Chemokine Conference 16.06.2011, in Memory of Valentin Grabovsky z"l  (по Русски)

Valentin Grabovsky

Invitation to Conference

Speech by Prof. Ronen Alon at the conference:

Every other day, when I go to our cafeteria to get a sandwich I can see him, walking across the green lawn in front of our building, with his large “khaki” hat, waving to me. Every now and then, when I call the lab, I still expect the phone to be picked up and his calm voice to answer, politely, humbly… It took me months, until I sort of got used to returning from the library, entering the lab and realizing he will never be there, sitting at his desk, analyzing a video segment, quietly and so patiently. He will no longer be found helping a student or running on his own these numerous flow chamber experiments we planned.

Valentin was a mature man with a soul of a child. He always preferred to stay behind the stage lights - he never wanted to write or present a poster of his own work, nor give an oral talk in the department or at a scientific meeting.

Valentin kept the same naïve curiosity he had had right after joining our group some 12 years ago. He never stopped to dream (and Shifra will soon tell you more details about this last dream he got himself into in the very last year of his short life). Only now, do we understand that his naivety gave him that rare strength to live with the terrifying destiny he was fully aware he was facing, having been diagnosed with advanced melanoma.

In spite of this tragic destiny and the numerous hurdles he encountered in his short life I feel he was lucky in being able to combine the basic science he conducted at Weizmann with truly transitional work with Amnon and his Biokine team. And he loved every minute of being that bridge between basic and applicative chemokine related research. And this is perhaps the only consolation that we, our friends share - the notion that he loved his work and that we, our friends, and the research truly filled his life with joy.

Valentin, you were a dear and caring friend, devoted and humble. We were fortunate to have you around, a pleasant and loving colleague, a rock of stability and sanity in our hectic scientific environment. We all miss you very much. Many of your old friends here didn't even have the chance to say good bye, as you were so abruptly taken from us and from your dear parents, whom we got to know and admire over these past 8 months.

We thank you Valentin for the rare opportunity to be your colleagues even for these very short 12 years.

Program of Conference