Professor Amit Gefen, Tel Aviv University

The International Federation for Medical & Biological Engineering (IFMBE) selected Professor Amit Gefen from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering of Tel Aviv University as the Recipient of the prestigious Otto Schmitt Career Award. The research interests of Prof. Gefen are in studying normal and pathological effects of biomechanical factors on the structure and function of cells, tissues and organs, with emphasis on applications in chronic wound research. To date, Prof. Gefen published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed international journals, many of which on mechanobiology, cell and tissue biomechanics, with applications that are mostly in chronic wound prevention. Professor Gefen received multiple previous career awards for his basic science contributions to the understanding of pressure ulcers and for developing strategies and methods for preventing them or reducing their incidence. His latest award, the Otto Schmitt Award, is given to a Biomedical Engineer for exceptional contributions to the advancement of the field of medical and biological engineering. The criteria for nominations include innovation, leadership and seminal contributions to medical and biological engineering ( The citation for the award was: “Professor Gefen has made seminal contributions to basic and translational science related to wound care. His discoveries concerning the role of cell and tissue deformations in the aetiology of pressure ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers are guiding global innovation and development of chronic wound prevention, management and treatment technologies.” The Otto Schmitt Award was formally presented to Professor Gefen in the last World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering which took place in Prague, the Czech Republic, in June 2018.

Assistant Professor Yoav Shechtman, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

The IAMBE early career award is given to three promising young researchers before tenure, in the field of bio-medical engineering, in three different world regions. The 2018 award for the region of Europe / Near East / Africa was awarded to Assistant Professor Yoav Shechtman from the biomedical engineering department at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Yoav’s research interest is in developing and applying optical and signal processing methods for biologically motivated nanoscale imaging challenges. His interdisciplinary Nano-bio-optics group combines expertise in optics, signal processing and molecular biology, to address highly challenging imaging applications such as high spatio-temopral resolution tracking of biomolecules in three dimensions and in multiple colors inside live cells.

To achieve these goals and related ones, the lab designs and implements novel optical imaging modalities, along with machine learning tools for efficient image reconstruction, all of which are demonstrated experimentally on biological samples.   Yoav has been a faculty member in the Technion since October 2016, currently leads a group of 9 people, and was recently awarded a European Research Council (ERC) starting grant.