Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Roger D. Kornberg, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry for the year 2006, Scientific President
Stanford University
Professor Kornberg served as a director of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from 2007 through 2013. Professor Kornberg is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Winzer Professor of Medicine in the Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University, Stanford, California. He has been a member of the faculty of Stanford University since 1972. Prior to that, he was a professor at Harvard Medical School. Professor Kornberg is a renowned biochemist and in 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription, the process by which DNA is copied to RNA. Professor Kornberg is also the recipient of several awards, including the 2001 Welch Prize, the highest award granted in the field of chemistry in the United States, and the 2002 Leopold Mayer Prize, the highest award granted in the field of biomedical sciences from the French Academy of Sciences. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University. He holds honorary degrees from universities in Europe and Israel, including the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he currently is a visiting professor.
Hermona Soreq, Ph.D Head of the Scientific Advisory Board
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Soreq started her scientific career in the Weizmann Institute, where she served as Senior Scientist and then Associate Professor (1979-1986). In 1986 she became an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1989 she gained her professorship there and set up her laboratory. She has run her lab there, ever-since. She served as the head of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University (1995-2000). In 2000 she was elected as President of the Israeli Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and served as such till 2002. In 2005 she was elected to serve a term of 3 years as the first female Dean of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Science [2] In 2011, a lab team member, Liat Benmoyal-Segal, published a paper together with Soreq[3] indicating the relevance of a variant of the acetylcholinesterase protein in the treatment of Parkinson's. Protalix BioTherapeutics developed the variant, PRX-105, and began phase I clinical trials.[4][5] Today, Soreq is The Charlotte Schlesinger Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the Silberman Institute for Life Sciences and a founding member of the Hebrew University’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences. Her research is focused on the mechanisms underlying malfunctioning of communication by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in muscle, nerves and blood cells, which involves changes in pre-mRNA processing and microRNA regulators, and may be manipulated by Oligonucleotide-mediated therapeutics (successfully completed Phase II clinical trials for treating inflammatory bowel disease)[6][7] that can be also relevant for anxiety-related, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's) diseases. She is the author of over 280 peer-reviewed journal articles and 8 books. Soreq serves on the boards of the Hebrew University, the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and Yissum (the Research Development Company of the Hebrew University). She is also an Adjunct Research professor at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute. Her awards and honors include: 2005 Landau Prize for Biomedical Research 2008 Kaye Prize for Innovative research, The Hebrew University[8] 2009 The Lise Meitner Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award, Germany 2009 Visiting Miller Professorship,[9] University of California, Berkeley 2013 National Center of Excellence (I-Core) on Trauma,[10] member of Scientific Management 2013 Advanced ERC Research Award She has also received honorary Doctorates from the University of Erlangen, Nűremberg, Germany (2007), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (2007) and the University of Stockholm, Sweden, (1996)
Gianni Gromo M.D Ph.D
Versant Ventures
Gianni is a Partner with Versant Ventures. Gianni previously served as a Senior Executive with several pharmaceutical companies, most recently Hoffmann-La Roche, where he successfully lead research and development teams. Gianni’s roles at Roche included Research Head of Global Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, where he was responsible for all discovery and development activities in the CV, Renal and Metabolic areas; Head of Discovery Research, Basel Site; Global Head of the Metabolic and Vascular Disease Business Unit; and more recently Head of the Roche China R&D center, Shanghai. Prior to Roche, Gianni was Assistant Professor (tenure track), Immunobiology Research Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Research Director at Italfarmaco SpA, Milano, Italy; and Director of Biology-Cardiovascular-Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. He served as a Scientific Advisor to CSIRO (Australia), Baker Institute (Australia), Integra (Yissum/ Hebrew University, Israel)Momentum Fund (Ramot / Tel Aviv University). He serves on the Board of Directors of Novira Therapeutics (USA), and Piqur (Switzerland). Gianni received his MD and PhD in Clinical and Experimental Hematology at University of Milano, Italy.
Yechiel Shai , Professor
Weizmann Institute of Science
Yechiel Shai is a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He received a BSc. in Chemistry in 1977 from Bar-Ilan University, MSc in Organic Chemistry in 1979 and Ph.D. in Peptide Chemistry in 1985 both from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He then carried out postdoctoral research on molecular recognition at the National Institute of Science, Bethesda until 1988, when he took a position as an investigator at the Department of Membrane Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was promoted to Associate Professor on 1995 and to full Professor on 2002. Yechiel Shai is studying peptide/protein-membrane interactions and protein-protein recognition within the membrane milieu. More specifically, he is studying membrane active innate immunity host defense antimicrobial and antifungal peptides and lipopeptides. Since 1991 he has established the ''''carpet'''' mechanism as an efficient membrane destruction process used by many AMPs and lipopeptides, and studies parameter controlling the cell specificity of AMPs. In the field of virus-host interaction he is investigating how gp41, the envelop protein of HIV1 catalyzes virus-cell fusion. He also studies new mechanisms by which HIV can evade the immune response. In addition, as part of studying general aspects of protein-protein recognition within the membrane milieu, he discovered that peptides with opposite chiralities can specifically assemble in the membrane, in contrast to the well accepted dogma on recognition outside the membrane milieu. These findings allow to develop new D,L-amino acid containing peptides that serve as novel inhibitors of membrane proteins.
