Celebrating Philanthropy is dedicated to thanking and honouring the contributions of our philanthropic partners and volunteers and highlighting some of the phenomenal achievements of Weizmann Canada in supporting the world-changing research of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
This event celebrates the Weizmann family, highlights new and cutting-edge research and initiatives and demonstrates how donor support creates hope. Each year Celebrating Philanthropy will feature one of Weizmann Canada’s strategic initiatives that help raise awareness and give Canadians the opportunity to be part of Science for the benefit of humanity.
In this, its inaugural year, Celebrating Philanthropy features Wonderful Women. Presented by the Woman and Science Committee, Wonderful Women is an annual event dedicated to empowering and celebrating women and promoting their life changing research. Wonderful Women celebrates the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science which supports women scientists as they pursue postdoctoral research abroad, which is generally expected, if not always required, for tenure-track appointments by Israel’s institutions of higher learning.
By providing added financial incentive for excellent female scientists, The Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Women in Science is helping close the gap between male and female scientists in the highest ranks of academia. The ultimate aim of the program is to benefit the Israeli scientific community, and increase Israeli science’s positive impact on the world, by expanding the pool of women qualified to be hired by Israel’s universities at the faculty level.
The first Canadian woman and neurologist to fly in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her pioneering contributions to space medicine research, fine art photography, and environment education. Aboard the space shuttle Discovery for its 1992 mission, she conducted experiments for 18 countries in the International Microgravity Laboratory, a precursor to the International Space Station. Her highly motivational talks — punctuated by her stunning photographs — focus on change, social responsibility, and our environment.
Dr. Bondar holds a BSc in Zoology and Agriculture, MSc in Experimental Pathology, PhD in Neurobiology, MD, and is a Board-Certified Neurologist by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She sub-specialized in Neuro-ophthalmology at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston and at Toronto Western Hospital.
Among many recognized for numerous awards and honours including the NASA Space Medal, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame. She has also received numerous Honorary Degrees and is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Ontario, and has her own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Naama received her M.Sc. and her Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute. During her doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Maya Schuldiner, Naama focused on the cellular machineries responsible for the correct localization of proteins within the eukaryotic cell. She discovered and characterized a novel pathway that targets proteins from their site of synthesis to the endoplasmic reticulum.
As a postdoctoral fellow in the Marraffini laboratory of bacteriology in the Rockefeller University her research focuses on the prokaryotic adaptive immune system, called “CRISPR-Cas”. Naama’s goal is to decipher how bacteria acquire their immunological memory, a process that is not just biologically fascinating, but also has great implications on both microbial ecology and the evolution of bacteria and viruses.
Elena was born in Iran and moved to Israel at age 12. She completed her B.Sc. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science. During her Ph.D. in the Departments of Materials and Interfaces, Elena developed an extremely sensitive technique for detecting deviations from symmetry in crystals in order to improve our fundamental understanding of crystal structure, function and different growth mechanisms. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Columbia University, focusing on the design, synthesis, and structure of superatomic solids. When not in the lab, she spends her time at the gym, salsa dancing, or hiking in some exotic country.
Shira completed her B.Sc. in Medical Sciences at the Hebrew University, her M.Sc. in the department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute, and her Ph.D. in the Department of Computer Science & Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute as a Clore Scholar. Shira is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Sabeti lab, part of the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University. In her research she aspires to increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying viral immune evasion. With the goal of identifying novel phenomenon affecting hundreds of viruses pathogenic to humans, she develops innovative high-throughput methods to systematically study virology by employing interdisciplinary approaches from computational biology, viral genomics, synthetic biology and molecular genetics.
Please click below for the complete digital program for Celebrating Philanthropy featuring Wonderful Women.
Proceeds from the event support the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science.