Israeli tech leader launches new human health collaboration to solve urgent real-world problems


Tamar Koren, an MD/PhD candidate at the Technion, is researching how patients’ mental states may cause or exacerbate illness. Koren’s work is part of the Technion Human Health Initiative. (Nitzan Zohar/Technion)


If thinking you’re sick can make you feel sick, is there a way to train your brain — and your body — to reverse that process and restore you to health?

That’s the central question that Tamar Koren, an MD-PhD candidate at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa focused on psychosomatic illness, is researching.

Professor Shai Shen-Orr, head of the school’s Systems Immunology & Precision Medicine Laboratory, is mapping how the immune system ages as people age — to the point of being able to calculate the age of someone’s immune system based on cellular data.

Professor Ron Kimmel, founder of the Geometric Image Processing Lab in the Technion’s Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science, is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to train computers to analyze biopsy images of human tissue in order to determine not only whether a tissue is cancerous, but also what type of mutation it is and how much it has metastasized.