The Wohl Institute for Translational Medicine, a new center geared toward applied research for personalized medicine, was inaugurated on October 24 at the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO).
The new multidisciplinary institute is a result of a partnership among the Wohl Legacy in the United Kingdom, Hadassah International United Kingdom, and HMO. The Wohl Institute:
- Offers state-of-the-art imaging technologies for preclinical research, which are the first of its kind in Israel
- Promotes, through research, the development of dedicated medications and treatments for the welfare of patients
- Provides pre-clinical services to researchers from Hadassah Hospital and other Israeli hospitals and universities.
Of the $8-million building project, $6.5 million is a generous donation from the Wohl Legacy.
"Thanks to the generous donation from the Wohl Legacy," relates Hadassah Director General Prof. Zeev Rotstein, "Hadassah gained state-of-the-art translational infrastructure, the first of its kind in Israel, which is currently in use only in a handful of institutes worldwide. The collaborations among researchers from the Hadassah-Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine and Hadassah clinicians, together with the unique machinery, will intensify the development of new medications and technologies for the clinical benefit of incurable conditions including cancer. I am proud to direct a leading medical organization with such exceptional opportunity and ability to promote medicine."
Prof. David Latchman, Wohl Legacy trustee, comments, "We are proud to be partners in the establishment of this institute at Hadassah that will advance medical research using state-of-the-art technologies. During their lifetimes, Maurice and Vivienne Wohl invested in research that could lead to better understanding of diseases that have no cure. This institute will do exactly that and, hopefully, lead to the development of medications to both improve and save lives."
Prof. Eyal Mishani, Director of Research and Development at Hadassah, adds, "The Wohl Institute is a first of its kind in Israel. Already now the institute acts as a magnet for leading medical research projects. We are thrilled that many researchers from Hadassah and the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine have joined the institute. We are thankful to the Wohl legacy foundation for its generous support and putting its faith in Hadassah as a leading body of medical research in Israel."
Among the scientists, researchers, and dignitaries attending the inauguration ceremony at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem were HMO Director General Zeev Rotstein; Wohl Foundation's Trustees Prof. David Latchman, Sir Ian Gainsford, Ella Latchman, Martin Paisner, and Daniel Dover; Hadassah Director of Research and Development Prof. Eyal Mishani; Dean of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine Prof. Dina Ben-Yehuda; Mark Addleman, Chief Executive Officer of Hadassah United Kingdom; and heads of universities and representatives of the National Science Foundation, the Jerusalem Development Authority, and the British Embassy in Israel.
This new multidisciplinary institute is the result of a partnership among the Wohl Legacy, Hadassah International United Kingdom, and the Hadassah Medical Organization.
The Wohl Institute will serve as an infrastructure hub for studying models of human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and metabolic diseases. Its state-of-the-art technologies will enable visualization, digitization, and image analysis, spanning molecular resolution up to in-vivo imaging in order to elucidate underlying disease mechanisms and further the development of tailored drugs.
The Institute will provide imaging services using some of the world's most advanced imaging devices. These include:
- Ultrasound combined with a photo-acoustic unit for non-invasive monitoring of changes in blood flow, cardiac problems, and changes in oxygen levels in the tissue.
- An integrated PET/CT device to test anatomical changes (particularly in bones and internal organs), together with metabolic and molecular changes.
- An Integrated MRI/PET device, which includes a 7-tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner with PET insert (the first of its kind in the country) to enable high-exactitude monitoring of anatomical changes while acquiring PET images demonstrating cancer and metabolic and molecular changes.
- Optical Imaging: two fluorescence and luminescence IVIS devices that enable high-sensitivity and accurate tracking of cells and molecules.
- Micro CT that enables imaging of bone changes in non-invasive, single-micron precision.
Alongside the imaging devices, relates Prof. Rinat Abramovitch, Director of the Wohl Institute, there will be biological and chemical laboratories and image analysis rooms that will allow all studies to be conducted under one roof. Prof. Abramovitch adds that Hadassah currently operates two cyclotron facilities (particle accelerators) that allow synthesis of unique and short-lived materials for use in PET imaging. Additional resources on the Ein Kerem campus include experimental surgery, behavioral laboratories, drug development, and pathology services.