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USC and Technion

On February 19, 2012, the University of Southern California Delegation to Israel traveled to the ancient city of Haifa to meet with academic counterparts from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Haifa, a center of high tech industries, is considered Israel's Silicon Valley. The presence of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa was one of the driving forces that led to the establishment of MATAM, the largest and oldest business and science-based industry park in Israel. Technion has had a leading role in determining the high-tech complexion of the city.  The world-renowned names that are in this Israeli tech corridor include Philips, Microsoft, Intel, Elbit, Google, Amdocs and Qualcomm.

Dinner with Technion Guests

The first major collaborative evening of the Israel visit was held at Madatech, Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology and Space. Established in 1983, Madatech is housed in historic landmark buildings, located in the heart of a 7 acres green campus in mid-town Haifa. Designed at the turn of the 20th century, by renowned German Jewish architect, Alexander Baerwald, it was originally home to the Technion – Israel’s Institute of Technology, the country's first academic institution. Pictured in the photo above are (l. to r.) USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett; Technion President Peretz Lavie; Mrs. Niki Nikias; USC President C. L. Max Nikias; and Technion Professor Aaron Ciechanover, who was a co-recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.

Gardens of Bahá’í

Between meetings, the USC Delegation to Israel toured the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa , a remarkable site inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. These gardens, high above the Haifa Port, comprise a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, stands on the central terrace, looking across the bay towards ‘Akko.

Carmel Medical Center

Dr. Stephen Gruber (l.), director of the Norris Cancer Center of USC, met with Professor Gadi Rennert (r.), chairman of the Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology, Carmel Medical Center; Technion Faculty of Medicine; and director of the CHS National Israeli Cancer Control Center. The two colleagues held extensive meetings to discuss and compare cancer research data in Israel and in the United States. Gruber is a medical oncologist, cancer geneticist and epidemiologist whose research focuses on genetic and environmental contributions to cancer.

Evening Speaker: Joseph Vardi

The evening included an address by Joseph "Yossi" Vardi, chairman of International Technologies, and one of Israel's high-tech veterans. Among Vardi's many notable accomplishments includes his work as the founding investor and former chairman of Mirabilis Ltd., creator of the highly popular instant messaging program ICQ, which pioneered the way to today's instant messaging phenomena. Vardi has acted as an advisor to the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, The Government of Mexico, and to the CEOs and chairmen of Occidental Petroleum Corp., Signal Corp., Allied-Signal Corp., Wheelabrator Frye Corp. and Siemens-Albis A.G. He is pictured above with USC Professor Michalle Mor Barak (l.) and USC Dean Marilyn Flynn (r.), both of the USC School of Social Work. The topic of Dr. Vardi's talk was "The Secret Sauce of Israeli High Tech."


The USC Delegation group arrived in Israel in time for Shabbat on the evening of February 17, 2012. USC Trustee Stanley Gold (standing) explained the traditions of the Jewish day of rest as the group shared their first evening meal together.

Titan Electron Microscope

Technion Dean Wayne Kaplan gives USC President C. L. Max Nikias a tour of the Microscopy Center in the Faculty of Materials Engineering, including a demonstration of the Titan Microscope. Technion is home to Israel's only Titan--Transmission Electron Microscope. Funded by the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at Technion, the Titan is one of the best resolution microscopes in the world.
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