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Isr Med Assoc J. 2000 Nov;2(11):811-5.

Medical research in Israel and the Israel biomedical database.

Author information

1
Chief Scientist's Office, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel.

Abstract

The data collected for the second edition of the Directory of Medical Research in Israel and the Israel Biomedical Database have yielded very relevant information concerning the distribution of investigators, publication activities and funding sources. The aggregate data confirm the findings of the first edition published in 1996 [2]. Those facts endorse the highly concentrated and extensive nature of medical research in the Jerusalem area, which is conducted at the Hebrew University and its affiliated hospitals. In contrast, Tel Aviv University, whose basic research staff is about two-thirds the size of the Hebrew University staff, has a more diffuse relationship with its clinical staff who are located at more than half a dozen hospitals. Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva and the Technion in Haifa are smaller in size, but have closer geographic contact between their clinical and basic research staff. Nonetheless, all the medical schools and affiliated hospitals have good publication and funding records. It is important to note that while some aspects of the performance at basic research institutions seem to be somewhat better than at hospitals, the records are actually quite similar despite the greater burden of clinical services at the hospitals as compared to teaching responsibilities in the basic sciences. The survey also indicates the substantial number of young investigators in the latest survey who did not appear in the first survey. While this is certainly encouraging, it is also disturbing that the funding sources are apparently decreasing at a time when young investigators are attempting to become established and the increasing burden of health care costs precludes financial assistance from hospital sources. The intensity and undoubtedly the quality of medical research in Israel remains at a level consistent with many of the more advanced western countries. This conclusion is somewhat mitigated by the fact that there is a decrease in available funding and a measurable decrease in scholarly activity at a time when a new, younger generation of investigators is just beginning to become productive. In closing, we wish to stress that the collection of data for the Biomedical Database is a continuing project and we encourage all medical researches who may not have contributed relevant information to write to the Office of the Chief Scientist or contact the office by email.

PMID:
11344748
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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