|USIA Fulbright Scholar in Israel|
In brief, my experience in Israel has been fascinating and frustrating. Frustrating because it is always difficult to get used to a new place and because so many people are discouraged here now. But this sad situation is more than compensated for by the science I am learning, the little Hebrew I have assimilated, and by the endless wonderful experiences which will enrich me and which have formed the basis for the many tomes that I send back to the USA, and which are now circulated among friends and friends of friends.
Since coming here, I have finished a book "Nutritional and Environmental Influences on Vision", and two scientific papers. I have given seminars at this University, in a Conference at Hadassah Medical Center, at Ben Gurion University in Ber Sheva, and I have seminars scheduled at Tel Hashomer Hospital and at the Technion.
My laboratory project involves associating the activity of a specific gene, called the Ataxia Telangiectasia gene with the progress of cell cycle. This is important because children with the disease Ataxia Telangiectasia get cancer at very young ages and then they die by 20 years of age. Perhaps even more important are the many analogies between the work that I am doing here and the many age-related projects which comprise the bulk of our efforts in my home laboratory. To this end I have learned how to clone genes and express them in bacteria and soon I will determine their function with relationship to the disease process.
The science I am learning here will be useful for years to come. I am also helping this laboratory to gain approaches to questions of their interest. We will shortly form a consortium of about 5 laboratories and we will apply for NIH funding to continue our collaborative efforts.
In about a month I will be teaching in a special course regarding aging and oxidative stress. The enrollment for the course is over 90 students.