Varda and Boaz Dotan Research Center in Hemato-Oncology Inaugurated
Twenty years ago a young soldier was diagnosed with leukemia. It took nearly three years from diagnosis to recovery, but today he is over 40 years old, a father of three children and completely free of disease. This moving story was related by TAU Governor Boaz Dotan about his son at the inauguration of the Varda and Boaz Dotan Research Center in Hemato-Oncology during the 2014 TAU Board of Governors Meeting.
The struggle with a potentially fatal disease prompted Boaz and his wife, Varda, to later donate generously to hospitals throughout Israel. “We strongly appreciated the people who saved our son so we had no doubts that medicine should be the recipient of our gifts,” said Mr. Dotan, a leading Israeli philanthropist and the co-founder of Amdocs.
Now the Dotans are, for the first time, supporting medical science at a university. The new Dotan Center represents a milestone in cancer research in Israel and is helping cultivate the next generation of cancer researchers through grants and doctoral fellowships, as well as fostering collaboration between leading Israeli and international experts in the field.
TAU President Joseph Klafter said at the ceremony, “With about 60 research groups working in different fields, as well as some 250-world class clinical researchers, physicians and surgeons at the oncology departments of major hospitals, there is no doubt that TAU is a powerhouse in cancer research.”
He noted, however, that despite significant progress that has been made in cancer research in Israel and in other parts of the world, there is so much more that has yet to be learned. “The Dotan Center will play a major role in saving lives by combining the best research being carried out at Tel Aviv University with clinical partnerships at TAU-affiliated hospitals,” he said.
Pictured: TAU Vice President for Resource Development Amos Elad with Varda and Boaz Dotan.
Dotan, a graduate of TAU in mathematics and statistics, said that the family donates out of a strong belief that “everyone who can do so is obliged to donate. When people donate they return their debt to society and I am proud to say that more and more people in Israel are adopting this approach,” he said. Mr. Dotan also noted that one of the reasons he was giving to TAU was because of his warm personal relationship with President Klafter.
During the ceremony, eight grants were awarded to outstanding researchers in the field of hemato-oncology, seven of whom are members of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine: Prof. Zelig Eshhar (also of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center), Dr. Michael Milyavasky, Prof. Shai Izraeli, Prof. Haim Werner, Prof. Gidi Rechavi (also Head of the Sheba Medical Center's Cancer Research Center), Dr. Ariel Munitz, and Dr. Yair Herishanu (also of the Sourasky Medical Center.) The eighth award went to Prof. Dan Peer of TAU's George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.
The rigorous grant selection process was chaired by Prof. Nadir Arber, Head of the Integrated Cancer Prevention Center at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Professor of Medicine Amos Elad, TAU Vice President for Resource Development, Prof. Yoseph Mekori, Dean of Medicine; and Prof. Pia Raanani, Director of the Hemato-Oncology Department, Davidoff Cancer Center, Rabin Medical Center.
As a token of the University’s appreciation, Prof. Klafter presented the Dotans with an etching of a microscope from the 19th century.