British Ambassador-Designate visits the Hebrew University

British Ambassador-Designate visits the Hebrew University
23rd August 2023 Moriah Aharon

British Ambassador-Designate to Israel, Simon Walters, made his first visit to the Mount Scopus Campus since he took office last month. The purpose of the visit was to discuss scientific collaborations between the UK and the University. The meeting highlighted the importance of scientific ties and introduced the UK-Israel innovation researcher mobility scheme, which funds UK-based researchers to work in Israel on innovation projects. The scheme was initiated by MP George Freeman following his visit to Israel last year, where he was hosted by Prof. Asher Cohen in his capacity as the Chairman of VERA at the Einstein Archive and was immensely impressed by this visit. The next call for this scheme will be published at the beginning of September and is expected to include additional themes for collaboration, such as Humanities.

The Ambassador’s visit included a tour of the campus, and a meeting with University officials among them Prof. Asher Cohen, Hebrew University President; Prof. Mona Khoury, HU Vice President for Strategy and Diversity; and Amb. Yossi Gal, Vice President for Advancement and External Relations.

The highlight was a visit to Prof. Yaakov Nahmias’s MicroTissue lab at the Edmond J. Safra campus, where a groundbreaking miniature human heart model was presented. This innovation promises to revolutionise cardiovascular research and drug testing by offering an alternative to animal testing. The model, smaller than the size of a tiny seed, was developed by Prof. Yaakov Nahmias’s team, including researchers from the Hebrew University, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Tissue Dynamics Ltd.

Ambassador Walters was impressed by the research and even had the chance to look through a microscope to see the “beating human heart” on a chip, demonstrating the enthusiasm and potential of this groundbreaking work.

We extend our best wishes to Ambassador Walters in his new role as the British Ambassador to Israel and eagerly anticipate further visits and prosperous collaborations between the UK and Israel.