S. Morry Blumenfeld, Ph.D
Meditech Advisors
Dr. Blumenfeld is a founder of Meditech Advisors (Meditech I) and Chief Investment Officer in ZMEP I, LP(Meditech II). He serves on the board of a number of medical device companies. Dr. Blumenfeld retired from GE Healthcare in 2002, having been with GE for over 34 years. He spent the last 27 years of his career at GE with GE Healthcare, the last 4 of which were spent as Managing Director of GE Medical Systems in Israel. Dr. Blumenfeld has considerable experience in developing and commercializing large-scale diagnostic imaging systems as well as new image guided equipment designed to provide non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Blumenfeld was one of the managers responsible for the initial development of GE’s computed tomography (“CT”) and magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) product lines. He was also responsible during this period for many of the new MR developments, including advanced cardiac MR and very high field MR systems both now important elements in GE’s No.1 market position and first Intra-Operative MR System. Dr. Blumenfeld is a prominent authority on the development of healthcare technology including imaging devices and devices for minimally invasive procedures, and has advised or consulted with many medical research centers, universities, health technology companies and research hospitals across the USA, Europe and Asia through his work with CT and MRI systems and more recently, other healthcare technology. Morry holds five patents, and in 1977, GE’s Centennial Year, received the GE Centennial Award for his work in CT. Dr. Blumenfeld now serves on a number of academic advisory boards including the National Alliance for Medical Imaging Computing, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology in Boston, and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. Morry has served on an IEEE Standards Committee, on a National Cancer Institute Advisory Board dealing with minimally invasive therapy, on the Ontario R&D Challenge Fund Imaging Advisory Committee, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ontario Consortium for Image-Guided Therapy and Surgery, on the Advisory Board of the Imaging Research Centre for Cardiac Intervention at the University of Toronto and on the External Advisory Board of Amigo, the Harvard University’s program for an Advanced Surgical Suite. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University and on the Board of Directors of Yissum, the Hebrew University’s Technology Transfer Company. He is on the Board of four public companies: Oridion, Itamar, Aposense and MAKO Surgical, as well as a number of private medical device and technology companies, including InSightec and Dune Medical. Dr. Blumenfeld earned his BASc in Engineering Physics and PhD in Molecular Physics from the University of Toronto
  • Professor Roger D. Kornberg, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry for the year 2006, Scientific President
    Stanford University
    Professor Kornberg served as a director of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from 2007 through 2013. Professor Kornberg is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Winzer Professor of Medicine in the Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University, Stanford, California. He has been a member of the faculty of Stanford University since 1972. Prior to that, he was a professor at Harvard Medical School. Professor Kornberg is a renowned biochemist and in 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription, the process by which DNA is copied to RNA. Professor Kornberg is also the recipient of several awards, including the 2001 Welch Prize, the highest award granted in the field of chemistry in the United States, and the 2002 Leopold Mayer Prize, the highest award granted in the field of biomedical sciences from the French Academy of Sciences. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University. He holds honorary degrees from universities in Europe and Israel, including the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he currently is a visiting professor.
  • Hermona Soreq, Ph.D Head of the Scientific Advisory Board
    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Soreq started her scientific career in the Weizmann Institute, where she served as Senior Scientist and then Associate Professor (1979-1986). In 1986 she became an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1989 she gained her professorship there and set up her laboratory. She has run her lab there, ever-since. She served as the head of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University (1995-2000). In 2000 she was elected as President of the Israeli Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and served as such till 2002. In 2005 she was elected to serve a term of 3 years as the first female Dean of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Science [2] In 2011, a lab team member, Liat Benmoyal-Segal, published a paper together with Soreq[3] indicating the relevance of a variant of the acetylcholinesterase protein in the treatment of Parkinson's. Protalix BioTherapeutics developed the variant, PRX-105, and began phase I clinical trials.[4][5] Today, Soreq is The Charlotte Schlesinger Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the Silberman Institute for Life Sciences and a founding member of the Hebrew University’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences. Her research is focused on the mechanisms underlying malfunctioning of communication by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in muscle, nerves and blood cells, which involves changes in pre-mRNA processing and microRNA regulators, and may be manipulated by Oligonucleotide-mediated therapeutics (successfully completed Phase II clinical trials for treating inflammatory bowel disease)[6][7] that can be also relevant for anxiety-related, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's) diseases. She is the author of over 280 peer-reviewed journal articles and 8 books. Soreq serves on the boards of the Hebrew University, the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and Yissum (the Research Development Company of the Hebrew University). She is also an Adjunct Research professor at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute. Her awards and honors include: 2005 Landau Prize for Biomedical Research 2008 Kaye Prize for Innovative research, The Hebrew University[8] 2009 The Lise Meitner Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award, Germany 2009 Visiting Miller Professorship,[9] University of California, Berkeley 2013 National Center of Excellence (I-Core) on Trauma,[10] member of Scientific Management 2013 Advanced ERC Research Award She has also received honorary Doctorates from the University of Erlangen, Nűremberg, Germany (2007), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (2007) and the University of Stockholm, Sweden, (1996)
  • Gianni Gromo M.D Ph.D
    Versant Ventures
    Gianni is a Partner with Versant Ventures. Gianni previously served as a Senior Executive with several pharmaceutical companies, most recently Hoffmann-La Roche, where he successfully lead research and development teams. Gianni’s roles at Roche included Research Head of Global Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, where he was responsible for all discovery and development activities in the CV, Renal and Metabolic areas; Head of Discovery Research, Basel Site; Global Head of the Metabolic and Vascular Disease Business Unit; and more recently Head of the Roche China R&D center, Shanghai. Prior to Roche, Gianni was Assistant Professor (tenure track), Immunobiology Research Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Research Director at Italfarmaco SpA, Milano, Italy; and Director of Biology-Cardiovascular-Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. He served as a Scientific Advisor to CSIRO (Australia), Baker Institute (Australia), Integra (Yissum/ Hebrew University, Israel)Momentum Fund (Ramot / Tel Aviv University). He serves on the Board of Directors of Novira Therapeutics (USA), and Piqur (Switzerland). Gianni received his MD and PhD in Clinical and Experimental Hematology at University of Milano, Italy.
