News and Events

Prestigious Youdim Family Prize in Cancer Research Presented at Rambam

Publication Date: 2/2/2016

​This week Rambam HCC presented the third Youdim Family Prize for Cancer Research to Professor Binyamin Dekel. The prize was established by the Israeli scientist from Iran who unlocked the secrets of neurodegeneration.

(L-R) Professor Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam
with awardee Professor Binyamin Dekel and 
Professor Moussa Yodim.(L-R) Professor Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam with awardee Professor Binyamin Dekel and Professor Moussa Yodim.

The prestigious “Youdim Family Prize for Cancer Research” was awarded for the third consecutive year during a festive ceremony this week at Rambam Health Care Campus. The prize, which includes a grant of $20,000, was bestowed upon Professor Binyamin Dekel, Director of the Institute for Pediatric Stem Cell Research and Director of the Pediatric Nephrology Unit in the Safra Children’s Hospital of Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel.

The Youdim Family Prize is considered one of Israel’s most prestigious research awards, acknowledging excellence, innovation and/or a major breakthrough in cancer research. The prize was established by Professor Moussa Youdim, a pioneering researcher at the Technion’s Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. His ground-breaking research has led to the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

The ceremony was led by Professor Miryam Ben-Harush, Director of Rambam’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, Director of the Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, and a renowned pediatric cancer researcher in her own right. Professor Dekel, the prize recipient, presented a talk entitled “From Kidney Development to Tumorigenesis to Therapeutics.”

During the ceremony Professor Youdim spoke about the trajectory of his own research in the field of neuro-psychopharmacology. On a personal level, he shared about his family’s experience in dealing with cancer that led him to establish the award.

Professor Youdim’s fascinating life story began with his birth in Tehran in 1940. He went on to study at McGill University in Canada and immigrated to Israel in 1977, at which time he was appointed Director of the Pharmacology Department in the Technion's Faculty of Medicine. During his close to fifty years of research, Youdim has elucidated basic mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and helped develop innovative drugs for treating Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. In cooperation with the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva, Professor Youdim was involved in developing a second-generation drug for Parkinson’s disease which is now being used to treat patients worldwide.

The ceremony was conducted in Hebrew. You can view the ceremony on Rambam's YouTube channel.