Israel’s Sheba Medical Center teams up with US health agency for pandemic research

Ramat Gan hospital to work with NIH for the quick identification of emerging pathogens and rapid deployment of scientific tools to fight them

US and Israeli researchers announce the formation of the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute (SPRI), December 22, 2022 (Courtesy Sheba Medical Center)
US and Israeli researchers announce the formation of the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute (SPRI), December 22, 2022 (Courtesy Sheba Medical Center)

An Israeli hospital has announced a new pandemic research institute in partnership with the US government’s National Institutes of Health.

The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan said in a statement that the new institute will focus on research, as well as working to create the tools necessary to fight epidemics and pandemics in the future.

Researchers in Israel will work directly with their counterparts in the United States to quickly diagnose emerging pathogens, allowing them to predict the viral and bacterial threats of the future.

The new partnership, to be named the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute (SPRI), was announced at a ceremony on Thursday.

“The establishment of the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to prevent and combat future epidemics and pandemics,” said Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Sheba Pandemic Research Institute & Infectious Diseases Unit.

“Together with the NIH, we hope that the discovery of pathogens and infectious diseases can be translated into health outcomes that not only improve but protect the lives of patients worldwide,” Regev-Yochay said in a statement.

Prof. Daniel Douek, chief of the NIH’s Human Immunology Section, Vaccine Research Center and newly appointed senior scientific adviser at SPRI, said he believed the collaboration with the Israeli hospital could lead to breakthroughs in healthcare.

“The core of the National Institutes of Health and Vaccine Research Center mission is the application of scientific and technological knowledge to design and develop vaccines and biologics against infectious diseases,” Douek said in a statement. “Together with Sheba, we can turn discovery into real health advances.”

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