The Y. Leon Benoziyo Institute for Molecular Medicine

Zvi Livneh, Director
The Maxwell Ellis Professorial Chair of Biomedical Research

The Y. Leon Benoziyo Institute for Molecular Medicine (BIMM), fully operational since 2003, is aimed at the support of basic research that impinges upon Molecular Medicine at the Weizmann Institute. While the road may be long and difficult, our belief is that a deep understanding of the basic molecular processes underlying disease is invaluable for the final successful outcome. The Weizmann Institute of Science, being primarily a basic research institute, provides an ideal setting for initiating and advancing such studies.

The activities of the BIMM cover several directions. First, grants are provided to research groups at the Weizmann Institute. We aim to support promising research projects, which impinge on Molecular Medicine, at the early stages of their conception and development. This initial boost should allow them to progress to a stage where they can be presented to competitive external funding agencies, either as basic research or disease-oriented projects. Second, in order to enhance interactions between Weizmann researchers and the clinic, the BIMM supports research grants that represent collaborations between the Weizmann Institute and MDs who carry out research at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. These projects are expected to lead to better diagnostics and treatment, and further inspire clinically relevant research at the Weizmann Institute. The ability to purchase top of the line equipment is essential to carry out high caliber research. Such equipment involves sophisticated microscopy, cell sorters, protein analysis by mass spectrometry, and high throughput DNA sequencing. The BIMM participates in purchase and upgrading of equipment that is essential for research impinging on Molecular Medicine. Finally, the BIMM supports scientific meetings and visits of leading scientists in Israel.

While all the BIMM grants are aimed at supporting biomedical research, they do cover a wide range of disciplines, representing the multidisciplinary and collaborative environment of the Weizmann Institute. The different approaches include manipulation of model organisms such as mice, flies and yeast, cell culture studies, and the elaborate biochemical manipulations of proteins.

In conclusion, the contribution of the Y. Leon Benoziyo Institute for Molecular Medicine to the activities of the Life Science Faculties at the Weizmann Institute is enormous. To promote the continued impact, we will strive to maintain the balance between focused support of outstanding groups on the one hand, and broad support of equipment and facilities that will influence not only the work of these groups in particular, but also the capability of the Life Sciences in general. We also strive to maintain the balance between the support of established groups who are leaders in their fields, and the projects of outstanding young scientists who are at the initial stages of their independent career.