Prof. Sir John Bell, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the United Kingdom, praised Israel for its strength in groundbreaking research, many Centers of Excellence, its lead in technological commercialization of medicine and pharmaceuticals, and strong commitment to translating research from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside.

Prof. Bell, the 2010 Lord Cohen Visiting Professor, addressed members of the Jewish Medical Association, Friends of Hebrew University, and Hadassah UK upon his return recently from a clinical exchange in Israel. The Lord Cohen Visiting Professorship is a joint annual initiative of Hadassah United Kingdom, in association with British Friends of the Hebrew University and the Jewish Medical Association-UK. The recipient of the professorship, always a leading member of the medical profession in the UK, is taken on a tour of the major medical institutions in Israel and meets with leading doctors and researchers at those facilities. When he returns to the UK, he delivers a keynote lecture on his specialty, bringing in his impressions of Israeli medicine and his experiences during his visit to Israel’s medical facilities.

In a lecture entitled “Personalized Medicine–When Will It Happen?” Prof. Bell explained that the study of human genetics and genomic mapping of individual patients will enable us to match therapeutics to particular pathophysiology in the future. While visiting the Hadassah Medical Center, Prof. Bell met with Prof. Eithan Galun, head of the Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene Therapy. He notes that there ought to be more fellowships and student exchange programs between Israel and the UK and advocates for the creation of an Israel Genomics Institute which would ensure that leading groups work more closely together. If Israel, which has so many Centers of Excellence, he says, developed such an institute, it would be a world leader in the genomics field.

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