PhD honoris causa recipient: Milvia Perinot
Italian philanthropist and supporter of scientific research
People behind the science
Milvia Perinot is the president of the Fondazione Henry Krenter, which she founded in memory of her beloved life-long partner, who passed away in 2008. In recent years, through the Foundation, she has undertaken a magnanimous commitment for the benefit of Israeli science, forming a close association with the Weizmann Institute and many of its scientists, who cherish her partnership in their progress.
Perinot, who was born and raised in Italy, met Henry Chanoch Krenter in 1961 in Italy, where he was working for a local company whose customer base he expanded throughout Europe. Krenter had been born in pre-World War II Germany, which he fled with his family to Yugoslavia and later to Palestine. In 1948, too young to be enlisted, he lied about his age to fight in Israel's War of Independence. After the State was established, he lived in Tel Aviv until 1956, when, at his parents' beckoning, he joined them in Trieste.
Throughout the years and decades that followed, Krenter remained deeply connected to Israel, to which he longed to return. Perinot, who travelled with him across Europe and supported his business ventures, became intimately familiar with his love and attachment to the country in which he had spent his youth and fought to establish. It was always his wish to “do something for Israel.” He died after a battle with lung cancer, and Perinot took it upon herself to fulfill his unrealized wish. She has worked towards this goal ever since.
The Fondazione Henry Krenter she created out of Lugano, Switzerland, where the couple lived, promotes and supports, both directly and indirectly, academic research and teaching in the fields of human medicine, chemistry, and physics in order to improve human life and health conditions. The Foundation places special emphasis on supporting Israeli institutions and facilities in these areas, with particular focus on the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Perinot's first visit to the Institute took place in 2012, and she has returned many times, striking a warm companionship with many in its community. That same year, the Foundation established on campus the Henry Chanoch Krenter Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Genomics, which is tasked with enabling the convergence of high-resolution bioimaging and genomics techniques, towards gaining a coherent picture of cancer’s ability to function, grow, evade treatment, and respond to therapy.
The Krenter Foundation has also supported the Moross Integrated Cancer Center (MICC). Through both these entities, the Foundation is making a significant impact on the Institute's ability to ensure its researchers have access to groundbreaking imaging technologies and tools in their investigations of the biological basis of disease.