To expand the ties between the Israeli and Czech scientific communities, their countries are developing new forms of collaboration between talented young scientists. One such project is the “Joint Prague-Weizmann Winter School on Drug Discovery.” This intensive week of professional lectures is attended by more than 120 scientists and students from around the world. The project provides a unique opportunity for young Israeli and Czech researchers to meet and discuss the latest trends and challenges in drug development, as well as to meet with world leaders in academia and experts from such multinational pharmaceutical giants as MSD, Roche and Astra Zeneca.
This year’s winter school, organized by the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, and the Weizmann Institute of Science, was held for the first time in Israel at the Weizmann Institute, on December 3-7.
Prof. Martin Fusek, Deputy Director of the IOCB Prague, who is one of the co-organizers of the event, said: “After organizing four consecutive and successful sessions of Summer School on Drug Development in Prague, the IOCB Prague and the UCT Prague were approached by Prof. Irit Sagi, Dean of the Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute, with an interesting offer to organize an annual winter school jointly – every other year in Prague and then in Rehovot. Right now, it’s our first Joint School stemming from this new tradition, and I would like to thank my colleagues from the Weizmann Institute of Science, especially Dr. Nir London and Dr. Haim Barr, for the excellent organization and a very friendly atmosphere. I am very pleased to be able to deepen cooperation with this top research organization.”
Among the attendees of the event were Czech Ambassador to Israel H. E. Martin Stropnický; Prof. Karel Melzoch, Rector of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague; Dr. Zdeněk Hostomský, Director of the IOCB Prague; and Doc. Jan Konvalinka, co-organizer and vice-rector of the University of Charles University.
“There was tremendous interest in attending from all over Israel, and the interaction between the Israeli and Czech scientists will surely lead to fruitful collaborations. I look forward to expanding the scope of this school in the coming years,” says co-organizer Dr. Nir London of the Weizmann Institute.
The initiative and the conference were supported by the Feinberg Graduate School and by three of its Research Schools: the Solo Dwek and Maurizio Dwek Research School of Chemical Science; the Ekard Research School of Biological Science; and the Lorry I. Lokey Research School of Biochemical Science.