Israeli and Czech Scientists Join Forces in Advancing Drug Discovery

In an effort to deepen the ties between Israeli and Czech scientific communities, the countries are successfully developing new forms of collaboration between their talented young scientists. One such project is the “Joint Prague-Weizmann Winter School on Drug Discovery.” This is an intensive week of professional lectures, attended by more than 120 scientists and students from around the world. The project provides a unique opportunity for young Israeli and Czech researchers to meet and discuss the latest trends and challenges in the Drug Development area, as well as meet with world leaders in academia and experts from multinational pharmaceutical giants, such as MSD, Roche and Astra Zeneca.

The joint project, which is organized by the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, and the Weizmann Institute of Science, was held for the first time in Israel at the Weizmann Institute on December 3-7.

Prof. Martin Fusek, Deputy Director of the IOCB Prague, who is one of the co-organizers of the event, said: "After organizing four consecutive and successful years of Summer School on Drug Development in Prague, the IOCB Prague and the UCT Prague were approached by Prof. Irit Sagi, Dean of the Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute, with an interesting offer to organize the 2018 annual school jointly once in Prague and once in Rehovot. Right now, it’s our first Joint School stemming from this new tradition and I would like to thank my colleagues from the Weizmann Institute of Science, especially Dr. Nir London and Dr. Haim Barr, for an excellent organization and a very friendly atmosphere. I am very pleased to be able to deepen cooperation with this top research organization."

Among the attendees of the event were Czech Ambassador to Israel H. E. Martin Stropnický; Prof. Karel Melzoch, Rector of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague; Dr. Zdeněk Hostomský, Director of the IOCB Prague; and Doc. Jan Konvalinka, co-organizer and vice-rector of the University of Charles University.

“There was tremendous interest from all over Israel to attend the school, and the interaction between the Israeli and Czech scientists will surely lead to fruitful collaborations. I look forward to expanding the scope of this school in the coming years,” says co-organizer Dr. Nir London of the Weizmann Institute.”