Symposium Speakers

  • Yoav Henis
    Professor Yoav Henis is the Vice President for Research and Development, Tel Aviv University
    (TAU). His doctoral thesis, from the Hebrew University under the guidance of Prof. Alexander
    Levitzki, won the Hebrew University Kennedy-Lee prize for the best thesis of the year. In 1981
    he became a faculty member at the Department of Biochemistry at TAU, and then at the
    Department of Neurobiology, in the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences.

    Professor Henis has held visiting scholar positions at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, the
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Berkeley, CA, at Duke University Medical Center in
    Durham, NC and has won many other prizes and fellowships. Professor Henis has served on many
    university committees and is active in scientific organizations in Israel and the USA.

    Professor Henis is a leader in the Cancer Biophysics field. His studies combine cell biology with
    membrane biophysics to elucidate, in live cells, the action mechanisms of cancer-related

    As Vice President for Research and Development at Tel Aviv University, Professor Henis is in
    charge of advancing the research and development activities in the university, and of making the
    information accumulated at the university available to the scientific community. In addition,
    Professor Henis works hard to pave the way for new research opportunities.

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  • Thomas Levenson
    Thomas Levenson writes and makes films about science, engineering, and anything
    else that catches his magpie's eye.  His work includes five books, most recently
    The Hunt for Vulcan, Newton and the Counterfeiter, and Einstein in Berlin,
    and about a dozen science documentaries. He has received a Guggenheim
    Fellowship and has won the AAAS and National Academy of Sciences awards,
    and shared a Peabody Award.  In his day job, he’s a professor of science writing
    at MIT. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, son and a semi-feral cat.
  • Laura Lindenfeld
    Dr. Laura Lindenfeld is director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and
    Professor in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural
    studies from the University of California, Davis (2003). Previously, Dr. Lindenfeld directed the Margaret
    Chase Smith Policy Center, a nonpartisan, independent research unit of the University of Maine.
    She is passionate about supporting scientists to communicate their work in more direct and
    engaging ways.

    Much of Dr. Lindenfeld’s research focuses on environmental communication, especially in the area of
    sustainability. With a keen interest in food culture, she has dedicated significant effort to
    investigating the relationship of food and media and to understanding how we can advance
    more sustainable food systems in the U.S. She and her co-author, Fabio Parasecoli, associate
    professor and director of Food Studies Initiatives at the New School of Social Research, look
    forward to the release of their book with Columbia University Press, “Feasting Our Eyes: Food
    Films, and Cultural Identity in the United States.”

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  • David Mendlovic
    Professor David Mendlovic received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in
    Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University, Israel, where
    he is currently a Full Professor of Electro Optics. He has
    authored more than 200 technical articles and 3 book
    chapters, and is the holder of more than 40 patents, which
    have all been commercialized.

    He is a founder of successful opto-electronics startup companies (e.g. Civcom and Eyesquad)
    and served as their CEO. Civcom Inc. was acquired by Padtec S/A of Brazil;
    Eyesquad was acquired by Tessera Inc (NASDAQ symbol: TSRA). Prof. Mendlovic also founded
    Corephotonics, where he serves as the CEO. Recently he founded Unispectral, which is a spin-off
    of Tel Aviv University.

    From January 2008 until December 2010, Professor Mendlovic was the Chief Scientist
    of the Israeli Ministry of Science. He also served for 6 years as the Co-Chair of
    the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development. At
    present he serves as Vice Dean for Research of the Faculty of Engineering at Tel
    Aviv University. He also co-ordinates the new Tel Aviv University Center for
    Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is the Chairman of StarTAU, and the Founder
    of TAU Ventures.

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  • Mordechai (Moti) Segev
    Moti Segev is the Robert J. Shillman Distinguished Professor of Physics at Technion–
    Israel Institute of Technology. After receiving his PhD from the Technion, he did a
    postdoc at Caltech, and then taught at Princeton for several years. Subsequently, he
    returned to Israel and the Technion, where he was appointed Distinguished Professor in

    Moti’s interests are mainly in nonlinear optics, photonics, solitons, sub-wavelength
    imaging, lasers, quantum simulators and quantum electronics, although he finds
    entertainment in more demanding fields such as basketball and hiking. He has won
    numerous international and national awards. He was elected to the Israel Academy of
    Sciences and Humanities, and to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. In 2014
    Moti Segev won the Israel Prize in Physics, the highest honor for an Israeli scientist.

    He takes pride in the success of his graduate students and postdocs. Currently, 19 of them
    are professors in the USA, Germany, Taiwan, Croatia, Italy, India and Israel. Many of his
    students hold senior R&D positions in industry.

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  • Yossi Vardi
    One of Israel’s early entrepreneurs, Yossi Vardi co-founded, led, funded and helped build more than 80
    high-tech, energy, natural resources, and clean-tech companies. As the founding investor of Mirabilis
    Ltd—the creator of iCQ—Vardi co-pioneered instant messaging.

    Vardi has served as Director General of the Israel Ministry of Development and of the Ministry of Energy. He was Chairman of the Israel National Oil Company, and of Israel Chemicals. Vardi participated in the peace talks with Egypt, the Palestinians, Jordan and Syria.

    Vardi serves on many boards, including the Jerusalem Foundation, the Technion, the Weizmann
    Institute, Hebrew University, and the Open University. He has served as advisor to companies
    around the world, and is a member of the World Economic Forum, and Co-Chairman
    of the EU-Israel Business Dialogue. He has received the Israeli Prime Minister’s
    Hi-Tech Award for Life Achievement twice and has been named Best Internet Personality
    by TechCrunch Europe, Entrepreneur of the Year by Tel Aviv University, and one of Europe’s
    25 top techs by The Wall Street Journal.

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  • Galit Yovel
    Professor Galit Yovel is the head of the School of Psychological Science and a faculty member in
    the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. She received her PhD in Psychology
    from the University of Chicago and completed post-doctoral training in the Department of Brain
    and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. She joined Tel Aviv University in 2005, where she set up the
    Person Recognition Lab.

    Professor Yovel’s research focuses on the neural and cognitive mechanisms of person
    recognition. She uses a comprehensive approach to study the roles of the face, body voice and
    motion in person recognition, using neuroimaging techniques such as fMRI and EEG as well as
    behavioral measures and eye tracking. Her recent findings go beyond the study of perceptual
    information in face recognition and highlight the roles of conceptual information and multi-
    modal dynamic information in person recognition. She recently received the Bruno Award from
    the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies. The award is presented each year to Israeli scholars
    and scientists who display exceptional promise, and whose achievements to date suggest
    future breakthroughs in their respective fields.

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