In Memoriam

In November 2001, Professors Yaacov Matzner and Amiram Eldor were on their way back to Israel via Switzerland when their plane came down in dense forest three kilometres short of the landing field.

Professor Yaacov Matzner, 54
Prof. Yaacok Matzner was born Czechoslovakia in 1947 to Holocaust survivors and immigrated to Israel at the age of two. After studying in Netanya, he served in the IDF from 1965-1967. He was accepted to the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine, which he completed in 1973. He excelled in his studies and his thesis on melanoma is still widely cited to this day. After graduating, Prof. Matzner did two years of post-doctoral research in the US atProf. Bernard Beor's laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. They continued their scientific collaboration and friendship for years afterwards.

Prof. Matzner was the Dean of the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and chairman of the Israel Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusions. He is considered one of the world's experts on blood diseases, such as Familiar Mediterranean Fever (FMF), which Prof. Matzner conducted on, leading to the development of a genetic test for FMF. He was working on cloning the gene connected to FMF and researching the normal physiological function of amyloid A, a protein often found in high levels in people with blood cancer.

Prof.r Matzner was a physician, a researcher and an exceptional teacher with an impressive personality, authority, dedication, professional honesty and integrity.

Professor Amiram Eldor, 59
Prof. Amiram Eldor was born in Tel Aviv in 1942 and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University in 1969. He was one of the outstanding students of his graduating class.

He worked as the head of the Hematology Institute in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital and worked for years at Hadassah-University Hospital's Department of Hematology, before returning to his native Tel Aviv in 1993 to head the Hematology Institute at Ichilov Hospital. He was an internationally known expert on blood clotting, especially among women who had experienced repeated miscarriages. He was also a member of the team which identified eight new anti-clotting agents in the saliva of leeches.

With his boundless energy, charisma and creativity he developed the service, expanded the research and contributed greatly to the University of Tel Aviv and the National Association of Hematology which he headed (1996-1998). He had overwhelming enthusiasm and shared his extensive experience on any field or subject with friends. He was very dedicated to his many patients and his tragic death interrupted his life at the peak of his activity and achievements.

Dr Shmuel Gillis was killed in a terrorist attack on his way home from the hospital on 1st February, 2001.

Dr Shmuel Gillis, 42
Dr. Shmuel Gillis was born in England to a religious family. The family immigrated to Israel in 1970 and Dr. Gillis grew up in the Beit Hakerem neighborhood of Jerusalem. Both He and his two brothers became doctors, following in the footsteps of their father, Dr. Aharon Gillis. Dr. Gillis graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University in 1982, he specialized in internal medicine and hematology. Throughout his studies, Dr. Gillis received a number of scholarships and prizes of excellence. He went on to complete a postdocturate in coagulation studies in Boston, later becoming an advisor to hospitals on coagulation diseases.

Dr. Gillis was a senior physician in the Hematology Department who excelled in every field in which he worked. He was a researcher and a teacher. His personality was exceptional and the fact that he was much loved and appreciated by his patients, colleagues all attest to that. His colleagues were struck by his death, as were his many patients and the community of physicians in Israel who saw in him the future generation of medicine in general, and hematology in particular.

Once a year, the Department of Hematology holds a memorial ceremony and lecture, during which a scholarship in given to a doctor in the field of hematology.