Dr. Ruth Ben-Yakar has been appointed Chief Business Officer of Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., which promotes the industrial application of inventions made by Weizmann Institute scientists. Dr. Ben-Yakar replaces Dr. Einat Zisman, who served in this post for eight years and will soon become President and CEO of Hadasit, the technology transfer company of Hadassah Medical Organization.
Dr. Ben-Yakar (Maya) earned a Ph.D. with honors from the Weizmann Institute in 2001. Her doctoral research, under the guidance of Prof. Moshe Oren of the Institute’s Molecular Cell Biology Department, focused on the growth of cancer cells and won her prestigious scholarships from a number of institutions, including the Wolf Foundation.
Her most recent appointment was Vice President for Project Management at Gamida Cell. Among other duties, she managed the StemEx project, part of a joint development by Gamida and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. In addition, she was involved in the company’s business development.
Prior to that, Dr. Ben-Yakar served as Vice President for Development and Applications at Procognia. She coordinated wide-ranging R&D activities, was responsible for managing the company’s collaborative projects and took part in various business ventures as well as in leading the company to its initial public offering at the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange.
Earlier in her career in the biotech industry, she served as a senior project manager at QBI, conducting R&D in the area of cancer therapy.
Dr. Ben-Yakar is a mother of two and lives in Shoham.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,600 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.
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