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BGU Researchers Bloom with Innovation in Baltimore

BGU Researchers Bloom with Innovation in Baltimore

March 3, 2015

Leadership, Awards & Events, Nanotechnology, Social Sciences & Humanities

Baltimore Jewish Times — AABGU’s Mid-Winter Meeting convened in Baltimore in February to discuss the research of BGU’s staff and explore a deep, albeit mysterious, Baltimore connection as part of the organization’s “Blooming with Innovation” program.

Attendees of “Blooming with Innovation” were invited to choose two of the three presentations by visiting BGU professors during “AABGUniversity.”

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Dr. Tuvia Friling

Dr. Tuvia Friling, a senior researcher at BGU’s Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, believes that the relatively unknown Dr. Joseph Schwartz, a rabbi, native Baltimorean and president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) from 1939 to 1950, “was a real hero.”

Dr. Schwartz, during his tenure at the helm of the JDC, orchestrated and was “in charge of the main clandestine methods to rescue Jews from Europe,” says Dr. Friling. But details of the often covert work are fuzzy and currently under scrutiny by Friling in preparation for his book about Schwartz’s life, to be published next year.

Providing a more forward-looking lecture, Prof. Alon Friedman of BGU’s Department of Physiology and Neurobiology describes his interdisciplinary team’s research “working together to solve one problem” in their quest to develop brain damage treatments.

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Prof. Alon Friedman

He explains that every capillary, including those in the brain, contains a barrier that allows or prevents passage of different chemicals or proteins that are carried by the blood into different areas of the body.

“Over 30 percent of the population suffers some type of brain disorder,” such as from stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, says Prof. Friedman.

Lew Winarsky, a dedicated supporter of AABGU who has been involved with the university for about year and a half, follows the sciences as a lay person and was particularly impressed by the lecture offered by Prof. Gabby Sarusi.

Prof. Gabby Sarusi

Prof. Gabby Sarusi

Prof. Gabby Sarusi, a member of BGU’s Homeland Security Institute, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the university’s Electro-Optics Engineering Unit, believes everyone, not just specially outfitted military personnel, should have the capability to see well in darkness.

A world-renowned expert in thermal imaging night-vision systems, Prof. Sarusi is leading his team of researchers in developing the simple application of a thin coating to everyday glasses that will transform infrared light into visible light, thus converting them into night-vision glasses.

“For me, to hear someone who is a point person for these [research] activities,” says Winarsky, “is like listening to someone who has a crystal ball to the future of what things will look like.”

Read more on the Baltimore Jewish Times website >>