Dr. Shlomzion Shen, Ayelet Dilion Mashia, Dr. Liron Nesiel, and Dr. Jasmin Ravid join Yissum to share their tips on leadership
International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of the incredible achievements and contributions of women around the world. With female-led start-ups and female-headed research projects at Yissum, we are proud to support the groundbreaking work of our female researchers who are setting out to change the worlds of science and technology.
Meet Dr. Shlomzion Shen, CEO and co-founder of Seevix. Before founding Seevix, Dr. Shen served as CEO of MedAware Ltd., an Israeli healthcare IT company, and Fluonic Inc., a US-based medical device company. She also advised venture capital funds and performed due diligence on biotech and medical device technologies. With a PhD in Biology from Bar-Ilan University and an MBA from Tel Aviv University, Dr. Shen is a true force to be reckoned with in the industry.
Seevix, a predominantly women-led company, where “sustainable”, “biodegradable” and “eco-friendly” are more than mere catchwords, has achieved what leading biomaterial companies have failed to do for decades – produce high-strength spider silk with the same properties as naturally occurring fibers.
With its SVX™ spider silk, Seevix has the potential to revolutionize various industries, from aeronautics to medical devices, and even tear-resistant condoms and bulletproof vests. What’s more, Seevix’s product is sustainable and eco-friendly. Seevix introduced groundbreaking products in 2022, starting with scaffold solutions for better research in drug discovery, cancer and stem cell research, bioprinting, and even the cultivated meat industry. The possibilities for Seevix’s technology are endless, opening up a whole new field of science in human tissue engineering.
Dr. Shen’s leadership tip: “Leadership is the ability to impart your vision to others and inspire those around you to do the impossible.”
Ayelet Dilion Mashia is the CEO of NewStem Ltd., a bio-platform company, utilizing a proprietary Haploid Human Embryonic Stem Cell technology to develop precision oncology therapeutics. With over 20 years of executive leadership in the life science industry, Ayelet is a seasoned pro when it comes to innovation and technology. With an extensive background in the pharmaceutical industry and having served as CEO for BioMAS Ltd, and as CEO for Do-Coop Technologies, an innovative nano-biotechnology startup, Ayelet brings a wealth of knowledge to the table at NewStem.
The cells in our bodies are diploid, carrying 46 chromosomes, two sets of 23 chromosomes. One set is inherited from the mother, and the other, from the father. However, there’s an exception to this rule! Post-meiotic germ cells, like eggs or sperm, only contain a single set of chromosomes, making them haploid cells. Unlike diploid cells, haploid germ cells can’t divide and produce more cells. They’re a unique type of cell, with a critical role in sexual reproduction. So, while diploid cells can undergo mitosis and give rise to additional diploid cells, haploid germ cells are terminally differentiated, meaning they can’t produce progeny through cell division.
NewStem combines haploid genetics with pluripotency to open up new biomedical applications for advanced cancer research. NewStem’s Haploid human ESCs exhibit typical pluripotent stem cell characteristics and can differentiate into various cell types, including nerve, heart, and pancreatic cells while retaining a single set of chromosomes. This provides a new foundation for various biomedical applications that can change the paradigm of life sciences and the way we develop therapeutics and diagnostics..
Ayelet’s leadership tip: Always keep your personal and professional integrity, it always pays back and be a people person, you will never regret it.
Dr. Liron Nesiel has been leading the activities at Smart Resilin for over 5 years. Liron brings her vast technical experience in biotechnology and protein engineering and combines it with her business acumen acquired while leading the fundraising, marketing & sales, and organized paid POCs, engaging big global organizations.
Resilin is the most elastic material in nature, a super material found that is so flexible, it makes rubber bands look like stone. Smart Resilin’s team has found a way to produce this amazing protein through genetic engineering and harness it for improved material science applications. They’re the first company to bring resilin to the market as a high-quality raw material. Resilin’s unparalleled elasticity and resilience make it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of products, from sports gear to hair straighteners and even flexible screens. As it is a non-toxic biodegradable protein, these resilin-based products are environmentally beneficial game changers for multiple applications.
Dr. Nesiel’s leadership tip: Cultivating a strong sense of self-confidence and assertiveness while also being empathetic and collaborative with others is a key leadership skill. In order to effectively lead you must have communication skills, actively listen to and engage with your team, and be willing to embrace and learn from diverse expertise and perspectives.
Dr. Jasmin Ravid is Co-Founder and CEO of Kinoko-Tech, the company growing the next generation of superfoods using the power of fungi and deep-tech fermentation to produce sustainable, delicious, and highly nutritional food. With a deep expertise in plant and nutritional sciences, higher academia, and research, Dr. Ravid is leading the charge in developing the next generation of protein-rich, sustainable and delicious food.
Kinoko’s mycelium fungi-based system utilizes fermentation to develop a natural, protein-rich superfood. As a grown food, Kinoko’s product is more than a lab-developed substance or additive, providing additional nutrients and health benefits compared to traditional vegetarian alternatives. Kinoko’s solution is cost-effective, scalable, and flexibly deployed across both urban and rural areas, leaving no waste, using little energy, and tasting delicious. Kinoko’s superfood fungi are implementable in the near future, enabling it to have a significant impact and dominate the market now, unlike lab-grown meat, which is far from being commonplace and nonetheless is too expensive to scale and replace meat for years to come.
Dr. Ravid’s leadership tip: Every woman has her own unique way of leading, as each of us is different in our personality, strengths, and weaknesses. And while there are plenty of guides on how to be a good leader, and you can learn a lot from each of them, you are the only one who knows how to use your strengths in a way that will create an amazing leader. You will not truly shin by following other people’s path, only by finding your own.
Let’s continue to uplift and support the achievements of women in tech and beyond, not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.