Canada's Governor General Visits Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine

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Canada's Governor General Visits Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine

Discussed collaborative medical research partnerships between Canada and Israel at IMRIC, the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada

Mrs. Johnston Visited Early Childhood Programs at Hebrew University

IMRIC Researcher Prof. Ehud Cohen, Governor General David Johnston, Hebrew University President Menachem Ben-Sasson, IMRIC Chair Prof. Haya Lorberboum-Galski, Mrs. Sharon Johnston, Faculty of Medicine Dean Prof. David Lichtstein, and IMRIC researcher Prof. Abraham Fainsod, during the Governor General’s visit to the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada.

Jerusalem, November 3, 2016 — The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, and his wife Sharon Johnston visited the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Medicine today. The 28th Governor General of Canada and the first to make a state visit to Israel, Johnston was accompanied by a delegation that discussed collaborative medical research partnerships between Canada and Israel.

The delegation visited IMRIC, the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada — one of the most innovative biomedical research organizations worldwide, bringing together Canadian and Israeli scientists to find solutions to the world's most serious medical problems through a multidisciplinary approach (www.imric.org).

The visit to the Hebrew University comes in the context of forging greater ties between Canadian and Israeli innovation and educational institutions. Prior to visiting Israel, the Governor General wrote in an op-ed, "We are looking beyond our borders for ideas and innovation – and what better place to look than Israel, a leader in new ideas and innovative thinking. We have much to learn from each other."

The Governor General and Mrs. Johnston were welcomed by the President of the Hebrew University, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, who expressed appreciation for his first official visit to the university and especially to IMRIC where Canadian and Israeli research partnerships thrive: “When you travel abroad you want to feel at home, and here at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine you can feel right at home. At the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Canadians are directly involved in the translational medicine taking place here. Together, Israel and Canada are translating science into medicine and, ultimately, healing the world.”

Governor General Johnston replied, “You greeted us by saying ‘Welcome home,’ and you explained why: the common ground we have, and the sharing of knowledge. The diplomacy of knowledge is very enabling, and that is what we celebrate at an institute like this, a Canada-Israel institute of medicine.”

Prof. David Lichtstein, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, introduced the academic portion of the visit and Prof. Haya Lorberboum-Galski, Chairman of the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, gave an overview of the Institute for Medical Research-Israel Canada, where the delegation discussed collaborative medical research partnerships between Canada and Israel. These partnerships include the Alex U. Soyka Pancreatic Cancer Research Project; the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Cancer Genomics and Immunotherapy Program; the Canada-Israel International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Consortium; and a collaboration with the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Part of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine, IMRIC is one of the most innovative biomedical research organizations worldwide, bringing together brilliant scientific minds to find solutions to the world's most serious medical problems through a multidisciplinary approach to biomedical research. Prof. Abraham Fainsod and Prof. Ehud Cohen described their research into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Alzheimer's Disease, respectively. IMRIC is an stellar example of groundbreaking and collaborative research in the medical field by pulling resources to fight diseases. A concrete example of this collaboration is a joint research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder with the University of Manitoba.

On Wednesday, Sharon Johnston visited HIPPY Israel (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), which offers early childhood programs to thousands of families among Israel's native-born Arab and Jewish communities.  As honourary patron of HIPPY Canada she met with leaders of the HIPPY Israel program to learn about services offered by the organization. She heard from several mothers who said that participating in HIPPY has helped them become more effective parents, and she discussed common challenges, lessons and experiences among the Canadian and Israeli programs.

HIPPY Israel the most veteran of al HIPPY programs worldwide, founded in the late 1960's through the NCJW at the School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is dedicated to the principles of equal education opportunity and social inclusion, working with communities and families who face socio-economic challenges, helping parents and caregiversc to nurture children's readiness for school and their motivation to reach their highest potential.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's leading academic and research institution and is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. Founded in 1918 by visionaries including Albert Einstein, the Hebrew University is a pluralistic institution where science and knowledge are advanced for the benefit of humankind. The Hebrew University produces one third of all civilian research in Israel. For more information, please visit http://new.huji.ac.il/en.

An instructor for the past 18 years in the HIPPY Israel program presents Mrs. Johnston a bracelet she made for her, inscribed with the words “From Birth to University.” “I will wear this to the state dinner tonight,” said Mrs. Johnston.

The President of the Hebrew University, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, welcomes the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston

Prof. Gad Yair, Director of the NCJW Research Center for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University, discusses the HIPPY Israel program with Mrs. Johnston.

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CFHU is dedicated to supporting IMRIC through direct funding and by developing key collaborative medical research partnerships between Canada
and Israel.
www.imric.org

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