Board Members

Prof. Ariel Porat


Prof. Ariel Porat was elected the ninth President of Tel Aviv University in May 2019. After receiving his LLB degree and direct JSD degree at TAU, he performed post-doctoral studies at Yale Law School.  In 1990, he joined TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law, where he is the incumbent of the Alain Poher Chair in Private Law. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Prof. Porat’s main research interests are torts, contract law and the economic analysis of the law, and he has published many books and articles in these areas. He served for 15 years as an Associate Member and Fischel-Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago (2003-2019). He was also Visiting Professor at Stanford University, and at the Universities of New York, Columbia, Berkeley, Virginia and Toronto. He was a member of the Board of the American Law and Economics Association for three years, and is a member of the American Law Institute.


From 2002 to 2006, Prof. Porat served as Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law, during which period he introduced joint LLM programs together with the UC Berkeley and Northwestern University. He also founded an admittance program for students from Israel’s geographic and social periphery, which was initially at the Law Faculty and thereafter adopted throughout the University. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Prof. Porat was Director of the Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law (1997-2002), where he founded the journal Theoretical Inquiries in Law, today ranked as one of the world’s leading journals in the field of law theory.

Prof. Porat has been the recipient of numerous honors, among them the EMET Prize, Chesin Prize, Zeltner Prize and Zusman Prize.

Prof. Dan Peer


Prof. Dan Peer is a Full Professor and the Director of the Laboratory of Precision NanoMedicine at Tel Aviv University (TAU).

From Oct. 2020 he is the Vice President for Research & Development at Tel Aviv University. From 2016-2020, he was the Chair of Tel Aviv University Cancer Biology Research Center; the biggest Cancer Center in Israel that includes 17 affiliated hospitals and from 2017 he is the Founding and Managing Director of SPARK Tel Aviv, Center for Translational Medicine at TAU.

Prof. Peer’s work was among the first to demonstrate systemic delivery of RNA molecules using targeted nanocarriers to the immune system and he pioneered the use of RNA interference (RNAi) as drug discovery tools in immune cells. In addition, his lab was the first to show systemic, cell specific delivery of modified mRNA to cells to induce therapeutic gene expression of desired proteins. This has enormous applications in cancer, inflammation and infection diseases. In addition, he pioneered the use of targeted lipid nanoparticles as carriers for molecular medicines (gene silencing, gene expression and gene editing).

Prof. Peer has more than 120 pending and granted patents. Some of them have been licensed to several pharmaceutical companies and one is currently under registration. In addition, based on his work, five spin-off companies were generated aiming to bring innovative personalized molecular medicines into clinical practice using precision nanotechnology.

Prof. Peer is a scientific advisory board member in more than 15 companies and on the scientific advisory board of 20 journals. He is a past President of the Israeli Chapter of the Controlled Release Society, and a Past Member of the Board of the Israel Young Academy.


Gady Frank


Director-General of Tel Aviv University

Gady Frank is an alumnus of Tel Aviv University, having completed both his BA degree in Economics (Cum Laude) and Communication and MA in Economics (Cum Laude) at the University. From 2006-09 Mr. Frank served as senior economist on the National Economic Council of the Prime Minister’s Office. He then went on to hold several key positions on the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), including serving as Deputy Director-General for Planning and Policy from 2009-11; Deputy Director General, Head of Budgeting Division from 2011-13; and Director General of the Planning and Budgetary Committee and the CHE from 2013-2017.

Orna Berry


Orna Berry is an Israeli scientist, High-tech entrepreneur, businesswoman, senior executive among the Israeli science and technology industries and laureate of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Award. Orna Berry is recognized for her work in promoting excellence, entrepreneurship, and innovation in Israeli society. She was the first woman to serve as Chief Scientist and head of the industrial R&D operation of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour (1996–2000).
Among her many achievements, Orna received the Cyber Protector Award for her exceptional contribution to Cyber Research in Israel and two honorary fellowship awards recognizing her lifetime pioneering and entrepreneurship activities from the Academic College of Tel-Aviv and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
Berry received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (USC) and was awarded with an honorary degree at McGill University in 2017.

Sharon Kaplinsky


Sharon is a leading specialist in international business development within the healthcare industry (Biopharma, Medical Devices, Digital Health, Health IT).

Moved by the brilliant, innovative, and resilient ability of Israeli start-ups to contribute to the world’s most pressing challenges, Sharon was inspired to help accelerate the growth of Israeli technologies and connect them with the right partners and investors.

Star Tree Ventures was born.

Prior to founding Star Tree Ventures, Sharon was a founder and managed the business development and strategic planning of Orphan Technologies Ltd, a company focused on research and development of innovative therapies for rare, life-threatening diseases with unmet medical needs. In this role, she conducted the due-diligence on hundreds of early-stage healthcare products and led several licensing transactions.

