A highly accomplished researcher and clinician, Dr. Yishai Ofran has been appointed as Anne and Pinky Sohn Chair as Director of the Department of Hematology at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. A father of four, Dr. Ofran comes to Shaare Zedek after directing the Leukemia Research Lab at Rambam Hospital in Haifa where he extensively studied the disease’s development and how it responds to specific pharmaceutical agents. Dr. Ofran comes to the position following Professor Jacob Rowe, who he views as a professional mentor and is widely recognized as one of Israel’s leading experts in the treatment and research of blood-borne cancers.
Dr. Ofran received his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine at Hebrew University and specialized in Internal Medicine at Hadassah Mount Scopus followed by a specialty in Hematology at Rambam. He then travelled to the US where he performed a fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard University. Under the guidance of Prof. Jerome Ritz, while in Boston he extensively researched computer modeling for predicting targets for immune response following bone marrow transplants.
Between 2009 and 2020, Dr. Ofran was a senior physician and director of the Leukemia service at Ramban Hospital and served as the senior lecturer in hematology at the Technion. He has been responsible for designing and implementing numerous treatment protocols with a focus on providing individualized treatment approaches for every patient, based on the patient’s specific medical and genetic makeup.
He is a member of several prominent international medical forums including a selected group of experts who wrote leukemia treatment guidelines for the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the leukemia core committee of the U.S.- based Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and has regularly participated in leading medical conferences around the world. As an active member of the European Leukemia Net (ELN) he is a team member of the group who writes the new European recommendations for advanced molecular monitoring of leukemia patients and has directly contributed to the advancement of hematological care in hospitals across the globe.
Alongside numerous other industry prizes and recognitions, in 2011 Dr. Ofran was awarded a “Morasha” grant by the Israeli Science Foundation for his accomplishments as a young clinical investigator. He has written or contributed to over 80 journal articles and sits on multiple editorial boards for prominent periodicals.
Shaare Zedek’s Director General Professor Ofer Merin welcomed Dr. Ofran saying, “ The Department of Hematology at Shaare Zedek is one of the leading centers in Israel for bone marrow transplantation and is home to many highly- accomplished physicians and researchers who are regularly contributing to the advancement of science across the international arena. This addition of Dr. Ofran represents a continuation of this leadership status and will position us that much more strongly to provide advanced cancer care in all the relevant fields for the benefit of our patients and the community.”
Dr. Ofran said, “I am deeply appreciative for the opportunity to join the team at Shaare Zedek which has proven itself as a hospital defined by advancement and accomplishment in clinical care and research. Within the field of hematology, we are embracing a vision and mission that every patient is unique and thus requires unique and individualized care. We will integrate technology that allows us to best respond to the finest details necessary for that individualized treatment which includes close attention to the patient’s genetic makeup and how they respond to particular treatments and therapies and always be looking out for potential complications and setbacks. Hematology is a highly multi-disciplinary science that requires collaboration with other medical specialties and departments and we are thus able to leverage Shaare Zedek’s expertise in so many other areas of clinical care.”