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03.05.2021 | כא אייר התשפא

Dr. Tal Zaks Honored

Bar-Ilan University awards Zaks honorary doctorate in ceremony on campus


Bar-Ilan University awarded an honorary doctorate to Dr. Tal Zaks in recognition of his role in leading the development of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. The ceremonial hooding of Dr. Zaks took place at an in-person ceremony on campus during Zaks' stay in Israel. The full honorary doctorate ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 30.

Dr. Zaks was "hooded" by Shlomo Zohar, Chairman of Bar-Ilan's Permanent  Committee, Gideon Hamburger, Chairman of the Israel Friends of the University and Rabbi Ada Zavidov, of Kehilat Har-El in Jerusalem.

"I am moved and thankful for this great honor. I see it as a token of appreciation of all the people at Moderna who are behind this achievement. All my professional life I have strived to interweave science and medicine, and I am proud to receive this award from a university that uniquely does so. This is important to me,"' said Dr. Zaks.

In a discussion with university officials, Dr. Zaks addressed the issue of COVID-19 variants. “When we assess mutations we realize that the basis of the virus is the same. The first variant is the important one, and I believe that we have provided a comprehensive response to it. An additional dose of the vaccine may be needed in the future and we are currently examining this possibility. Today we have a global infrastructure and confidence in technology that allows us in a short time to produce vaccines that are resistant to any variant that develops."

During the discussion Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Arie Zaban told Zaks, "Through this degree we wish to express our deep appreciation of each and every one of the dedicated and impressive staff that you lead, for your life-saving work which has brought deep hope to citizens of the world."

The full honorary doctorate ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 30, in the framework of the University's annual Board of Trustees meetings. The event is expected to be held in-person, a show of confidence in the vaccination program that Dr. Zaks and his team have helped to make a reality.

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