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December 12, 2019

This is the time of year when we look back at the months that have passed and plan for the future. For Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 2019 was an amazing year, and we expect that 2020 will see even greater things!

To begin with, on January 1, 2019 BGU inaugurated its new President, Prof Daniel Chamovitz, replacing Prof. Rivka Carmi, M.D., who had held the post for twelve years. American-born Prof. Chamovitz, an expert in plant sciences, is the former Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University, were he founded the Manna Program for Food Security. His popular book, “What a Plant Knows’, has been translated into 18 languages.

Research at BGU never stops! Even during the rocket attacks last November, when the University was officially closed and classes were cancelled, many labs remained open because every precious minute counts. Take a look at some of these fascinating reports on developments in science, medicine, archaeology, agriculture and culture and note that BGU has made it into two international ranking systems.

Some highlights of 2019:

January: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Mourns the Death of Amos Oz

February: <>BGU Leads International Effort to Eradicate Polio

March: <>Scientists Reveal a Treasure Trove of Biodiversity Secrets in the Worlds Web Browsing Behavior

April: <>Archaeologists discover ancient desert settlement in Beersheba, Israel

May: <>Ben-Gurion University Researchers Think Out of the Box in Basic Research on Neurological Diseases and Cancer

June: <>Killing Time: BGU Researcher Analyzes Play Stoppages in English Premier League Football

July: <>In Israel, You Say Tomato, I Say . . . AI?

August: <>A Bedouin Eco-Farm Celebrates A Decade of Sustainability

September: <>BGU Breaks Into World's Top 50 Universities Producing Entrepreneurs

October: <>Ben-Gurion University Study Says 'Havana Syndrome' Caused By Pesticides

November: <>Gene Governing Nocturnal Cardiac Atrial Fibrillation Discovered at BGU

December: <>BGU Ranked 15th in Nature Index's Top 50 Under 50

For the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 2019 was also an exciting year:

Montreal hosted students competing in Concordia University’s John Molson International MBA Case Competition for the 9th consecutive year and another group who competed in Concordia’s ENGCOMM. The annual Main Event featured Avi Issacharoff, co-founder of the Netflix series “Fauda” and raised funds for the Feifer Fellowship in Nanotechnology.

A recently featured guest in Toronto was Alon Ben-Gurion, grandson of Israel’s first Prime Minister, who charmed his audience with reminiscences and anecdotes about his beloved grandfather.

The Gala Dinner in honour of Hope and Howard Morry was the jewel of Winnipeg’s fall season! Six hundred people came together to honour this very remarkable couple, and to hear Prof. Alan Dershowitz speak. The family of Winnipeg’s own Philip Kives z”l created the Philip and Ellie Kives Family Scholarship to support research in liver cancer at BGU.

Vancouver hosted several events featuring BGU researchers on a variety of topics - Artificial Intelligence in healthcare, Autism and Alzheimer’s/dementia.

And President Chamovitz did a whirlwind tour of Canada, visiting Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and appearing at the Winnipeg Gala Dinner, sharing his vision of BGU’s future.

And for 2020? In May the University celebrates its 50th anniversary at the Board of Governors Meeting – please stay tuned for more stories about Israel’s most dynamic university!

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

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