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Photo: Delana Mikolášová
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Promising cooperation between top Czech and Israeli research teams boosts up

The leading Czech and Israeli scientific teams are going to jointly collaborate on several research projects in the area of Drug Discovery, with a perspective of applying projects’ results in the field of cancer treatment. These are the main conclusions of a recent meeting between the Czech delegation of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague) headed by its Director Dr. Zdeněk Hostomský and Vice-Director for Strategic Development Prof. Martin Fusek and the leading research teams of the Weizmann Institute of Sciences (WIS) that took place in Rehovot, Israel, on October 3, 2018.

Gil Granot-Mayer, CEO of YEDA Ltd., a tech-transfer company of the Weizmann Institute of Sciences, praised cooperation with the IOCB: “We see the collaboration with the IOCB as a strategic one. We do not have yet such collaboration in the area of translational research with any other foreign research institute, so we perceive it as a very unique collaboration model that can potentially serve as an example for our future cooperation with other leading foreign research institutes.” Mr. Granot-Mayer also added that YEDA Ltd. is very experienced in enhancing collaboration between the WIS research teams and academia and the WIS research teams and the business world, however the WIS-IOCB model of cooperation is exceptional since it combines both aspects for the very first time: academic research and a perspective transfer of its results to medicine/pharma.

Dr. Hostomský and Prof. Fusek explained that they have recently established a research team within the IOCB named “Weizmann” whose members are fully dedicated to enhance this important cooperation further. Prof. Fusek’s first encounter with Gil Granot-Mayer took place in November 2017 at the WIS and enhanced further in May 2018, when the CEO of YEDA Ltd. paid a working visit to the IOCB in Prague. “We are ready to set very concrete milestones in our cooperation with the Weizmann Institute in order to keep things moving swiftly forward,” explained Prof. Fusek. Both IOCB and the WIS also expressed their mutual interest to collaborate on relevant calls under the Horizon 2020 framework in near future.

Last but not least, the IOCB together with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and the Weizmann Institute of Sciences are also organizing so called “Joint Prague-Weizmann Winter School on Drug Discovery” for PhD students and postdocs that will take place on December 3-7, 2018, at the Weizmann campus in Rehovot. At the moment, more than 80 international students – including more than 30 from the Czech Republic – have already confirmed their participation.

By: Delana Mikolášová