News and Events

The 8th Rambam Summit: The Kidney—Genetics and Beyond

Publication Date: 6/8/2017

​​This week, Rambam HCC welcomed a distinguished circle of friends, supporters, and global leaders in the fields of medicine, industry, and finance, to the 2017 Rambam Summit. This year's theme was “The Kidney—Genetics, and Beyond.”

From L-R: Professor Richard Horton, Ms. Alicia 
Kaylie-Yakobi, Professor Rafi Beyar, Ambassador 
Dennis B. Ross, Professor Jeffrey M. Drazen, and 
Professor Karl Skorecki.
Photographer: Morag BitanFrom L-R: Professor Richard Horton, Ms. Alicia Kaylie-Yakobi, Professor Rafi Beyar, Ambassador Dennis B. Ross, Professor Jeffrey M. Drazen, and Professor Karl Skorecki. Photographer: Morag Bitan

The Summit’s event-filled three-day program included the annual “Health of Tomorrow” scientific conference, where leaders in medicine and research from Israel and abroad share insights into the state of the art in their fields. This year, the conference focused on innovations in prevention and treatment of kidney disease, with a special emphasis on genetics. The conference was opened by Professor Karl Skorecki, Rambam’s Director of Medical and Research Development, a nephrologist and researcher of international stature who has made seminal discoveries on the genetic links to kidney diseases. Dr. Suheir Assady, Director of the Department of Nephrology and noted researcher in the nephrology field, presented an overview of the department’s activities and innovations.

In his opening remarks, Professor Rafi Beyar, Director and CEO of Rambam, noted that in 1965, Rambam was the first hospital in Israel to perform a kidney transplantation from a deceased donor; since then, hundreds of adults and children have received kidney transplantations at Rambam.

The conference’s distinguished list of speakers included leaders from the world’s two top medical publications, Jeffrey M. Drazen, Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, and Professor Richard Horton, editor of the leading British medical journal, The Lancet. Recently, The Lancet published a special issue on medicine in Israel, specifically acknowledging the contributions of Rambam, and Professors Beyar and Skorecki. The comments in this issue offered an important clarification after the journal published commentary critical of Israel during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Former Ambassador Dennis Ross, the American diplomat who served under the Clinton presidency, addressed the audience on the challenges facing the Middle East.

Unique perspectives on nephrology were presented by Professor Julie Ingelfinger, a pediatric nephrologist from Harvard Medical School, and Professor Dwomoa Adu from Ghana. A panel of experts, including Dr. Assady, Dr. Daniella Magen, Director of Pediatric Nephrology at Rambam, and Dr. Hagit Baris-Feldman, Director of the Genetics Institute at Rambam, addressed genetic research developments for treatment of kidney diseases.

In meetings, visits and tours, Summit participants learned of Rambam’s latest accomplishments, including developments in the MindUP digital medicine incubator, of which Rambam is a key clinical partner; a new agreement with Haifa University to establish a Health Discovery Tower on Rambam’s West Campus; and a successful pilot recently conducted in collaboration with MDClone, an Israeli startup developing a system that gives researchers access to relevant patient data without compromising their privacy.

The Rambam Summit ended with its traditional Gala Dinner, and the 2017 Rambam Awards ceremony, honoring individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to promote the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Israel and the world, were presented. This year's recipients were Professor Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet; philanthropists Gloria and Harvey Kaylie (the award was presented to their daughter Alicia, on their behalf); Ambassador Dennis B. Ross, and Professor Jeffrey M. Drazon, Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Inaugurated in 2010, the Rambam Summit focuses on the intersection between medicine, technology, and humanity. Previous summits have highlighted topics including state-of-the-art medical technologies, pediatrics, trauma medicine, cardiology, and digital medicine.