President Peres opens brain science exhibit as Hebrew U’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) is launched


Mrs. Lily Safra cuts the ribbon marking the public launch of the Hebrew University’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science as (from right) University Board of Governors Chairman Michael Federmann, President Shimon Peres, University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Prince Albert II of Monaco and ELSC Director Prof. Eilon Vaadia look onJune 20, 2013: President Shimon Peres opened the Hebrew University's brain science exhibition “Tomorrow: State of Mind” on June 18 at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. Featuring senior and young scientists from Israeli universities, the exhibition comprised interactive exhibits and a competition among young scientists for the title "Brain Researcher of Tomorrow."

The exhibition marked the public launch of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at the Hebrew University. The launch event took place on June 18 in the presence of President Peres and Mrs. Lily Safra. In honor of President Peres’s 90th birthday, Mrs. Safra also announced the establishment of the Shimon Peres Postdoctoral Fellowship at ELSC. This is in addition to support previously committed to make ELSC the largest and most innovative multidisciplinary brain science center in Israel, and a leader in international brain science research.

According to Mrs. Safra, "I am honored to join President Peres and the faculty and administration of the Hebrew University in the official inauguration of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, which opens an exciting new chapter for neuroscience research. This Center is already home to some of the world’s most exceptional scientists and students, and I am certain that they will continue to make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the human brain. It is one of the most innovative brain research centers in the world, and it represents hope for all of us, particularly for those whose families have been touched by diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s."

She added, "I am also delighted to announce the establishment of the Shimon Peres Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center, in honor of the President’s birthday. President Peres is an extraordinary advocate for neuroscience research, and I am confident that the young researchers who will receive the fellowship that bears his name will, over the years, help us unlock the mysteries of the brain."

During his tour of the exhibition, President Peres met with Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, ELSC Director Prof. Eilon Vaadia and top Israeli brain scientists. Interactive displays presented scientific breakthroughs from researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University.

The exhibit highlighted such breakthroughs as: novel therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer's disease; the landmark Human Brain Project which is being funded by a grant of over € 1 billion from the European Union; research in computer vision, featuring a wearable vision system for the blind that resembles Google Glass; new techniques in MRI imaging; a protective approach to treat brain diseases; long-term neuro-rehabilitation in improving walking in teenagers with cerebral palsy; the role of blood-brain barrier dysfunction in the pathogenesis of common brain diseases, such as stroke, epilepsy and trauma; and many more.

Source: Media Relations