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Annual Weizmann Lecture

Date: Sunday, January 3, 2021

About 120 members of the Swiss Society of Friends of the Weizmann institute of Science came together digitally to celebrate the 20the annual Weizmann Lecture on November 2.

Swiss Society Chairman, Eric Stupp, emceed the event. Special appearances were made by the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Switzerland, Mr. Jacob Keidar, and Robert (Bob) Drake, the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Chairman of the European Committee.

Prof. Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute, spoke at length about the many exciting flagship projects taking place at the Institute, including the Artificial Intelligence Enterprise for Scientific Discovery, the Institute for Brain and Neural Science, and the Frontiers of the Universe initiative. 

Prof. Philipp Selenko of the Department of Structural Biology led a virtual visit of his laboratory and explained his day-to-day work and research. Prof. Selenko uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins directly in live cells. Similar to an atomic-resolution ‘microscope,’ he developed this method to study the structural behavior of proteins involved in human neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, he analyzes how these proteins change their shapes and structures and how this process is related to aging. These discoveries may ultimately enable the design of new drugs against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Mrs. Evelyne Thalmann, Vice Chair of the Swiss Society, took questions from the participants during the tour and the end of the event.