The Kaye Awards, now marking the tenth anniversary year of their inception, were presented on May 27 during the 66th meeting of the Hebrew University Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem.
The award winner is Hadi Aslan, 23, a dual doctoral candidate in medical sciences and dental medicine in the Skeletal Biotechnology Laboratory of Prof. Dan Gazit at the Hebrew University Faculty of Dental Medicine. Aslan won the prize for his research that promises to substantially improve current methods for restoring bone structure.
Incapacity or disability of varying degrees often results in those cases in which patients are unable to regenerate all of most of damaged bone tissue through natural means. These cases occur due to trauma from accidents or acts of terror or because of birth defects or disease.
Aslan has succeeded in utilizing adult stem cells, taken from the bone marrow of the patient being treated, without having to develop them further in a culture outside the body prior to transplantation. This enables faster and more effective treatment to be given to those suffering bone injuries.
Aslan's work is now being further developed by the start-up company SBT, Skeletal Biotherapy Inc., established by the Hebrew Univesity's Yissum Research Development Company and Prof. Gazit. SBT is working on applying the method towards growing other connective tissue, such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
Yissum, a private company wholly owned by the university, serves as a bridge between the university and industry. It aims to develop business links between them which will allow industry to use the results of university research to advance commercial ventures.
The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University were established by Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards in 1994 to encourage faculty, staff and students of the university to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential, which have benefited or will benefit the university and society.