British-Israeli stem cell research projects awarded £1.5 million in funding

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

British-Israeli stem cell research projects awarded £1.5 million in funding

Four projects join the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange programme (BIRAX) helping to tackle degenerative diseases

Working at the laboratory
Working at the laboratory

Four new joint British-Israeli medical research projects using stem cells to tackle degenerative diseases have been awarded £1.5 million in funding.

The announcement this week by the British Council allows the institutions to work together on the new three-year bilateral projects to develop stem cell therapies to treat diabetes, heart disease, leukaemia and Anaemia and Alzheimer’s.

The universities include the University of Edinburgh, the Weizmann Institute for Science, Technion, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Exeter University, University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow.

They are the latest additions to the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange programme (BIRAX), a £10 million initiative of the British Council investing in world-leading research jointly undertaken by scientists in Britain and Israel.

BIRAX was initiated 6 years ago by the British Council, British Embassy in Israel and the UK Science & Innovation Network in collaboration with founding partners Pears Foundation and the UJIA, and is regularly championed by both countries’ diplomats.

David Quarrey, UK Ambassador to Israel, said: “I am excited that four new projects have been selected for our flagship science research programme, the BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative.”

He added: “I am delighted that our valued partners, including some of the UK’s leading medical foundations, have reaffirmed their partnership with us as we work together to deliver world-class, cutting-edge collaborative research projects that will both bring the UK and Israeli academic communities closer together, and take us a step closer to making the world’s most debilitating diseases a thing of the past.”

Sir Trevor Pears said the initiative “continues to earn its reputation as a successful model for promoting academic collaboration between the UK and Israel through its commitment to science excellence”.

One of the four projects involves regenerating new blood vessels to restore healthy tissue, while another – half funded by Weizmann UK – looks at how ageing affects the blood and immune system by examining mutations in blood stem cells that affect their function.

“Facilitating collaboration between the UK and Israel is a core part of our mission,” said Weizmann UK director Sheridan Gould. “Projects like this really go to show that science knows no boundaries.”

Likewise scientists from Exeter and Jerusalem will “combine two powerful new technologies developed by the investigators to ask whether insulin-producing cells can regenerate in some people with long-standing type 1 Diabetes,” with the final project seeking to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: