Int. J. Dev. Biol. 61: 121 - 126 (2017)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.160179ok
© UPV/EHU Press

Hefzibah Eyal-Giladi (1925-2017): over fifty years of embryological research in Israel

Oded Khaner*

Department of Health and Life Sciences, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem, Israel

ABSTRACT Hefzibah Eyal-Giladi was a creative and innovative pioneering scientist in the creation of the field of early chick embryo development. She had a sharp thinking and enthusiastic attitude, which enabled her to make a deep impression that was highly valued by the general scientific community. Notably, she was a highly successful female researcher in an era which was dominated by male scientists. Her unique personality and keen intellect enabled her to break these borders in a most successful manner. The experiments conducted by her personally, her students and her collaborators served to provide the basic knowledge and paradigms for future scientists in the field, also paving the way for discoveries in other vertebrate model systems. The experimental embryology assays she performed were “old school”, examining embryos and explants at a precise morphological level of tissue interactions. In recent years, most of the experimentation in embryology has shifted to molecular and genetic levels. However, the results obtained with these technologically advanced research tools still re-confirm the fundamental findings obtained by Eyal-Giladi using “classic” experimental embryology techniques. Finally, Hefzibah Eyal-Giladi was an outstanding teacher and lecturer. For five decades, she trained and taught generations of undergraduate and graduate students in Israel, exposing them to the field of embryology and developmental biology in the most exciting and enthusiastic way.

Keywords:

chick embryology, bilateral symmetry, axis initiation, mesoderm induction, chordate body axis

*Corresponding author e-mail: odedk@hadassah.ac.il