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Message from the President

Prof. Alon Chen on the coronavirus: research and readiness



Date: March 16, 2020

Dear friends and members of the Weizmann Institute of Science community,

The coronavirus outbreak is a global challenge that forces us all to significantly and rapidly adjust our way of life and change our work routines.

Just a few months ago we might have imagined such an event playing out only in books or movies. But epidemiologists, immunologists, and public health officials have long anticipated the possibility of a pandemic. The theoretical policies developed during these more peaceful days are now being implemented worldwide to address the current crisis.

The way in which this pandemic has upended our lives illustrates how deeply intertwined our global community is—how our own wellbeing relies on the wellbeing of others, and how similar our individual and societal realities are. The dividing line between personal health and public health is being drawn in a new way, one that calls upon us to adopt new practices, for the good of all.

The destructive power of the coronavirus has also underscored the importance of scientific research and its role in identifying causes and solutions to disease, and major global health challenges.

The world is now looking to science, with expectation, hope, and trust that researchers will find a solution to this crisis, and help prevent future ones. At the Weizmann Institute of Science, our faculty members are already pursuing investigations that, among other things, might improve testing and diagnostics, and provide new strategies for prevention and treatment, including a possible vaccine. Also, in conjunction with Israel’s Ministry of Health, Weizmann scientists are working to improve coronavirus testing capabilities.

The health and safety of our scientists, students, and employees—as well as our worldwide family of friends—is very important to us, and we hope that you and your families remain healthy and safe. We intend to keep you abreast of relevant developments here on campus, and look forward to the better times ahead.



Prof. Alon Chen