  • Yechiel Shai , Professor
    Weizmann Institute of Science
    Yechiel Shai is a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He received a BSc. in Chemistry in 1977 from Bar-Ilan University, MSc in Organic Chemistry in 1979 and Ph.D. in Peptide Chemistry in 1985 both from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He then carried out postdoctoral research on molecular recognition at the National Institute of Science, Bethesda until 1988, when he took a position as an investigator at the Department of Membrane Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was promoted to Associate Professor on 1995 and to full Professor on 2002. Yechiel Shai is studying peptide/protein-membrane interactions and protein-protein recognition within the membrane milieu. More specifically, he is studying membrane active innate immunity host defense antimicrobial and antifungal peptides and lipopeptides. Since 1991 he has established the ''''carpet'''' mechanism as an efficient membrane destruction process used by many AMPs and lipopeptides, and studies parameter controlling the cell specificity of AMPs. In the field of virus-host interaction he is investigating how gp41, the envelop protein of HIV1 catalyzes virus-cell fusion. He also studies new mechanisms by which HIV can evade the immune response. In addition, as part of studying general aspects of protein-protein recognition within the membrane milieu, he discovered that peptides with opposite chiralities can specifically assemble in the membrane, in contrast to the well accepted dogma on recognition outside the membrane milieu. These findings allow to develop new D,L-amino acid containing peptides that serve as novel inhibitors of membrane proteins.
  • S. Morry Blumenfeld, Ph.D
    Meditech Advisors
    Dr. Blumenfeld is a founder of Meditech Advisors (Meditech I) and Chief Investment Officer in ZMEP I, LP(Meditech II). He serves on the board of a number of medical device companies. Dr. Blumenfeld retired from GE Healthcare in 2002, having been with GE for over 34 years. He spent the last 27 years of his career at GE with GE Healthcare, the last 4 of which were spent as Managing Director of GE Medical Systems in Israel. Dr. Blumenfeld has considerable experience in developing and commercializing large-scale diagnostic imaging systems as well as new image guided equipment designed to provide non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Blumenfeld was one of the managers responsible for the initial development of GE’s computed tomography (“CT”) and magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) product lines. He was also responsible during this period for many of the new MR developments, including advanced cardiac MR and very high field MR systems both now important elements in GE’s No.1 market position and first Intra-Operative MR System. Dr. Blumenfeld is a prominent authority on the development of healthcare technology including imaging devices and devices for minimally invasive procedures, and has advised or consulted with many medical research centers, universities, health technology companies and research hospitals across the USA, Europe and Asia through his work with CT and MRI systems and more recently, other healthcare technology. Morry holds five patents, and in 1977, GE’s Centennial Year, received the GE Centennial Award for his work in CT. Dr. Blumenfeld now serves on a number of academic advisory boards including the National Alliance for Medical Imaging Computing, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology in Boston, and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. Morry has served on an IEEE Standards Committee, on a National Cancer Institute Advisory Board dealing with minimally invasive therapy, on the Ontario R&D Challenge Fund Imaging Advisory Committee, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ontario Consortium for Image-Guided Therapy and Surgery, on the Advisory Board of the Imaging Research Centre for Cardiac Intervention at the University of Toronto and on the External Advisory Board of Amigo, the Harvard University’s program for an Advanced Surgical Suite. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University and on the Board of Directors of Yissum, the Hebrew University’s Technology Transfer Company. He is on the Board of four public companies: Oridion, Itamar, Aposense and MAKO Surgical, as well as a number of private medical device and technology companies, including InSightec and Dune Medical. Dr. Blumenfeld earned his BASc in Engineering Physics and PhD in Molecular Physics from the University of Toronto