After our recent TargetCaRe consortium meeting in Haifa, Israel, we (Sonja, Andrea, Serdar and Joao) had the opportunity to spend our industrial secondment at ProCore. The company is based in Rehovot, a small city nearby Tel Aviv, and is very active in the field of biotechnology and regenerative medicine.
Our time at ProCore was very nice and fruitful. From the very beginning, everyone gave us a really warm welcome and we even had our own small office! We then learned about the different tasks and challenges when working in a company, and how this may differ from the academic reality. Prof. Avner Yayon, CEO of ProCore, shared with us his experience in the field and we got to know how he made the transition from academia to industry, with the aim of developing novel treatments for degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis. It was for us very exciting to realize how this quickly led to the commercialization of new therapeutics, that are either already in the clinics or undergoing clinical trials. We also had the chance to talk and discuss with other ProCore employees, learning about their experiences, roles and daily tasks in their jobs. From production to quality control and to preparation of clinical trials, everyone plays a crucial part in the company. In the meantime, we even managed to perform experiments that will contribute to the advancement of our work. During our time spent in Rehovot, we also visited our colleague Bernardo at the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is spending part of his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Efrat Monsonego-Ornan. She invited us for dinner at her house, where we had a really nice time together with people from both her lab and ProCore, with typical Israeli cuisine (a lot of falafel and hummus) and very stimulating conversations.
Not only working in an industrial company but also getting to know a new culture, under all its aspects from the different concept of weekend (which is Friday and Saturday), to the amazing food, hospitality and interesting stories of the people we met, made our secondment a priceless experience. We really wish to thank all the people that welcomed us, helped us with the work and made our time in Israel so enjoyable!