Dr. Kinneret Keren from the Technion won the European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) Young Investigators Medal and Prize.
A prize for the best poster presentation was awarded at the annual IBS meeting, on October 24, 2011. The prize is sponsored by The fund for memorizing the late Prof. Ziva Berkovitch-Yellin.
Ziva was born in Rehovot where she lived all her life. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. (1969) degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with distinction, and her PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science (1978). In 1986 she was promoted to the degree of Professor in the Weizmann Institute.
Ziva was a very creative scientist; her research interests spanned many different fields. She was interested in kinetics of fast reactions using state-of–the art techniques (in her M.Sc. studies), crystallography combined with photochemistry in the solid state studies, which were followed by elaborate theoretical calculations (in her Ph.D. studies), calculations of charge and spin distributions in different C-C bonds (in her Ph.D. studies) and in transition metal ligated in porphines and phthalocyanines (in her post doctoral training at Pittsburgh and Northwestern Universities), atom-atom potential analysis of the packing characteristics of carboxylic acids and amides based on experimental electron density distributions (as an independent scientist in the Weizmann Institute of Science) and drug design (in her sabbatical leave at Hoffmann La Roche).
With her very wide background and experience (only few of the major milestones were outlined) Ziva joined efforts with Prof. Ada Yonath in 1988 at the early stages of the research towards elucidating the structure of the ribosome. During this period in her scientific career, Ziva was a research associate in Max Planck Institute in Hamburg and a visiting Scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Ziva was very enthusiastic about the project and, as was the case in everything that she did along her scientific career, she was completely devoted to her work and spent days and nights in the laboratory and next to the computer, measuring crystals, interpreting data for finding coordinates and phases trying to understand elaborate structures. How happy and proud could she be if she knew about the success of the project that ripened few years after her passing away (on 1997)!
Besides being very talented, Ziva was a very warm individual, loved by everybody: family members, friends, colleagues and students, with whom she kept working until her very last day. Even when she was not able to step out of bed, she kept close contacts by phone with the students and her ability to help, support, encourage and solve problems gave her some hours of comfort to the very last day of her life.
In order to keep Prof. Ziva Berkovitch-Yellin's memory live for many years, her brother Ehud Yellin and her twin sister, Rina Arad Yellin, decided to donate a prize in her name, which is given to a student with remarkable achievements. We are sure that there is no better way to signify Ziva's love to the students and the important role that science played in her entire life.