February 25, 2014: The 2013 Abisch Frenkel Prize for Excellence in Life Sciences has been awarded to Prof. Yuval Dor, who conducts diabetes research at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) in the Faculty of Medicine. Leading a research team at the Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research at the Faculty’s Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Prof. Dor was recognized for his outstanding research in the field of pancreas development and tissue dynamics, with emphasis on pancreatic cancer and diabetes.
Established in 1994 by Leo Abisch and Eva Abisch-Frenkel, the Abisch-Frenkel Foundation supports research that benefits human health and well-being, conducted by young scientists at the Hebrew University or at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The work may be of a prophylactic, diagnostic or therapeutic nature and may concern either physical or mental health.
Prof. Dor has led research that demonstrated for the first time that pancreatic beta cells have a significant capacity for spontaneous regeneration, and identified glucose as the trigger for beta cell regeneration. His future goals include harnessing the regenerative capacity of beta cells in order to treat diabetes, and understanding the mechanisms that cause beta cell failure in diabetes.
Prof. Dor said, “I'm grateful to Eva Abisch, and I wish to thank my students and colleagues, from the Hebrew University and from the Hadassah Medical Center, whose hard work has led to the progress recognized here. These are exciting times for translational research in diabetes, and I look forward to further progress which will affect the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.”
Describing Prof. Dor's work, Prof. Isaiah T. Arkin, Hebrew University Vice-President for Research and Development, said: "This year’s prize winner, Prof. Yuval Dor, has helped bridge the gap between fundamental research and medical treatment in one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, diabetes. The implications of his work for diabetes and beta cell biology are far-reaching."
He added, "The Hebrew University is grateful to Drs. Eva and the late Leo Abisch-Frenkel for their longtime support of young researchers. As research costs in the biomedical fields have skyrocketed, the support of the Abisch-Frenkel Foundation for the Promotion of Life Sciences has become even more critical."
The Abisch-Frenkel Foundation for the Promotion of Life Sciences was established in 1994 in Basel, Switzerland, by Leo Abisch and Eva Abisch-Frenkel. After obtaining doctorates in chemistry, the Abisches worked at the University of Basel before accepting positions at Sandoz Ltd. (today’s Novartis). As Leo Abisch traveled the world sharing his vast knowledge with colleagues and scientists, Eva Abisch continued her research in the laboratory, becoming actively involved in the development of several future highly successful drugs. The Foundation has so far awarded approximately 60 grants to young Hebrew University and Weizmann Institute researchers in the Life Sciences, as well as nine prizes of excellence to senior scientists of both institutions.
Source: Marketing & Communications, Hebrew University