Israel-Johns Hopkins Collaboration Making Medical History

The Technion American Medical School (TEAMS) is now collaborating with top U.S. universities such as Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan, providing excellent opportunities for the transfer of medical knowledge, “TEAM”-work and collaboration. Ties between the Technion in Haifa and the United States have never been stronger.

Established at the turn of the century, the collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and the Technion already has proved fruitful in the fields of cancer, cardiology and tissue-engineering research.

Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University pioneered the concept of the modern American research university and is renowned as one of the top learning institutions in the world for science and medicine.

The Technion, founded in 1912, is Israel’s oldest university, and according to the book “Start-up Nation,” it produces graduates with the skills and education behind the protection of the State of Israel.  Nestled on the shores of the Mediterranean, the Technion has built a reputation for being Israel’s premier institute for science and technology and for producing groundbreaking research across the sciences and medicine. The medical school is home to three Nobel Prize winners and has contributed to countless medical breakthroughs from revolutionary pharmaceuticals to robotic-surgery techniques. Always on the cutting edge of science and highly regarded among the international academic community, the Technion also has solidly established itself as a bridge between Israel and the U.S.

Combining these two heavyweights in the academic world has been a perfect match.

Keeping Their Fingers on the Pulse
For Prof. Ofer Binah, who is one of the key researchers participating in the collaboration, working with Johns Hopkins University has enabled a welcome transfer of both universities’ specialist skills. The Technion is at the forefront of stem cell research, having developed the first human heart tissue in the laboratory, and Johns Hopkins leads the way in the various technologies involved in extraction, monitoring and implantation of stem cells. Together, the two universities are working on a project involving stem cells and repairing cardiac damage following heart attacks.

Both universities are working with the latest Nobel Prize-winning research involving IPS stem cells (adult cells that are reprogrammed and transformed to be used as stem cells). The team at Johns Hopkins induces a heart attack and extracts cells from the animal subject, and the team at the Technion reprograms and develops the cells to be eventually reimplanted into the animal. The process is a long and complicated one, but combining some of the world’s top scientists in the stem cell field has allowed a stem cell “dream team” to be created.

The strong connection between Johns Hopkins University and the Technion has added benefits for medical students of both schools. Prof. Andrew Levy, having received his medical degree from JHU, now directs the Technion American Medical School program, and Dr. Lior Gepstein, who is a key collaborator on cardiac research with JHU, directs the physiology course for the TEAMS program.  The results of the Technion-JHU collaboration directly impact students, enriching their knowledge and allowing them to participate in the research taking place in both countries.

Fourth-year TEAMS student Monty Mazer from Canada took part in the JHU-Technion clinical exchange program. He commented that “learning from some of the best clinical teachers in the world and experiencing a new way of clinical problem-solving was an extremely beneficial addition to my already fantastic Technion experience.”

For American and Canadian students who come and study in Israel at the Technion American Medical School, experiencing Israeli research and medicine does not come at the expense of their exposure to American research and medicine. The Technion is constantly building on its growing international reputation as one of the leading producers of groundbreaking medical research worldwide.

Johns Hopkins University is just one of a growing number of top universities that has joined forces with the Technion and the Technion American Medical School.

 

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