Your Monthly Newsletter | Toronto
The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

At Israel Cancer Research Fund, our priority is the health and well-being of our staff and volunteers and we are following all public health protocols. With that in mind, we continue to raise much needed funds for cancer research in Israel. 
Thank you for being a loyal ICRF supporter and donor. ICRF’s resilience depends on donors like you and an unwavering commitment to finding treatments and cures for all forms of cancer through the unique ingenuity of Israeli scientists. Israeli cancer research has worldwide impact. 

In this newsletter we explain some of the contributions of Israeli scientists to the Covid 19 crisis and we have included some uplifting messages from Israelis.    

Sending our best wishes for strength and good health to all. 


Jennifer Ouaknine
Israel Cancer Research Fund, Toronto
Executive Director 

2020-2021 ICRF grant review goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

While the world is watching and waiting for scientists to find a vaccine and treatment for COVID-19, ICRF has not forgotten our core mission of continuing the fight against cancer. On Monday, March 23, ICRF's panel of expert reviewers met virtually to discuss and prioritize funding for the approximately 160 research proposals received for consideration this year.

Modeled after that of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the peer review process is at the heart of ICRF's mission to fund the very best cancer research and researchers across Israel each year. ICRF awards funds based on the priority ranking assigned by the peer review panels, an esteemed group of 45 reviewers from the U.S. and Canada who volunteer their expertise to ensure objectivity, rigor and transparency. Our awards are merit based and targeted to fund specific projects.

The annual Scientific Review Panel (SRP) deliberations are the final step in the process. Ahead of this, each application is assigned to one of three peer review panels by area of focus (clinical, basic research, and high-level grants and special initiatives) and then independently analyzed and ranked by two reviewers. At the SRP, reviewers convene as three concurrent review panels to discuss and vote to prioritize the most competitive applications and give their recommendations, along with critiques of the applications and fundable scores, to the ICRF International Scientific Council (ISC), which meets the following day.

This rigorous approach has helped support numerous breakthrough discoveries and some of the brightest researchers in the field, including two Nobel Laureates to date.

For decades, these meetings have been held in New York City, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic a quick pivot to a virtual format ensured this crucial process was able to continue without disruption. This rapid shift was made possible thanks to an all-hands-on-deck effort from our small but nimble staff - proving the world changes and so do we.


Israeli universities, institutes lead the fight against coronavirus

Read about an ICRF Funded Researcher, Roi Gazit

Israeli universities and institutes—and their affiliated academics, researchers, doctors, scientists and students—are leading the fight against the coronavirus. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Technion‒Israel Institute of Technology, Rambam Health Care Campus, Migal Galilee Research Institute and the Sheba Medical Center are each at the forefront of medical technologies and innovation, task forces, methods and vaccines in the making that are working to protect the spread of the COVID-19 virus that has become a global pandemic over the last few months.


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Jerusalem neighbors join in
balcony sing-a-long

It was a spontaneous singalong from the balconies of a Jerusalem block on Sunday evening, as musician Ran Yehoshua led his neighbors in a round of “Bashana Haba’a” (Next Year), the classic Israeli song of hope amid crisis. 

"Bashana haba’a, neshev al hamirpeset venispor tziporim nodedot.  Next year we will sit on the balcony and count all the migrating birds".

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TEDxSavyon - ICRF Israel Chairperson, Tamir Gilat: Outliving your expiration date

This talk was an uplifting experience for Tamir in the context of his new life - the life that began 9 years ago when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Tamir was told that he had 6 months to live. For Tamir, the implication was clear - he wouldn't have the opportunity to raise his three daughters.  With his three daughters front of mind Tamir learned to live day by day, breath by breath...medical test by medical test – he was fully present in his new reality.

9 years later Tamir continues to dedicate his life to supporting cancer research in Israel, as Chairman of Israel Cancer Research Fund (Israel).  In this role he lends support and inspiration to cancer patients and their families.  The concept of “Outliving your expiration date” expresses the essence of Tamir’s new life and sends an important message to all of us: Goals, Giving & Gratitude. 

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Teva to Donate Potential COVID-19 Treatment, Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate Tablets to Hospitals Nationwide

“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” said Brendan O’Grady, Teva Executive Vice President, North America Commercial. “Immediately upon learning of the potential benefit of hyroxychloroquine, Teva began to assess supply and to urgently acquire additional ingredients to make more product while arranging for all of what we had to be distributed immediately.”

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Words of Inspiration from Leanne Matlow

The current state of the world is a cause of anxiety for most who live in it. The disruption of our usual rountines and lack of social experiences has left many people unnerved. But this period of time is just that, a moment in the vast span of history. IT IS NOT THE NEW NORMAL. So we need to be planning how to get through it stronger, more learned, more connected to others we love, and more resilient to the unknowns that life throws at us. Use the pause in the world that we have all been given to learn a new skill, find the joy in the beautiful little moments of life and notice the signs of spring in the air. Remember that everyone is going through the same struggle, just managing it in their own way, so be kind to yourself and others.

New date for ICRF's 19th Annual Women of Action

See details

Stay tuned for an ICRF Webinar with our researchers in Israel, on the topic:
“From Cancer to Covid, the research continues”



Our mission is to continue to find treatments and cures for all forms of cancer, utilizing the unique benefits Israel and its scientists have to offer. The results of the research have a significant impact in Toronto, across Canada and throughout the world.

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Box 29 Suite 616, Toronto,
ON M4S 3C4
Phone: 416-440-7780



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