In Memoriam: Prof. Yoram Salomon (1941-2017)

People behind the science

Date: October 22, 2017

Prof. Yoram Salomon of the Department of Biological Regulation, a leading cancer researcher whose insights are already being used to save and extend lives, passed away in September at age 76. His main research focus in the last 20 years was a collaborative project with Prof. Avigdor Scherz of the Department of Plant Sciences in which the two scientists developed a therapy to eradicate tumors by destroying blood vessels surrounding the growths, using light and chlorophyll derivatives.

Called Tookad-Soluble Vascular Targeted Therapy (TS-VTP®), the therapy is approved for treatment of early-stage prostate cancer in Mexico and Europe. The therapy is also in clinical trials for several other cancer types, including advanced prostate cancer, bladder cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, and breast cancer. More recently, the duo had been developing photodynamic therapy to treat two non-malignant ophthalmic diseases: age related macular degeneration, a vascular disease of the retina; and keratoconus, a malfunction of the cornea which seriously impairs vision and may lead to blindness.

Prof. Salomon received his PhD in biochemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1972 and conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health before joining the Weizmann Institute in 1975. He served as Head of the Department of Biological Services (1982-1986), Chairman of the Department of Hormone Research (1986-1992), Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Weizmann Institute (1995-1996), and Chairman of the Professorial Promotions Committee of the Life Sciences Faculties (1999-2002). He was the incumbent of the Charles W. and Tillie K. Lubin Professorial Chair of Hormone Research.

He leaves behind his wife, Daniela, their three children, and six grandchildren.