Prof. Benjamin Sredni, Former Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Health, is Director of Bar-Ilan’s Cancer, Aids and Immunology Research (CAIR) Institute, senior member of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
Vera Gorbunova is a Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester and a co-director of the Rochester Aging Research Institute. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of longevity and genome stability and on the studies of exceptionally long-lived mammals. Dr. Gorbunova earned her B.Sc. degrees at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Dr. Gorbunova pioneered comparative biology approach to study aging and identified rules that control evolution of tumor suppressor mechanisms depending on the species lifespan and body mass. Dr. Gorbunova also investigates the role of Sirtuin proteins in maintaining genome stability. More recently the focus of her research has been on the longest-lived rodent species - the naked mole rats and the blind mole rat. Dr. Gorbunova identified high molecular weight hyaluronan as the key mediator of cancer-resistance in the naked mole rat. Dr. Gorbunova has over 70 research papers including publications in Nature and Science. Her work received awards from the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Glenn Foundation, American Federation for Aging Research, and from the National Institutes of Health. Her work on cancer-resistance in the naked mole rat was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize from PNAS for outstanding scientific excellence and originality. Most recently she was awarded a prize for research on aging from ADPS/Alianz, France, Prince Hitachi Prize in Comparative Oncology, Japan, and Davey prize from Wilmot Cancer Center.