The Sky is the Limit

Chen Tzror-Azankot has won the Ministry of Science Scholarship, and continues to aim high 

Chen Tzror-Azankot, a PhD candidate at the Bar-Ilan Faculty of Engineering, has been honored with the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology's Zeev Jabtinsky Scholarship for Engineering and Applicable Scientific Achievements. "It's a very generous 4-year scholarship," says the excited 29 year old, "enabling me to focus solely on my research. I never thought I would win. I'm excited and very grateful to the Israel Ministry of Science and to my PhD advisor, Prof. Rachela Popovtzer, who always empowers us and believes in us, and keeps pushing us forward.

Chen applied for the Combined PhD study Track at the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering after having completed her BSc in Biochemical Engineering at the Technion. "The Faculty at BIU warmly welcomed me. From the moment I came here, I felt right at home. We have a very familial atmosphere here." 

Chen focuses on developing biologically compatible nanoparticles, aiming to differentiate between malignant tumors and inflammations in PET-CT scans. 
Malignant tumors cause increased glucose consumption, and so during PET-CT scans, we target the cancerous tumor with a radioactively labeled glucose molecule. The problem is, inflammations, which are a common side effect of cancer treatments, are also characterized by high glucose uptake. Therefore, a PET-CT scan is unable to differentiate between the two. Our lab team is developing nanoparticles that can distinguish between inflammation and a malignant tumor," explains Chen.

Having received this prestigious scholarship, Chen feels her future is wide open: "I hope to focus my career on research and development, in a company developing biomedical or personalized medicine solutions. This is why PhD candidates work so hard. We aim high.."