New Chair for Dr. Assaf Tal
Dr. Gladys Monroy and Larry Marks establish Career Development Chair
Dr. Gladys Monroy and Larry Marks of San Francisco established a Career Development Chair with the first incumbent Dr. Assaf Tal, celebrated at the 2014 International Board meeting.
A Career Development Chair at the Weizmann Institute of Science recognizes a young scientist's promise and early achievements. CDCs are esatare established in perpetuity. Dozens of Weizmann scientists hold CDCs that have been endowed by generous donors around the world. The selection of the incumbent is made by the President of the Weizmann Institute in consultation with senior staff members.
When an incumbent retires or leaves the Institute, another scientist is appointed to the chair. The annual income from the endowment of these chairs covers salary support for the incumbents.
Dr. Tal is a member of the Department of Chemical and Biological Physics. He concentrates on the fascinating intersection between biology and chemical physics. He uses Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and Imaging (MRI) as non-invasive tools to study metabolism, biochemistry, and physiology in living organisms. Most atomic nuclei possess an intrinsic magnetic moment. By shaping the electromagnetic fields inside the MRI scanner, Dr. Tal can interact with these moments to observe the structure, physiology and biochemistry of the human body in vivo.
Developing new ways of manipulating the nuclear spins can not only provide important tools to diagnose disease, but it can also give us a better understanding of the basic biological processes which govern the human body. With recent improvements in these fields, scientists like Dr. Tal are inventing new ways to view metabolic pathways in action—such as the phosphocreatine-ATP energy cycle, or the concentrations of metabolites in the brain.