Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at BGU, Prof. Joseph Kost, has been elected as a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Prof. Kost is one of nine new members, representatives of academic institutions in Israel, selected this week by the General Assembly of the Israel Academy of Sciences.
At this week’s General Assembly, Prof. Nili Cohen was chosen as next President of the Academy and Prof. David Harel as Vice President. Prof. Cohen will replace the outgoing president Prof. Ruth Arnon, ending a term of five years. Prof. Harel from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science, will replace outgoing Vice President Prof. Benjamin Z. Kedar. Prof. Nili Cohen is a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, served as rector of the university (1997-2001), and has been a member of the Academy since 2004.
The other eight new members joining Prof. Kost are Prof. Yoram Bilu - Psychology and Anthropology, Hebrew University of Jerusaelm; Prof. Yoav Benyamini - Mathematics and Statistics, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Ruth Gavison - Law, Hebrew University of Jerusaelm; Prof. Shafi Goldwasser - Computer Science, Weizmann Institute of Science; Prof. Avner Holtzman - Hebrew Literature, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Israel Finkelstein - Archeology, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Adi Kimchi - Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science and Prof. Eli Keshet - Biology, Hebrew University of Jeryusalem.
Prof. Joseph Kost, who previously served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, is the incumbent of the Abraham and Betty Sachs Chair of Biomedical Engineering. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Chemical Engineering at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology before earning a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at the same institution and completing Post-Doctoral training at the University of Washington, MIT and Harvard Medical School. He later went on to earn an M.B.A. at the BGU’s School of Management.
Prof. Kost was the head of the University’s Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology Engineering programs, two programs that have since become leading departments in the Faculty of Engineering. Kost was the founder and first President of the Israeli Society of Controlled Delivery of Bioactive Materials. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the President of the Israel Institute of Chemical Engineers.
In 1996 he was awarded the Juludan Prize by the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology for outstanding scientific research achievements. In 1997 he was elected a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and in 1999 was awarded the Clemson Award by the Society for Biomaterials in recognition of his outstanding contributions to applied biomaterials research. In 2005 Prof. Kost was awarded the Jacqueline Seroussi Award for Cancer Research and in 2007 was elected a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE), for discoveries that led to ultrasonic drug release and self regulated drug delivery systems. In 2008 he received the Ben-Gurion University President’s Prize for outstanding scientific achievements.
He is a pioneer in the field of ultrasound-based drug delivery systems, co-founder of Sontra Medical and co-inventor of the FDA-approved ultrasound based transdermal delivery system, SonoPrep™. His research interests include biotechnology, biomaterials, nanotechnology, polymeric systems for controlled drug delivery, ultrasound for enhanced transport through membranes and cellular and intracellular transport. Current research projects he is involved in delve into the areas of focused ultrasound drug delivery systems, gene/siRNA therapy, cellular delivery approaches to overcome insulin resistance and non-invasive detection of amniotic fluid.