Prior to that, Sharon was an Associate Consultant at Defined Health, a leading Business Development consulting company in New Jersey. In that capacity, she provided strategic advice, support, and due-diligence to leading global biopharmaceutical companies, focused on the scientific, clinical, regulatory, and commercial outlook for their products.

Sharon also served as Research Analyst at Science and Technology Ventures, the Technology Transfer Office of Columbia University.

Sharon has evaluated and provided deep diligence on hundreds of products in dozens of indications, both for biopharmaceutical companies, as well as leading healthcare investment funds.

Sharon is a Board member at Ramot, the Technology Transfer Office of Tel Aviv University and a mentor in several Israeli accelerators.

Sharon holds a MA in Biotechnology from Columbia University and a B.Sc. Summa Cum Laude in Biology from Tel-Aviv University (Member of Special Honors Research Program).

Prof. Itai Benhar


Prof. Benhar received his PhD in Molecular Biology from Hebrew University in 1992, where he studied control of bacterial gene expression. Prof. Benhar did his post-doctoral training at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, working with Dr. Ira Pastan on recombinant immunotoxins.  In 1995, Prof. Benhar joined the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University as a tenure-track assistant professor. Prof. Benhar received tenure in 2002, became an associate professor in 2005 and a full professor in 2008.  Between 2007 to 2011 Prof. Benhar served as the Department Chairman. Since 2014, Prof. Benhar is serving as Vice Dean for Research of the Faculty of Life Sciences.

Eden Shochat


Eden is an equal partner at Aleph, an early stage venture capital fund with $344 million under management, focused on serving Israeli entrepreneurs who want to build big, scalable, global businesses.

Prior to founding Aleph, Eden was a general partner at Genesis where he focused on seed-stage investments and was a co-founder of, the world leader in massive, web-scale face recognition in social networks, acquired by Facebook. He also co-founded and was the CTO of Aternity, acquired by Riverbed, where he led the strategic product direction for its dominant user-experience monitoring platform.

Entrepreneurship is a passion for Eden, who started The Junction that was voted as the #1 startup program in Israel. He is one of the organizers of the annual Geekcon geeks conference and also teaches at the IDC (Herzliya interdisciplinary center) Zell entrepreneurship program.



Keren Primor Cohen


CEO, Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Keren has extensive and unique experience in leading complex technology transactions with Israeli and multinational companies in various fields.
Keren is an intellectual property expert with strong technological understanding, working closely with the industry, the Innovation Authority, Venture Capitals, Incubators, European Commission and other entities in initiating and structuring research collaboration, joint ventures and licensing transactions.
Keren had a major role in the formation of several funds that invest in promising technologies and the incorporation of dozens of start-up companies and serves as board member at several of Tel-Aviv University’s spin-off companies, as well as at TAU Ventures.
She holds a B.A. in Economics and LL.B. and LL.M. degrees, all from Tel Aviv University, and has been a member of the Israeli Bar Association since 2000. Prior to joining Ramot, Keren worked at Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the technology-transfer office of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and at RiT Technologies Ltd., at the time, a publicly traded Israeli company at the Nasdaq.

Dr. Kinneret Livnat Savitzky


Dr. Kinneret Livnat Savitzky is the Director / Chairperson at a variety of biotech entities, and Held director / chairperson position in a number of companies and organizations including BioLineRx, ILSI, Evogene Ltd. (Nasdaq: EVGN, TASE: EVGN), Compugen Ltd., KAHR medical, DreaMed Diabetes, Biomica, Hadasit, FutuRx and its portfolio companies.

She is also serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Board member of FutuRx, an Israeli biotechnology accelerator established by OrbiMed Israel Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Takeda Ventures Inc., with the office of the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA). Recently Bayer’s venture arm LEAPS joined as a partner in FutuRx as well.

Before that she served as Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx, General Manager of Bioline Innovations Jerusalem (BIJ) Between the years 2005 – 2009, VP of drug development, BiolineRx Between 2004 – 2005.

Between the years 1997 – 2004 Dr. Savitzky held several positions, the last of which being Vice President of Biology at Compugen Ltd. Besides the Biology R&D, was involved in collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Savitzky holds the titles: Ph.D. with distinction in Human Genetics from Tel Aviv University, Master’s degree in human genetics from Tel Aviv University and B.Sc. in Biology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Yael Margolin


Dr. Margolin has more than 35 years of experience in the biotech, pharmaceutical and venture capital industries.

Served as President and CEO of Gamida Cell between 2005-2018, leading the company from preclinical development through phase 3 international registration studies. Former Vice President of Denali Ventures LLS, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare, and a program manager at Teva Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Margolin holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science and was a post-doctoral associate at the Yael University School of Medicine.

