Ph.D. candidate Lital Alfonta wins Kaye Award
Lital Alfonta, a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has developed a fast, inexpensive test to determine if an AIDS patient has developed resistance to the medication he is taking. Ms. Alfonta was selected to receive the prestigious Kaye Innovation Award for her work, which could vastly improve treatment of AIDS patients.
Ms. Alfonta, who developed the test under the guidance of Prof. Itamar Willner, of the Institute of Chemistry, and Professor of Molecular Virology Moshe Kotler, explained that the AIDS virus changes as the disease progresses and often becomes immune to the medications being used against it. However, the existing tests to check if a medicine is no longer effective because the virus is immune to it take three to four weeks to conduct and cost thousands of dollars, beyond the means of most AIDS patients. More importantly, those few weeks that it takes to evaluate the test results could be the difference between life and death in treating an AIDS patient.
The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University have been awarded annually since 1994. Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards to encourage faculty, staff, and students of the University to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential which will benefit the University and society. The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University are being awarded Tuesday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m. during the 65th meeting of the University Board of Governors. The award ceremony will take place in the Atzmaut-Mexico Hall in the Faculty of Humanities at the Mount Scopus Campus.
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Heidi Gleit, HU foreign press liaison: tel. 972-2-588-2904; cell, 972-64-454-593; email firstname.lastname@example.org
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