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Biochemists set to meet in Jerusalem

Nobel winners to attend Jerusalem gathering of FEBS

ICC Jerusalem, preparing to host 'most important international conference'

Biochemists from all over the world will meet in Israel next week.

The Federation of European Biochemical Societies' decision to meet in Jerusalem came during a period of intense military activity - the 2014 Gaza War -  that left 2,200 dead, mainly civilians.

About 40,000 scientists from 37 countries are members of FEBS and more than 1,700 of them are expected to attend the five-day congress, at ICC Jerusalem, next week (September 10-14).

Prof. Michal Sharon, vice chairman of the Israel Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, said: “It was a great achievement to convince the organisation’s leadership to come to Israel. The decision was made at a problematic time, during the military operation ‘Protective Edge’. 

"Nevertheless, Prof. Abdussalam Azem (Professor of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University) and Professor Israel Pecht, who served as general secretary of FEBS at the time, succeeded in persuading the Congress to be held in Israel, thanks to its esteemed status as a leading country for research in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology.”

According to Prof Sharon: “As time approaches, the excitement in Israel among researchers and practitioners in these areas is evident. We are preparing for a fascinating conference and we hope that during the course of it some new scientific discoveries will be revealed for the relief of all humanity.”

Mira Altman, CEO of the ICC, added: “We are preparing to host this important international conference and are aware of its contribution to the city of Jerusalem, to Israeli science and to the tourism industry. Conference tourism has the potential to bring over $60 million  a year into the Israeli economy.”

The programme will include professional scientific discussion of cancer biology, metabolomics and signaling pathways, chromatin structure and post-genetic editing processes, not to mention careers and education, women in science, and more.

Notable guests expected to include, among others, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry (2012), Prof. Robert Joseph Lefkowitz from Duke University (USA), Prof. Carol Robinson from the University of Oxford, who studies membrane protein complexes and Prof. Feng Zhang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who contributed to the development of the CRISPR method for genetic modification.

A week before the congress, the Young Scientists Forum (YSF), brought together about 150 young researchers to promote scientific and social connections between them. Students from all over Europe and Israel attended the gathering at the Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in the Jerusalem suburbs.

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