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March 27th, 2005
Top Israeli tech transfer chief wooed away by Harvard
"Grants alone cannot support cutting-edge research and take an innovation to the level at which companies will develop a product for both economic gains and the public good," Ramot's CEO Isaac Kohlberg told ISRAEL21c. So he came up with an ingenious idea to deal with the shortfall of funds needed to hoist an innovation from the lab to the marketplace: an in-house VC fund. The idea has proved so successful, that Harvard University recently scooped up Kohlberg to take on a newly created position - Associate Provost and Chief Technical Development Officer, a post he begins in May.
Among the nanotechnology discoveries that have received a boost is the work of Professor Rimona Margalit who is using a coating of nanoparticles to enable drug targeting directly to a tumor.
Another partnership project headed by Professor Ehud Gazit focuses on the prevention of amyloid aggregation (build up) in various diseases. Fine, threadlike amyloid fibrils are waxy, translucent substances composed primarily of protein fibers that are deposited in various organs in certain diseases. Curiously, the diseases are unrelated - Alzheimer's, prion (Mad Cow), and Type II Diabetes. Gazit and his team stumbled on another discovery while researching amyloids. His team observed the self-assembly formation of short aromatic peptides to form amyloid fibrils, virtual nanotubes.
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