Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dan David Prize

The last two days were a celebration of the Dan David Prize. This is a prize donated by the late Dan David and hosted by Tel Aviv university. The main prize is very large, and every year is given in three areas representing the past, the present and the future. This year the future looking subject was "genome research" an area close to us. The winners were David Botstein, Eric Lander, and Craig Venter. All three were main players in the sequencing of the human genome, but did much more before and after this milestone.

From the left: Craig Venter, Eric Lander, David Botstein, TAU rector, Lady Gilbert, Smadar Fisher.

One of the nice aspects of the Dan David prize, is that each winner "donates" 10% of the prize to fellowships that are awarded to graduate students in the same field. Both Moran and Michal were selected as recipients of the graduare student prize work in the genomre research catagory. In total 5 Tel Aviv students and 5 international students were awarded. Thus out of the 5 non-TAU winners, two were related to our group.

Michal getting a hug from Eric

Moran posing for a formal photo

To add to the story, Moran and Michal were of the same year in undergradute studies here in our Computational Biology program, and are good friends. Moran continued to do her MSc with me, while Michal did her MSc at the Weizmann. Moran continued to her PhD studies with me, but during the course of a collaboration with Aviv Regev at the Broad, she became co-advised by Aviv. More or less at the same time Michal started her PhD studies in MIT, and after a year of rotations elected to study with Aviv. I became involved with Michal's research through a collaboration. Since then Michal spent several long visits in our group and is now an integrated part of our lab.

The two prize winners

Picture with the two advisors 

And so, both Moran and Michal were awarded the Dan David graduate prize by Eric Lander the head of the Broad Institute, where they both do research.

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