BOG 2024: Excellence Even in Dark Times

The tenth annual Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research was awarded to four scholars continuing important research despite the war
13 June 2024
The 2024 Kadar Family Award recipients, from left: Prof. Ran Spiegler, Prof. Gili Bisker, Prof. Neta Erez, and Prof. Dafna Langgut. Photo: Chen Galili

Four of Tel Aviv University’s foremost researchers were presented with the tenth Kadar Family Award for Outstanding Research at this year's Board of Governors meeting: Prof. Dafna Langgut (Humanities), Prof. Gili Bisker (Engineering), Prof. Neta Erez (Medical and Health Sciences), and Prof. Ran Spiegler (Social Sciences).   


The Award is given annually to two senior and two junior faculty members in any field who go above and beyond in categories including research, teaching, and international standing.   


The Kadar Family Award is supported by the Naomi Foundation, which honors the memory of Naomi Prawer Kadar PhD, a lifelong Yiddish specialist, educator, and the late wife of Dr. Avraham Kadar, a physician, educator, innovator, and TAU benefactor. The three Kadar children, Maya Kadar Kovalsky, Nadav Kadar, and Einat Kadar Kricheli are all TAU alumni and board members of the Naomi Foundation along with their father. Avraham, Nadav and Maya are also members of TAU’s Board of Governors.   


This year’s awardees were honored with a beautiful ceremony in the presence of many TAU friends. Maya Kadar Kovalski, representing the family, said in a recorded message: “We established the Naomi Foundation in memory of my mother and her passion for education and scholarship. We are proud to partner with Tel Aviv University, a world leader in education, as we strive together to push forward innovation and pioneering advances in the sciences and humanities. The work of today’s award recipients serves as a beacon of light, reminding us of the boundless potential in each of us. Even in dark times, perhaps especially in dark times, the inspired thinking of a few can change the world for the better.” 


The 2024 Kadar Family Award recipients: 


Prof. Dafna Langgut is Head of the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Ancient Environments at the Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Through her research on fossilized pollen, she showed that Israel was likely the first region where olives were first intentionally cultivated, 7,000 years ago, to make one of humanity’s most pivotal culinary inventions: olive oil. 




Prof. Gili Bisker is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering. In her lab, she is developing super-thin nanosensors that can detect specific biomolecules which can be used to check for the presence of things like blood clots, disease, or toxins in the human body.  




Prof. Neta Erez, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, is attempting to tackle cancer metastasis by understanding its early stages. One immunotherapy her lab is developing involves helping protective T-cells stop breast cancer from spreading into bones by bolstering their functionality and blocking anti-T-cell actors in the microenvironment. 



Prof. Ran Spiegler is an economic theorist and a full professor at the Berglas School of Economics. His work on the role of narrative in politics uses theoretical assumptions to show how false and true narratives can cycle back and forth to create a pendulum effect on economic policy.  






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