Aug. 31, 2020


Three new faculty deans have been elected at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Prof. Angel Porgador is the new dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof. Gabriel Lemcoff is the new dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Prof. David Wettstein is the new dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. They replace Prof. Amos Katz, Prof. Michal Shapiro and Prof. Amit Schej​ter, respectively.

Prof. Angel Porgador, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences

​Prof. Angel Porgador is the incumbent of the Albert Katz Chair in Cell Differentiation and Malignant Diseases, and a member of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev. He served as Deputy Vice President and Dean for Research and Development until his election as dean. 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Prof. Porgador has led the interdisciplinary Corona Task Force established by BGU President, Prof. Daniel Chamovitz. He also heads a team of University researchers who have developed a new COVID-19 pooling test that identifies all positive subjects, including asymptomatic carriers, in a single round of testing, ultimately  helping to prevent the spread of the disease by identifying these patients sooner and at a lower cost using significantly fewer tests.

Porgador is a world renowned researcher in cancer and viral infections.  His research focuses on innate immunity of health and disease. In much broader terms, he also investigates prolongation of protein lifespans in a host and the direct killing of tumor cells. He has published more than 130 papers in scientific journals.

He holds a B.A with honors in basic medical sciences and an additional B.A in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his M.A and Ph.D. in Life Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His postdoctoral fellowship was at Duke University and the American Institutes of Health (NIH). 
For the last ten years, Porgador has served as President of the Israel Immunological Society and is also President of the Israeli Society for Cancer Research. 

In his role as dean, he intends to position the faculty as a leader both in Israel and worldwide, strengthen research and recruit outstanding faculty members. Implementing new and innovative teaching methods is also high on his list of priorities, along with encouraging collaborative research projects, setting up community projects to promote good health and the training of a future generation in the Beer-Sheva spirit.

Prof. Porgador, his wife and their three children live in Lahavim.

Prof. Gabriel Lemcoff, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Prof. Gabriel Lemcoff, the new dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, was born in Argentina and immigrated to Israel in 1991 with his wife. They joined Kibbutz Yakum and continue to live there with their two children. Until the close of the last millennium, he divided his time between working in ng methods is also on the kibbutz bottle factory, raising his children and his studies at Tel Aviv University, where he completed three degrees in chemistry. His doctorate was completed under the supervision of Prof. Benzion Fuchs, while his post-doc was at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he was part of Prof. Steven C. Zimmerman's research group.

Since his return to Israel at the end of 2004, he has been a member of BGU's Department of Chemistry, and was chairman of the department between 2012 and 2016.

Prof. Lemcoff is one of the founders of the Marie Curie Program for gifted children, which gives 40 credits towards a chemistry degree.  The program is run in collaboration with the Beer-Sheva municipality, the Rashi Foundation and Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd.

Lemcoff's research interests focus on S-Chelated ruthenium precatalysts for olefin metathesis; advances in olefin metathesis; advances in macromolecular chemistry; single-chain collapsed nanoparticles; organic and organometallic chemistry, and photochemistry in olefin metathesis.

A development in his research group which makes possible the 3-D printing of strong polymer materials, led to the Israel Chemical Society Adama Prize for Technological Innovation 2020.

Prof. Lemcoff is world renowned in his field of expertise and has published 75 articles in prestigious chemistry journals.

Prof. David Wettstein, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Prof. David Wettstein, the incumbent of the Marsha and Kenneth Tucker Chair in Economic Development, was elected as dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He completed a B.Sc. magna cum laude in mathematics, and an M.A. magna cum laude in economics at Tel Aviv University.  His Ph.D.  in economics is from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with four future Nobel laureates. His advisor was Prof. Leonid Hurwicz, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2007. It would appear that Prof. Wettstein is the sole Israeli to have had Prof. Hurwicz as his doctoral advisor. Before returning to Israel, Wettstein taught at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Western Ontario in Canada. His research focuses on microeconomic theory, and game, auction and competition theory.

Wettstein has taught at BGU since 1992, when he joined the Dept. of Economics. Over the years he has filled many positions including head of BGU's Department of Economics, Vice Dean of the Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies, and Head of the IAF academic program at BGU.

In his role as dean, he intends to promote research excellence and to adopt innovative research directions, through the integration of new teaching methods, the use of advanced technologies and reinforcing online teaching. High on his list of priorities is to secure funds to establish research institutes and employ outstanding researchers.

Prof. Wettstein lives with his wife in Omer. He is a father of two and grandfather of two