The Zimin Institute at TAU: Promoting Scientific Solutions for Humankind’s Challenges

The Zimin Institute has been at the forefront of scientific philanthropy for over six years, supporting research at universities worldwide, including Tel Aviv University (TAU). Its mission is to harness contemporary scientific insights to address humanity’s challenges, bridging the gap between theory and practicscienal application. An integral part of this process is the “Scope of Research,” where once a year, a scientific committee and an international committee both work to identify studies that have the potential to create real change in the world, and for collaborations with other research teams from around the world. In addition, the institute’s biannual international conference brings together leading academics, professionals, and investors from around the world to create scientific partnerships and develop breakthrough discoveries.

Headed by Prof. David Mendlovic, the Zimin Institute at TAU is among the pioneering “Zimin Institutes for a Better World,” established by the Zimin Foundation. Driven by the vision of the late Dr. Dimitri Zimin, an engineer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, these institutes aim to integrate engineering research with medical and healthcare technologies, aligning seamlessly with TAU’s multidisciplinary ethos. The institute takes pride in funding numerous groundbreaking studies, many of which are already making tangible impacts in the healthcare industry, thus realizing Dr. Zimin’s vision of fostering positive change.

A recent success story involves Zimin’s investment in early detection technology for fetal malformations and developmental disorders. Building on groundbreaking research in fetal electrocardiograms (FECGs) at TAU, this investment has yielded promising results. FECG, the prevailing method for detecting developmental differences and fetal distress, is currently limited by its reliance on invasive techniques or noisy maternal signals. In a breakthrough study, researchers Dr. Dan Raviv and Dr. Shai Tejman-Yarden propose a novel approach to extract FECGs from joint maternal-fetal data using deep learning models. Their method, personalized and self-supervised for each patient, demonstrates real-time extraction of high-quality maternal and fetal ECGs, offering a significant advancement in fetal monitoring accuracy.


n the study, researchers Dr. Dan Raviv from the School of Electrical Engineering at TAU and Dr. Shai Tejman-Yarden from Sheba Hospital propose a new approach to extracting the FECG from the joint maternal-fetal data, which comes attached to the common ECG sample from at least two sources. They then train a Deep Learning model to separate the two in real-time. Because this is a difficult task, the researchers created a personalized and self-supervised network for patients. This method trains individually on the data of each patient (mother and fetus) and can extract the maternal and fetal ECG in real-time and with high quality. Based on preliminary results using real-world data, the researchers demonstrate that the hypothesis and solution are applicable and feasible.

Another medical project funded by the Zimin Institute that is already in its advanced stages is the TENG (Triboelectric nanogenerator) sensor, which can restore the sense of touch to people who have lost this sense due to injury, illness, chemotherapy, and more. The sensor is durable, small, and modular and operates using an independent energy source to restore tactile sensitivity without the need for an external energy source, and can be easily and safely implanted under the skin in a variety of places. Today there are millions of people in the world who have lost their sense of touch, and there is currently no approved clinical solution capable of restoring their sensation. Through the unique support that the Zimin Institute offered to the team of researchers, led by Prof. Ben Maoz from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at TAU, a start-up company called Teng-Able was established, and their sensor is currently in the clinical trials phase.


this article has been publish by the Jerusalem Post on March 18, 2024.

Link to the Full Article 

Link to Prof. Ben Maoz Lab