Innovative Discoveries

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The InnovatorsThe Innovators Way presents the groundbreaking inventions and innovations of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. These creative initiatives came about as the result of intensive and wide-ranging scientific research, followed by patent registration, commercialization and finally marketing by Israeli and international companies. The innovations have brought benefit to men and women and to their general quality of life in a variety of areas: health, agriculture, materials, computer science and environmental protection. The Hebrew University is a vibrant center of pioneering research in all areas of human knowledge. The university is ranked among the leading institutions of higher learning in the world, and its scientists are to be found in the forefront of international research. These spotlights on research, discoveries, and innovations show just one facet of the successes found at Hebrew University today!

Prof. David Avnir Prof. David Avnir, the Benjamin H. Birstein Professor of Chemistry, of the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science developed the Sol-Gel Technology for the formation of new materials which combine the properties of glasses or ceramics with the properties of organic and biological compounds. Applications of sol-gel technology have been developed in the fields of optics, catalysis, sensing, polymers, biochemistry and pharmacy. Many researchers at the Hebrew University have participated in the various developments. Sol-Gel Technologies, Inc. (Israel) was established to commercialize products based on these newly invented materials, and is active especially in the fields of dermatology and agriculture.
Dr. Yonatan Elkind Dr. Yonatan Elkind of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment and his research team developed hybrid peppers with broad ecological adaptability that are suitable for cultivation in passive greenhouses and in mild winter areas. These novel hybrids produce a high yield of high quality fruits characterized by firm texture, good shape and good storage both on the vine and after harvest. The research was conducted in cooperation with Zeraim Gedera (a subsidiary of Syngenta) which markets the seeds in Israel and worldwide.
Prof. Simon Benita

Prof. Simon Benita of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine developed Cationorm, an eye-drop nanoemulsion for the treatment of dry eyes. This emulsion consists of positively-charged oil nanodroplets and functions similarly to the physiological tear-making mechanism which lubricates the eyes and keeps them moist. Cationorm is manufactured by Novagali Pharma (France), which is owned by Santen Pharmaceuticals (Japan).

Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz - Prof. Alberto Gabizon Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz (left), the Dr. Daniel G. Miller Professor of Cancer Research, and Prof. Alberto Gabizon of the Faculty of Medicine developed Doxil, an anti-cancer drug approved for the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma and breast cancer. Doxil is produced at Ben Venue Laboratories in the United States for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Prof. Nissim Garti Prof. Nissim Garti, the Ratner Family Professor of Chemistry, of the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science developed NSSL Technology – nano-sized self-assembled liquid vehicles, a technological platform based on nano-droplets. The nano-droplets form fully dilutable delivery vehicles for active ingredients, including food and health additives, antioxidants and vitamins. NutraLease (Israel) was established to market this technology. Another product is Sodium Stearolyl Lactylate (SSL), a baking improver useful to the bread baking industry. The product, developed with Dr. Eli Pinthus, then a Ph.D. student, is manufactured by Adumim Food Ingredients (Israel).
Prof. Itamar Gati Prof. Itamar Gati, the Samuel and Esther Melton Professor of Secondary School Education, of the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences and the School of Education at the Faculty of Humanities, developed the “Future Directions” website, which aims to facilitate career decision-making. Future Directions, developed in 1996, was one of the first websites in its field, and focuses on increasing readiness for making career decisions. Yoram Limudim, a subsidiary of Walla! (Israel), markets two of the sub-systems.
Prof. Avi Domb Prof. Avi Domb, the Lionel Jacobson Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine developed the MAZE – Water Purification System, a new type of filter that is installed in portable water purification systems and is capable of purifying water from organic and inorganic toxic residues as well as bacteria and viruses. The filter and water purification system are manufactured by Strauss-Haier (China).
Prof. Shabtay Dikstein Prof. Shabtay Dikstein of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine has developed two medical products: Eyecon, an eye drop therapy for dry eye and conjunctival damage even in severe cases, which is manufactured by Excelvision (France) and Pharma Stulln (Germany); and Silkis, a non-steroidal ointment for the treatment of psoriasis, which is produced by Galderma (France).
Prof. Jaap van Rijn Prof. Jaap van Rijn of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment invented the Zero Discharge Recirculating System for intensive culture of freshwater and marine fish. The system prevents environmental pollution, uses water economically, and can be operated in any climatic conditions. The technology is marketed by G.F.A. Advanced Systems (Israel).
Prof. Alexander Vainstein Prof. Alexander Vainstein, the Wolfson Family Professor of Floriculture, of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment developed the MemoGene technology which enables the creation of new traits in plants and the enhancement of agricultural crops through genetic modification. MemoGene is a groundbreaking process for targeted and site-specific plant genetic modification, using highly innovative novel tools for genomic modification. The technology, which was patented jointly by Yissum and Danziger Innovations (Israel), is applicable to all plants.
Prof. Marta Weinstock-Rosin Prof. Marta Weinstock-Rosin, the Dr. Leon Deutsch and Dr. Mina Deutsch Professor of Psychopharmacology, of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine, developed Exelon, a medicine prescribed for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Exelon can slow the progression of the disease in a significant proportion of patients and improve cognitive function in some subjects. Exelon is manufactured by Novartis (Switzerland).
Prof. Danny Zamir Prof. Danny Zamir of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment developed a method that allows agricultural crops to be recultivated. His findings led to a hybrid variety of industrial tomatoes (known as AB2) that was sold by A.B. Seeds company and quickly became popular in the California vegetable market due to its high yield.
Prof. Elka Touitou Prof. Elka Touitou of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine invented the Ethosome, a novel nanotechnology for skin drug delivery. The Ethosomal carrier is used in the design of efficient pharmaceutical and cosmetic products for the treatment of various skin ailments. Two products based on the invention have been developed to date: Supra-Vir, for treating herpes of the lips, which is manufactured by Trima  (Israel); and Body Shape, a dermo cosmetic gel for the treatment of cellulite, which is manufactured by NTT – Novel Therapeutic Technologies (Israel).
Prof. Daniel Cohn Prof. Daniel Cohn of the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science developed REPEL-CV Bioresorbable Adhesion Barrier, an FDA approved product for the prevention of post-surgical adhesions. REPEL-CV has also received the CE mark and was approved by other leading regulatory agencies around the world. The product is manufactured by SyntheMed Inc. (USA)
Prof. Shlomo Magdassi Prof. Shlomo Magdassi, the Enrique Berman Professor of Solar Energy,of the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science, developed GlassJet, an inkjet ink for printing on glass. The ink is composed of submicron particles of glass and inorganic colorants, and is tailored for digitalprinting. The ink is widely used in architecture and in the automotive industry for printing on architectural glass and on car windows. DIP Tech (Israel) is the leading producer of the Glass Jetink and the inkjet digital printing systems for the glass industry.
Prof. Shmuel Peleg Prof. Shmuel Peleg of the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Faculty of Science has developed technologies upon which two Israeli startups were founded. One technology creates panoramic stereo images from photographs taken by an ordinary camera, which has been commercialized by HumanEyes Technologies (Israel). The second is a technique for video summarization which enables hours of video surveillance footage to be viewed in minutes, and which has been commercialized by Briefcam (Israel).
Profs-Steinberg-Friedman-Sela Prof. Michael Friedman (center), the Adolph D. and Horty Storch Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Michael Sela(right), the Betty and D. Walter Cohen Professor of Clinical Periodontal Research, Prof. Doron Steinberg (left) and Prof. Aubrey Soskolne of the Faculty of Dental Medicine, developed PerioChip, a degradable sustained release delivery system for the treatment of periodontal disease through the release of an antibacterial agent into the periodontal pockets. PerioChip is manufactured and distributed worldwide by Dexcel Pharma (Israel).
Prof. Nathan Citri Prof. Nathan Citri of the Faculty of Medicine developed ArtLit, a method and device to enable direct identification and profiling of drug resistant bacterial infections. The device provides essential information within minutes so that evidence-based treatment can be implemented immediately and effectively. ArtLit plays a crucial role in coping with the imminent threat of drug resistant bacterial infection. The device is manufactured by BioConnections (UK), Abtek Biologicals (UK) and Coris Bioconcept (Belgium).
Prof. Ioav Cabantchik Prof. Ioav Cabantchik, the Adelina and Massimo Della Pergola Professor of Life Sciences, of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Faculty of Science, developed feROS, an analytical platform for analyzing labile iron that appears in biological fluids in various pathological conditions of systemic iron overload. The platform has been adapted to the clinical setting for diagnosing the levels of labileiron and assessing the quality of treatment of patients with chronic iron overload. Aferrix (Israel) produces iron testing services and kits based on this platform.
Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch and Prof. Nachum Kedar Prof. Nachum Kedar (right) and Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment have established the foundations for the introduction of genes for extended fruit shelf-life into standard tomato cultivars, turned cherry tomatoes into a global commodity, and developed the cluster tomatoes. The original research was conducted jointly with Prof. Yosef Mizrahi (Ben Gurion University) and Dr. Ehud Kopeliovitch (then a Ph.D. student). The seeds are produced and manufactured by Vilmorin (France), Monsanto (USA), Syngenta (Switzerland) and Bayer (Germany).
Prof. Oded Shoseyov Prof. Oded Shoseyov of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment developed a technology for the production of human recombinant collagen in transgenic tobacco plants. Collagen is an essential component of hundreds of medical products used in orthopedics, cardiology, diabetes, wound healing, and more. CollPlant (Israel) grows the plants, extracts and purifies the collagen, and manufactures the Vergenics product line of orthopedic and wound-healing medical implants.
Prof. Abraham Sztejnberg Prof. Abraham Sztejnberg of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment developed AQ10, a biofungicide based on the hyper-parasite fungus Ampelomyces quisqualis that controls severe powdery mildew plant diseases caused by pathogenic fungi. AQ10, which is harmless to humans and the environment, has been commercialized by Ecogen Inc. (USA) and Intrachem International (Switzerland).
Prof. Amnon Shashua Prof. Amnon Shashua, the Sachs Family Professor of Computer Sciences, of the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Faculty of Science, invented Mobileye, a system designed to prevent accidents by warning the driver in real time about dangerous situations and driving conditions. The system is original equipment in cars built by major automotive manufacturers worldwide, and is manufactured by Jerusalem-based Mobileye Vision Technologies, a company co-founded by Prof. Shashua and others in 1999.



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