July 26, 2022

The 2022 André Cohen Deloro Prize Awarded by the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology for the First Time

L-R: Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan, Mrs. Rebecca Boukhris, Prof. Herman Wolosker and Mr. Sidney Boukhris

Awarded to Professor Herman Wolosker from the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine

The award, presented for multidisciplinary research in human health, is given on behalf of the Adelis Foundation and is honored in memory of Mr. André Cohen Deloro (z”l). Prof. Wolosker received the award from Technion President Professor Uri Sivan and the Trustees of the Adelis Foundation Mrs. Rebecca Boukhris and Mr. Sidney Boukhris.

The new award is recognized by the André Cohen Deloro Institute for Transformative Biomedical Sciences and Engineering. The Adelis Foundation is currently supporting the construction of a new Technion center – the André Cohen Deloro Institute for Transformative Biomedical Sciences and Engineering. The new institute will serve as the epicenter of the Technion’s multidisciplinary research activities in human health and will feature state-of-the-art infrastructure necessary to drive innovation, including cutting-edge laboratories and equipment.

The André Cohen Deloro Institute will also serve as a hub of the newly established Technion Human Health Initiative. This large-scale initiative will further facilitate innovative research at the Technion by focusing on the next level of medical innovation through partnerships with Technion-affiliated hospitals and cutting-edge pharmaceutical and biomedical companies.

“Today’s recipient, Prof. Herman Wolosker of the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, exemplifies this, as he uses a wide range of techniques to advance his research.” said Rebecca Boukhris on behalf of the Adelis Foundation. “We’d like to congratulate Prof. Herman Wolosker,” she continued. “His remarkable work has been cited in many prestigious academic journals and we’re happy and proud that he is the recipient of the first André Cohen Deloro Prize.”

Prof. Wolosker’s research focuses on the unique and atypical neurotransmitters that are essential for brain function and also involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Based on a new mouse model, he studies the roles of amino acid-based neurotransmitters and the blood-brain barrier in brain development.

Mrs. Rebecca Boukhris put the new prize in a broader context: “74 years after the establishment of the State of Israel, we might ask ourselves what would have happened to the Jewish people without Israel. The answer is anyone’s guess, but the following question is much simpler to answer: What would have happened if the Technion had not been established 36 years prior to the formation of the State of Israel? Here we all know the answer: Israel could not have become the tremendous Startup Nation it is today, it would not have the thriving economy it has today, and I even doubt it could have defended itself the way it has throughout all these years. These two questions were at the heart of André Cohen Deloro’s thoughts and philosophy, and it is on this basis that the Adelis Foundation was created – to support the science and help build the security of the country and its future.

We rely heavily on Technion researchers to transcend the boundaries between disciplines, bringing together doctors, engineers, and scientists from different fields to make our dreams come true and meet the challenges of medical research. The future of research lies in the ability of researchers to remove barriers between research fields and to create strong synergies between different scientific disciplines.”

Distinguished Professor Ilan Marek

Prof. Ilan Marek, Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Chemistry was the Master of Ceremonies. He stated, “On a personal note, it is a huge pleasure for us to have you here. Your love for the Technion and Israel is clear, and this is your second home. I travel a lot and meet many people – Mr. Cohen Deloro had a strong impact on me, and I still remember our first meeting. He had a smile in his eyes.”

President of the Technion Prof. Uri Sivan said, “André Cohen Deloro passed away in 2012 but his legacy continues to flourish in the skillful, loving hands of Mrs. Rebecca Boukhris and trustees of the Adelis Foundation. It gives us special pleasure to inaugurate this prize by awarding it to Prof. Herman Wolosker for his groundbreaking work on unconventional transmitters and their role in brain development and neurodegeneration. Wolosker epitomizes the type of scientist of whom the Technion is so proud and so blessed to be home.”

Prof. Herman Wolosker

Prof. Herman Wolosker

Prof. Wolosker completed his M.D. and Ph.D. at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and did his postdoctoral fellowship at John Hopkins University. His research studies novel and atypical neurotransmitters in the brain that are important for normal brain function and can cause neurodegeneration. His research aims to fully characterize the role of the serine shuttle in various human diseases and to identify all, yet unknown, components of this metabolic pathway using genetically modified mice.

Brain diseases are often incurable, but metabolic imbalances can be corrected by either supplementing or restricting a missing amino acid. By focusing on metabolic disorders caused by the malfunction of the serine shuttle, Prof. Wolosker hopes that the knowledge gained about this metabolic pathway can be translated into new treatments.

Wolosker won the Teva Award on Rare Diseases (2012), the One Mind Rising Star Award from the International Mental Health Research Organization USA (2010), and the Yigal Alon Scholarship (2002).

THE ADELIS FOUNDATION

The Adelis Foundation is an Israeli foundation that was created in 2006 by an exceptional man, André Cohen Deloro (z”l) (1933 – 2012). A graduate of the prestigious École Polytechnique and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, André Cohen Deloro (z”l) had a brilliant career in construction. Realizing his unbreakable link with the State of Israel, he built the Adelis Foundation – the most important work of his life. The Adelis Foundation was built so that André Cohen Deloro (z”l) could contribute in his own way to the wellbeing of the Jewish People and to the security of the State of Israel.

The Adelis Foundation was created based on the conviction that the security and future of Israel, its economic development, and its influence among the nations depended on the excellence of its universities and research centers. The Adelis Foundation believes that it is crucial to guarantee the knowledge of Israel’s next generations through the high level of education of its human capital in order to improve its future. But a strong nation is also a nation that knows how to take care of its weakest links.

Thus, the Adelis Foundation intervenes in the following key areas: scientific and medical research of excellence (65%), education – mainly in the social and geographical periphery (25%), and social well-being (10%).

In the field of science, the Adelis Foundation has a desire to help Israel through preserving its position among the world leaders in research and innovation through exploring new technological frontiers. The Adelis Foundation promotes these directives by financing research infrastructure in the country’s most promising academic institutions, as well as by granting research budgets to excellent researchers from the best universities in key areas where the State of Israel has added value. Research is likely to create scientific breakthroughs that improve the well-being of Israel’s citizens and of humanity as a whole as our Jewish values ​​teach us.