Improving Health & Medicine
Our Achievements

Improving Health & Medicine

Science for the benefit of health & medicine.

Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science has led to improved health and better medicine for people everywhere. Weizmann scientists discovered the basis of amniocentesis and new fertility treatments; discovered Copaxone® and Rebif®, today two of the frontline treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS); and developed a technology used in advanced medical imaging scans. They are creating diabetes vaccines and flu vaccines; using stem cells to grow new organs and T cells to treat damaged spines; and studying the origins of life and the origins of disease. Institute scientists are also advancing into the future of medicine: at its new Nancy and Stephen Grand Israel National Center for Personalized Medicine, treatments and therapies designed just for the patient will become a reality. From understanding the origins of disease to developing the basis for new medicines, the Institute’s basic science research is leading to a healthier world.

Weizmann by the Numbers

  • Weizmann research led to two of the first-line drugs for MS: Copaxone® and Rebif®
  • Chances of pregnancy double after our biopsy-based fertility treatment 
  • Prof. Ada Yonath: first woman in 45 years-just the fourth in history-to win the Nobel in Chemistry, and the first Israeli female laureate 

Selected Achievements

Imagine science that doubles the chances of women with fertility problems to conceive.

The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Nava Dekel discovered that performing a uterine biopsy just before a woman undergoes in vitro fertilization (IVF) doubles the chances of a successful pregnancy. Her method is now being used by women all over the world.

Imagine science that helps paralyzed people get around and locked-in patients communicate.

Prof. Noam Sobel and his team of Weizmann Institute neurobiologists invented a device that enables quadriplegic persons to drive a wheelchair and locked-in patients to write using a computer – all by sniffing. The revolutionary, easy-to-use device is being studied for other uses as well.

Imagine science that uncovers the genetic link between stress and metabolic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes.

Weizmann scientists have identified a single gene linking stress to obesity and diabetes, and have shown that the gene’s action in the brain has profound effects on the metabolism of the whole body.

Imagine science being able to create kidneys for the nearly 80,000 Americans who need transplants annually.

Stem cell research by Weizmann’s Prof. Yair Reisner yielded the creation of functioning human kidneys in mice, offering hope for patients suffering from organ failure. The ability to “grow” new organs would save untold numbers of lives.

Imagine science in chemistry worthy of the Nobel Prize.

The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Ada Yonath won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for deciphering the structure and function of the ribosome, the cell’s protein factory. Her achievement helps clarify the exact mode of action of antibiotic drugs and is aiding in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Imagine science that helps people with MS live longer, healthier lives.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects 2.5 million people worldwide. Copaxone® and Rebif®, two FDA-approved drugs that are now frontline treatments for MS, were developed thanks to Weizmann research.

Imagine science that can regenerate damaged spinal cord nerves.

Prof. Michal Schwartz and her team at the Weizmann Institute developed a treatment to regenerate damaged nerves in the spinal cord. This innovative approach involves boosting the body’s natural immune mechanisms to improve the outcome of trauma.

Imagine science ending the need for liver transplants by transforming stem cells into new liver cells.

Weizmann scientists discovered that stem cells in bone marrow can transform into liver cells and help repair a damaged liver–the second most-sought organ for transplantation in the U.S.

Imagine the discovery of amniocentesis, used to detect genetic issues in a developing human fetus.

In 1956, Weizmann Institute Prof. Leo Sachs and his colleagues published a scientific paper that led to the clinical application of amniocentesis, now routinely used all over the world.

Imagine science using algae to create a food product with anti-cancer properties.

A beta-carotene-based health food product with possible anti-cancer properties is derived from Dunaliella algae through a process developed at the Weizmann Institute.

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