Israeli Foundation awards grant to Sloan-Kettering cancer researcher

U.S. scientist Dr. Eric C. Holland (center) with former Israeli president and foundation chairman Ezer Weizman (right) and foundation founder Edward Seroussi.U.S. scientist Dr. Eric C. Holland said he was “delighted and honored” to receive a $200,000 grant from an …

U.S. scientist Dr. Eric C. Holland (center) with former Israeli president and foundation chairman Ezer Weizman (right) and foundation founder Edward Seroussi.U.S. scientist Dr. Eric C. Holland said he was “delighted and honored” to receive a $200,000 grant from an Israeli foundation towards his research on brain tumors.

Holland, of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s department of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Cell Biology in New York City received his prize in a ceremony at Tel Aviv University last week, one of the recipients of the first set of Jacqueline Seroussi Awards for Cancer Research.

“Most people in the U.S. who think of Israel, think only of conflict,” said Holland. “But receiving this award and visiting Israel made me think differently of what is happening in Israel, and made me more aware of what is happening here on other fronts. It is good to see positive things happening as well.”

His award-winning research, entitled Molecular Analysis of Human Brain Tumors, involved study of the way in which brain tumors develop in mice, identifying specific genetic alterations of the growths, and gathering information that will be useful for identifying strategies for treating tumors in human beings.

Holland said that although the foundation was not well known when he applied for the award, he is confident that this first round of grants will boost its profile in cancer research circles around the world.

The Jacqueline Seroussi Memorial Foundation for Cancer Research was established in 1999 by Israeli businessman Edward Seroussi commemorate his late wife Jacqueline, who passed away as a result of brain tumor and who committed herself during her lifetime supporting cancer research and to the welfare of victims of the disease.

The foundation supports important research in the field both in Israel and around the world. TAU President Prof. Itamar Rabinovich said at the ceremony that the foundation had struck the right balance between establishing and managing an international organization, while offering special support the breakthrough cancer research occuring in Israel.

Other recipients of the grants include: Prof. Adi Kimchi, the Weizmann Institute, Israel; Prof. Yoel Kloog, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Prof. Vincent Collins, Cambridge University, England; Dr. Monika E. Hegi, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland; and Prof. Michael Weller, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

The ceremony took place at TAU on Thursday, and was attended by foundation chairman and former president Ezer Weizman, foundation vice chairman and TAU president Itamar Rabinovich, Edward Seroussi, and internationally renowned scientists and doctors from Israel and abroad.