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Activities of the Faculty and Graduates of HAC’s Departments of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Biotechnology during the Coronavirus Pandemic, 2020

06/02/2020 | Zachary Harris | ◾ Medical Laboratory Sciences | Biotechnology, B.Sc. | Medical Laboratory Sciences, B.Med.Lab.Sc.

When Dr. Ayelet Arbel-Eden, Chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences at HAC wasn’t teaching on-line, she took on a very active role in the national effort to contain COVID-19.  Recently, Dr. Arbel-Eden joined the new staff formed to support he virology laboratory at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, in order to double the number of diagnostic tests that it was possible to perform in a day, and to accelerate the pace of providing these results to those being tested.   For the purpose of this volunteer effort, she was coached by her former student Ayelet Peretz, a graduate of the Department.  Ayelet Peretz has a critical role in the operation of the QIAsymphony - a sophisticated diagnostic robotic, which simultaneously produces RNA from 96 samples from the individuals being tested.  Ayelet instructed Dr. Arbel-Eden in the operating procedures of the robot, and Arbel-Eden summarized their meeting as follows: “we learn something from everyone who has ever taught us, but from our students, we learn even more.”   HAC is proud to be blessed with academic faculty and graduates such as these. 

In the photo:  Dr. Tamar Licht (from right to left), Dr. Ayelet Arbel-Eden, and Ayelet Peretz.

Dr. Tamar Grossman, another HAC faculty member who lectures in the specialty of parasitology, and who manages the National Parasitology Center of Israel’s Ministry of Health, lent herself to help establish a number of new diagnostic laboratories to identify the coronavirus.  Dr. Grossman works at the Ministry of Health’s central COVID-19 laboratory at Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center and was involved in establishing another new diagnostic laboratory at the central laboratories of the Ministry of Health in Jerusalem.  Another staff member, Dr. Esther Vaknin Joene, a lecturer in the specialty of virology in the Department of Biotechnology, and herself a graduate of our Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, has been managing a diagnostic laboratory for coronavirus at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. To this list we can add Dr. Mazal Bialsky, another HAC lecturer in the area of immunology, who works at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center, who was also mobilized to diagnose the coronavirus.  To Tamar, Esther and Mazal, we salute your meaningful contribution both in teaching and on the front lines in the struggle to defeat COVID-19.