American Technion Society - Detroit
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April 2015


Technion Students Charm Detroiters

Eitan Lukin Neta Sagi Prof Yehuda Leviatan Adam Finkel

(l to r) Technion students Eitan Lukin and Neta Sagi, 
Prof.Yehuda Leviatan,
and ATS Detroit Chapter
Board Member Adam Finkel

The Technion Student and Faculty Delegation recently visited our Chapter during a whirlwind U.S. tour that also took them to Chicago, New York and Baltimore. Students Neta Sagi and Eitan Lukin with Dean Yehuda Leviatan were the star attractions at two events on February 17-18, sharing their personal stories with enough warmth and humor to provide the perfect antidote to winter chill.

Some 20 young Detroiters attended a dinner program at Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit, where the delegation discussed topics that ranged from student life to the state of science education in Israel, to juggling their myriad responsibilities while carving out a career in Israel’s “start-up” society. The next generation of Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs also charmed an audience of 40 young women at a community outreach event, hosted by Rabbi Fully Eisenberger at the University of Michigan Jewish Resource Center.

Neta Sagi, 24, a second-year student in the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine on her first ever visit to the U.S. said: “I always knew I wanted to be a doctor and pursued that dream, engaging with people, especially youth.” After serving in the military, Neta worked with children and traveled to Ethiopia and South East Asia before settling in to a six-year medical program. “The Technion is very demanding, but at the same time, it is very satisfying.”  

Eitan Lukin, 25, a third-year electrical engineering student, who made aliyah in 2005 by way of Argentina, Venezuela and Florida, talked about his military service as a pilot and a tank gunner, his academic focus in computer engineering, and his extracurricular activities — playing guitar in a band, singing in the Technion choir, and spending time with his girlfriend, a double major “who is much smarter than I am,” he joked.

Professor Yehuda Leviatan, who holds the Joseph and Sadie Riesman Chair in Electrical Engineering and heads the Computational Electromagnetics Lab, talked about his days as a Technion student and his decision to leave a teaching post in the U.S. to teach at the Technion, joking that his two sons “had no choice” but to attend the Technion. His work focuses on developing computer technology to analyze and design antennas, which are used in mobile devices and medical technologies.


Local Chef and ATS Supporter Hosts Technion Cancer Researcher

Annabel Cohen Prof Yehuda Assaraf Linda Kovan
(l to r) ATS Detroit Chapter Board Member
Annabel Cohen, Prof. Yehuda Assaraf, and
ATS Detroit Chapter President Linda Kovan

Technion Professor Yehuda Assaraf spent time in Detroit in March to talk with ATS supporters and other interested people about his fascinating research in the fight against cancer. Prof. Assaraf is dean of the Technion's Faculty of Biology, and an internationally acclaimed cancer researcher. His work focuses on deciphering the mechanisms responsible for cancer cells' resistance to anticancer drugs—the main obstacle to curing the disease. This research could pave the way for tailor-made chemotherapy treatments and new strategies to combat drug-resistant tumors.

Among the activities held in his honor, Annabel Cohen, a culinary personality in the Detroit area and a member of the ATS Detroit Chapter Board, held a sumptuous dinner at her Sylvan Lake catering company, Annabel Cooks. Approximately 30 donors and ATS friends attended the March 19 dinner presentation to hear Prof. Assaraf talk about “The New War on Cancer,” in which he introduced his laboratory's most recent achievement; a novel approach to treat and overcome multidrug resistance in various human cancers. The lysosomal photodestruction process they developed uses a "Trojan Horse" approach to breaking cancer's resistance to various medicines. (Photodestruction is a process by which light destroys cancer cells.)

The following day, he spoke at a breakfast meeting held jointly by the ATS Detroit Chapter and the Federation Maimonides Society, and met privately with psychiatrist Phil Parker, who is a member of the local ATS Board.


Detroiters Part of UM-Israel Partnership for Research Symposium

Weisman technion cornell

Bloomfield Hills residents Andi and Larry Wolfe, and West Bloomfield residents Larry and Eleanor Jackier were part of a large delegation from Michigan that was in Israel for the fourth annual D. Dan and Betty Kahn University of Michigan-Israel Partnership for Research Symposium in late January. The event was held at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The rest of the delegation was comprised of University of Michigan faculty and professional staff – including 54 leading researchers, who joined their partners from the Technion and the Weizmann Institute of Science to share presentations about the latest advances in cardiovascular, cancer and neurobiology. Topics spanned the life sciences, medical science, imaging, physics, nanotechnology, and more. Highlights of the symposium included an all-day visit to the Technion by some of the University of Michigan researchers, which provided many of them their first opportunity to see the facilities where their partners conduct their work.

The first symposium was held in 2011, when the late philanthropist D. Dan Kahn – an ardent supporter of both the Technion and University of Michigan – funded the effort to bring the two universities together for collaborative research on cardiovascular disease and the life sciences. Since then, the Weizmann Institute has been added as a partner (in 2013), and research topics – including diabetes, cancer and neurobiology – have been added to the list of research conducted under the partnership. 

The D. Dan and Betty Kahn University of Michigan-Israel Partnership for Research conducts and funds joint scientific investigations, institutional collaborative ventures and technology commercialization, with an ultimate goal of bringing together people of different backgrounds to make breakthrough discoveries in human health.

“It’s remarkable that this partnership has grown so much in a span of just four years,” said Larry Jackier, who is the Technion International Board of Governors Chairman. “From day one, the researchers and institutions embraced each other with a level of conviviality that is remarkable.”

The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation remains one of the symposium’s main supporters, and the partnership has been enthusiastically embraced by the next generation of the Kahn family.

“I am convinced that a Nobel Prize, and a number of successful start-up companies, will come out of this partnership,” continued Larry Jackier. “I believe this because the level of research is so high, and the researchers are so motivated.”

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American Technion Society
6735 Telegraph Road, Ste. 304 | Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Tel: 248.593.6760| Fax: 248.737.2104




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