Dr. Rinat Meir: The Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering

Meet Dr. Rinat Meir, recent alumna of Bar-Ilan's Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering. Meir, who completed her PhD in the lab of Prof. Rachela Popovtzer at the faculty and at BIU's Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and is currently pursuing her postdoc at Columbia University on new nano-biomaterials in drug-delivery.

After completing a BSc and an MSc at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Meir joined Prof. Popovtzer’s lab where, together with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, she developed a breakthrough theranostic drug-delivery platform, that utilizes nanoparticles for treating and diagnosing cancer through targeted immunotherapy.

Typically, it takes several months until a physician can assess whether a treatment is working,” she explained. “Our technique will enable fast, accurate prediction of a patient’s response to cancer immunotherapy only 48 hours after treatment begins”, said Meir.

Meir, 34, a married mother of three, says that as a religious woman, and a wife and mother to boot, becoming a scientist was not an obvious choice. “Research work is very intensive and requires constant attention. I was lucky enough to have the resources and support of my family and the Faculty of Engineering, to be able to juggle both my professional and personal responsibilities. It’s not easy, but definitely doable and rewarding. Prof. Popovtzer, a world renowned researcher and a religious wife and mother herself, is my role model.”

Dr. Meir has received several awards, including a scholarship from the Wolf Foundation, a scholarship from Israel’s Ministry of Science, and the Dan David Prize for PhD students. Her receiving of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and of Bar-Ilan’s woman postdoc award will enable her to pursue her postdoctoral research on nano-biomaterials at Columbia University in New York City.

Meir has just relocated with her family to NY. “My children will always be my top priority. With 3 young ones, it’s challenging to juggle and stay on top of everything. Still, they keep me stimulated, fulfilled, and on my toes”, she said. After her postdoc she plans to return to Israel and apply her expertise to conduct collaborative research that will promote scientific and medical applications.

 

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