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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.