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Professor Rivka Carmi, President of Ben-Gurion University, Israel, 3 February 2011

TRADE EVENT

Professor Rivka Carmi addressed a Trade Boardroom event for 20 senior medical, business & academic executives where she discussed “Medical breakthroughs in paediatrics” - based on Israel’s experience”.

We were honoured that Professor Rivka Carmi, President of Ben-Gurion University visited Australia to share her experiences and establish collaborative opportunities.

With her election in 2006, President Carmi made history by becoming the first woman to head an Israeli university. This came only a few years after she became the first female dean of an Israeli medical school. She has held a number of senior administrative positions, including Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences; Director of the Genetics Institute at the Soroka University Medical Centre in Beer-Sheva; and Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Medical Deans.

Carmi shared some of her personal achievements on medical genetics research, particularly the delineation of clinical manifestations and molecular basis of genetic diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population. She has identified 12 new genes; delineated three new syndromes, and established a model of community outreach that bridges the distance between clinical research and preventative health care, for which she has been recognized with a number of international honors, including the Award for Peace from the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) and Hadassah’s 2008 Women of Distinction Award.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was established with the aim to spearhead the development of the Negev, a desert area comprising more than 60% of the country. The University was inspired by the vision of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who believed that the future of the country lay in this region.

Today, Ben-Gurion University is a major centre for teaching and research, with over 17,000 students enrolled in the faculties of Engineering, Health, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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