Dr. Yuval Cabilly


Dr. Yuval Cabilly is co-founder and Managing Partner of Israel Biotech Fund, a venture capital fund investing in exceptional Israeli pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Cabilly serves on the Board of Directors of Pharma Two B and Tamarix. He is also co-founder and Board Member of 8400 – The Health Network.

Dr. Cabilly received his PhD in molecular cell biology from the Tel Aviv University. His research focused on neurodegenerative diseases.

Imad Telhami


Imad Telhami is a Businessman and entrepreneur who has substantial management experience and a long and successful history in global management.
For 25 Years he served in various management positions of Delta Galil and as a CEO.

In 2008, Telhami founded Babcom Centers in north. In 2020 the company employed approximately 3000 employees, of which 70% are from the Arab sector and 80% women. Babcom has sites all across the country. Babcom focuses on two main objectives: investing in people and providing excellent, high quality services including call centers, software and other services.
In line with Telhami’s vision, the company has Arab and Jewish stakeholders and was co-founded with the industrialist, Dov Lautman.
Telhami is committed to empowering and advancing the Arab community in Israel.
Telhami has served in positions on several councils and boards of directors and has participated in a number of projects with partners who share his commitment, including:
The Lautman Fund, Appleseeds Academy, member of the Board and Executive Committee of the University of Haifa.

He is a member of the Board of Kav Mashve ,Alfanar, the Israel democracy institute.
Telhami founded in 2014 Takwin Labs, an investment fund for Arab entrepreneurs together with Chemi Peres and Erel Margalit. The fund made 8 investments and following its success it is now raising a follow up fund, Takwin Ventures 2.

In 2010 The Marker magazine chose Mr. Telhami as one of the 101 influencers for the benefit of Israeli society and economy.

In 2018 he received a PhD degree in honor of his work for integrating social work in his business on behalf of the Ben Gurion university.

In 2018 Harvard business school build a CASE STUDY about Babcom and the leadership of Telhami about the unique model of multicultural company and doing business with compaction. The case study became part of the curriculum in HBS.

In 2019 he received the Hugo Ramniceanu Economic award from the Tel Aviv University.
The Hugo Ramniceanu economy award was given in recognition of achievements in economics technology research and development in Israel.

Dr. Rachel Sheinin


Dr. Sheinin is an expert in the Israeli economy with over 30 years of experience. She specializes in building macroeconomic models for forecasting, economic analyses and simulations, particularly for the business sector. Her parallel line of expertise is investment management.

She is a cofounder of Economic Models Ltd, one of Israel’s foremost macroeconomic research, forecasting and economic consulting firms that served many of the largest and most significant business companies in the Israeli economy. Rachel focused on linking the macro forecasts to the specific products and services of clients.
Rachel is also a cofounder of Capital Market Models, an investment house for management of financial assets, and of Mutual Funds Models, a mutual fund management company, specializing in government and corporate bonds (in Israel and the USA).
Since 2016, Dr. Sheinin has served as Chairperson of the Investment Committee for Mutual Funds Models Ltd. and is currently the CEO of Capital Markets Models and Executive Vice President of Economic Models Ltd. She has lectured on various aspects of economics at various academic institutions.

From 2011-2019, Rachel served as a member of the Appointment Review Committee, an independent acting under the authority of the Government Companies Law.
Since 2005, Dr. Sheinin has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pinhas Sapir Center for Development at Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Sheinin has a Ph.D. & MA in economics from Tel Aviv University, and a BA in art history & economics from Tel Aviv University.

Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron


Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University (TAU), ISRAEL, and after a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University, she joined the faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University in 1986, where she is The Kranzberg Chair Professor in Signal Processing at the school of Electrical Engineering.

On 2000-3 she has been on leave from TAU, serving as the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science. After returning to TAU she was the head of the Porter school of environmental studies (2004-6), and the Vice President for Research and Development (2006-8).  Then, she has been the President of the Open University (2008-13), and from Oct. 2013 till January 2016 she has served as the Vice Chair of the Council of Higher Education, Israel. She was also one of the co-founders of ClimaCell.

Prof. Messer-Yaron, a Life Fellow of the IEEE, is an active researcher in the field of Statistical Signal Processing, with applications to environmental monitoring. She is also interested in various aspects of higher education and science policy, including science-society interplay, women in science and technology, and commercialization of academic research. Prof. Messer-Yaron is a member of COMEST, UNESCO committee for ethics in Science and Technology, and a member of the Executive Committee of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

Early stage startups with groundbreaking technology?

Join TAU Ventures and the Shabak Xcelerator to receive a $50K grant (no equity), POC with Shabak experts and access to the TAU Ventures ecosystem. 

Leave your details for additional information