STEP Achievements

December, 2016


Tomer Simon, STEP Fellow 2016-2017, Ben Gurion University: Inspirational Alumnus of Tel Aviv University

Tomer is a graduate of the 2010 class of the Israeli program. Immediately upon graduating Tomer established the portal dedicated to propagating readiness and awareness to the field of emergency management. Five years thereafter, it has become the most comprehensive website dealing with preparedness in Israel. The main focus of is to promote readiness at the household level. It is also the only website that contains information in both Hebrew and Arabic, and is regularly visited by internet users from around the Middle East.

A year after graduating, Tomer pursued his PhD dissertation at Ben-Gurion University. His thesis focused on the use of social media by first responders during emergencies. Tomer is also a reserve major at the IDF and splits his time between the Home Front Command and the Ministry of Public Security in support of their preparedness to emergencies. Up until now, he published eight research papers in notable scientific journals and additional 30 in popular websites and blogs.
(Source: TAU Website 2016)

November, 2016


Katya Zelentsova,  STEP Fellow 2015, Hebrew University

The paper of Katya Zelentsova was accepted for publication in the prestigious journal, Stem Cells, and was published in November, 2016.




Summer 2016


Dan Weksler and Ahmad Al-Halaweh, STEP Fellows 2016-2017, Ben Gurion University

Dan and Ahmad helped organize Ben Gurion University’s Global Health Program.  (This was beyond the requirements of their STEP Fellowship.) As part of that educational program, they organized a day-long visit to Augusta Victoria Hospital in Palestinian East Jerusalem, where Ahmad directs the Diabetes Clinic. Students from Hebrew University also attended. As a result of this introduction, two international students decided to write papers on the Palestinian health care system.


Spring 2016


Ikram Salah and Barak Hermesh, STEP Fellows 2016-2017, Ben Gurion University

Ikram and Barak are meeting to promote a “One Health” working group, a multidisciplinary team that recognizes the connection between the health of humans and animals.  The One Health approach will help address the spread of diseases in and between Israeli and Palestinian communities.





Presentations and Posters STEP Fellows 2015

Orit Steinmetz

Poster presentation entitled “CX3CR1high Monocytes Support Porphyromonas gingivalis Survival in the Host” at the 2nd International Conference on Porphyromonas gingivalis and related species in oral and systemic diseases, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, England. June 23-25, 2015.

Steinmetz O, Hoch S, Avniel-Polak S, Gavish K, Eli-Berchoer L, Wilensky A, Nussbaum G. “CX3CR1hi Monocyte/Macrophages Support Bacterial Survival and Experimental Infection-Driven Bone Resorption.” 2016. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 213(9):1505-15

Hasnaa’ Makkawi

Oral presentation entitled “Engineering probiotic bacteria to modulate the host response to Porphyromonas gingivalis” at the University of Melbourne-Hebrew University joint workshop “Biofilms: new perspectives on an old problem,” June 15-16, 2015