, in 1970, Dr. Gal-Yam earned his BSc in physics and mathematics in 1996 and his PhD in physics and astronomy in 2003 at Tel Aviv University. He received NASA’s prestigious Hubble postdoctoral fellowship and spent four years conducting research at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2007.
Dr. Avishay Gal-Yam is a cosmic detective who attempts to identify the stars responsible for spectacular stellar explosions called supernovae. Solving these mysteries can provide vital clues for both the origins of the elements that make up the periodic table – including those necessary for life itself – and for cosmological questions about the origin and fate of the universe. For example, Dr. Gal Yam and his team of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows recently announced the discovery of two new types of supernova explosions. One very faint type – that occurs when helium detonates – appears to produce significantly more calcium (vital for life as we know it) and titanium than were thought possible, and probably contributes a significant portion of these critical elements in the cosmos. The second new type of mega explosions is called pair-production supernovae. These are 10 to 100 times more powerful than any previously known type and may be the first supernova explosions to have occurred after the "big bang."
In 2011, Dr. Gal-Yam, received the Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research, and in 2010, the Israeli Physical Society (IPS) Prize for a Young Physicist, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ARCHES prize, and Weizmann’s Levinson Physics Prize. His previous honors and awards include a Colton Fellowship (2000), European Union fellowships (1999 and 2007), the Italian Città di Cefalù prize (2006), and the 2008 Peter and Patricia Gruber Award. He has published more than 100 papers in prominent scientific journals, including Nature, Science, and The Astrophysical Journal.
Dr. Gal-Yam is married and has three children. He enjoys sports, and he and his family like to travel and hike together.

 

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Adv. Shulamit Geri
Vice President for Administration and Finance
About:

Adv. Shulamit (Shuli) Geri has been Vice President for Administration and Finance at the Weizmann Institute of Science since August 2012, responsible for Management, Finance, Human Resources, Construction, Procurement and Operations. She joined the Institute in 2003 as General Counsel and from that time until her recent appointment addressed all legal matters relating to the activities of the Weizmann Institute and its entities.  

Ms. Geri is actively involved in the enactment of Knesset legislation protecting the interests of institutions of higher education. One of her key achievements is the passing of an amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance, including an exemption from taxation for student scholarships. 
Before joining the Institute, Ms. Geri held numerous legal positions in the private sector and was involved in major commercial transactions both in Israel and abroad, including the merger of Shekem to Hamashbir Lazarchan, the largest department store chains in Israel at the time. She was also instrumental in obtaining franchises for ZARA, Pull & Bear, Guess, and other international brands.   
She served in the IDF's Air Force and Education units and holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University. She resides in Tel Aviv with her husband and three daughters.  

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