Prof. Itzhak Ohad


Prof. Itzhak Ohad / 1930-2016

In Memoriam

 Prof. Emeritus Martin Kessel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem :

“It is very difficult to write these words on the passing of Itzhak Ohad. Itzik, as he was affectionately known to all of us, was without a doubt one of the most influential scientists and teachers of his generation.

Itzik obtained his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during the course of which he was one of the first graduate students to use the electron microscope in his research. He was mentored by Shlomo Hestrin of the Dept. of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University and David Danon from the Dept. Ultrastructure Research at the Weizmann Institute. Itzhak’s Ph.D. research focused on the characterization of fibrils of cellulose from the bacterium Acinobacter xylinum and was published in the Journal of Cell Biology [1].

For his post-doctoral training Itzik went to the laboratory of 1982 Nobel Laureate George Palade at Yale University where he continued to broaden his understanding of cell ultrastructure using the electron microscope. Upon his return to Israel, Itzik was tasked with setting up an electron microscope laboratory in the Dept. of Biological Chemistry then located in Mamila St. bordering the Old City of Jerusalem. By that time electron microscopy laboratories had been established at the Weizmann Institute of Science by David Danon and at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem by Olga Stein and Jack Gross, and at the Hebrew University Botany Dept. by Shimon Klein. All of these laboratories used the RCA electron microscope. After setting up the electron microscope unit in the Dept. of Biological Chemistry with the RCA electron microscope, Itzik quickly became convinced that in order to be abreast of the latest technology it would be necessary to upgrade to either the Philips microscope manufactured in Holland or the JEOL microscope from Japan. In 1968 after a meticulous evaluation which included visits to the electron microscope factories, Itzik concluded that the microscope for Biological Chemistry would be the Philips EM300. Both Olga Stein at the Medical School and Shimon Klein in the Dept. of Botany quickly followed suit with the Medical School purchasing two of these microscopes. Indeed electron microscopy at the Hebrew University and at the Weizmann Institute was at the forefront of biological ultrastructure research. By this time Itzik had begun his lifelong research on photosynthesis and associated with the alga Chlamydomonas rheinhardii which would be the focus of his research for many years.”

Read more ▼

Back to In-Memoriam page

Comments are closed.