Yair Rotstein, Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation

The scientists profiled in our first Vision Newsletter of 2019 have two things in common. First, they’ve all been recognized with coveted honors. Second, they are all past or current BSF grantees. At BSF, we have always promoted collaboration between the best and the brightest scientists in the United States and Israel. Here, you will meet some of the men and women who symbolize our mission.

Last year, Pinhas Alpert became the first Israeli to receive the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal for his outstanding contributions to atmospheric dynamics and aerosol science. When he began his career in the mid-1980s, BSF was one of the first organizations to award him a grant. He has received three additional grants since then. He proudly credits BSF for playing a major role in his success, and for supporting collaborations with several US scientists.

You will also meet Clifford Brangwynne, currently an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton. Last year alone, he was one of only 19 science investigators throughout the United States to receive funding through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s new $200 million initiative for innovative researchers. Then, he was named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Though they are officially called fellows, recipients are more commonly known as genius grant winners. Brangwynne was a BSF grantee in 2016, in its Transformative Science program for potentially groundbreaking research. He and Michael Elbaum of the Weizmann Institute of Science received a grant for their project focusing on cellular components called membraneless organelles. Further study could very well lead to more effective treatments for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Many BSF grantees go on to win major recognition later in their careers. At BSF, we believe young scientists and researchers deserve recognition as well. Each year, first-time recipients of new BSF grants become eligible for the Bergmann Memorial Award (open to grantees in all BSF-supported fields) and the Neufeld Memorial Award (for grantees in health sciences.) Here you can read about recent winners of these honors – all young men and women who display the creativity and curiosity that will take them far in their careers.

These are just some of the past and present BSF grantees whose work has been recognized in their specific fields. I am proud of all of them, and I am very gratified knowing that BSF has been part of their journeys.


Yair Rotstein
Executive Director