More about ISOFRR

Aim, objectives and avenues of activity

The general aim of the society is to advance and distribute our knowledge and understanding of oxidative stress, of free radical reactions, and other aspects of redox biology and medicine.

To achieve this goal, the society acts to promote the interest of the Israeli scientific community, as well as that of the general public, in the various aspects of the formation, reactions and quenching of free radicals.

Specifically, the society conducts (or plans conducting) the following activities:

  1. Organize annual meetings in which the members of the society will have the opportunity to learn about each other’s research and by that enhance scientific collaborations, hopefully synergistic.
  1. Assist members of the society to organize workshops on specific issues in the general field of redox biology.
  1. Promote the teaching of all redox biology related aspects in Israel’s academic institutions, in all the relevant professions, from physics and chemistry to biomedical and health professions.
  1. Inform the general public on issues, concepts and commonly accepted miss-concepts in the field of free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidants.
  1. Promote collaborations between members of the society and other Israeli scientists whose work may overlap scientific issues of relevance to different aspects of free radical research, via cosponsored scientific meetings.
  1. Enhance the contribution (and reputation) of the Israeli research in the field of redox biology, by encouraging the participation of members of the society in international scientific meetings.
  1. Contribute to the education of graduate students and post doctoral fellows by granting prizes to outstanding research publications and by supporting the participation of these young scientists in International meetings in all fields of free radical research.
  1. Advance the cooperation between scientists engaged in basic research, professionals in various applied sciences in different industries and health practitioners, by encouraging such professionals to join the society and/or participate in our conferences and workshops.

Click here for Society Regulations ISOFRR Takanon


How One Thing Led to Another: The Story of the Israel Society for Oxygen and Free Radical Research

Free radicals have been studied for over 100 years,  mostly under chemical settings. The famous Fenton reaction was first published at the end of the 19th Century. Likewise, the Haber-Weiss reaction was introduced in 1934-5. Daniel Gilbert, Rebecca Gerschman and colleagues (Science, 1954) have discovered the similarity in the mechanisms of biological injury by x-irradiation and by oxygen toxicity. And, at the same year, Harman published his ‘free radical theory of aging’.

Physico-chemical studies and the development of the ESR spectrometer yielded a core of data that laid the foundation for future chemical research. This, in turn led to many biological investigations, aimed at gaining understanding of  the biological effects of free radicals and their role in health and disease.

In the late sixties, the enzyme superoxide-dismutase (SOD) was discovered by Irwin Fridovich and Joe McCord. In the early 1980s nitric oxide and the biological pathway of its production were discovered; all these made it obvious that free radicals play pivotal roles in normal physiology, as well as in pathology and toxicology and that maintenance of the redox steady state is an important element of homeostasis.

At the Department of Physical Chemistry of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the chemistry of free radicals was extensively studied, since the late 1940s. Gideon Czapski was a prominent investigator of the superoxide radical anion, and together with his students contributed to the understanding of free radical reactions.

In 1976, Czapski and his students Amram Samuni and Mordechay (Motti) Chevion formed an inter-disciplinary research team to combine the research activities on the chemistry of oxygen-derived free radicals with the activity devoted to the biology of iron and copper. One of the first accomplishments of this team was the crystallization of the site-specific metal-mediated biological injury induced by free radicals, which has since become a basis for understanding of the pathophysiology of plethora of human diseases. Jacob Aharonovich joined the team later.

In 1985 it became clear that the scientific interest in the biology of free radical and oxygen toxicity is broad, and that the Israeli scientific community may benefit from professional interactions and exchange of information and ideas. Motti Chevion took the initiative and together with his students and staff organized in May 1985 the first Meeting of the relevant investigators. There were more than 60 attendees, including Ayala Hochman and Irit Aviram, from Tel Aviv University, Elisha Tel-Or from the Faculty of Agriculture, Dan and Naomi Meyerstein, from Ben Gurion University and Abraham Reznick and Michael Aviram from the Technion.

This was the beginning of our Society. In the next seven years, Motti Chevion served as the president of the society. A scientific board was established, and annual meetings were organized, by various members, from the institutes of high learning and research.

In 1992, Ayala Hochman became the President-elect, and assumed the President’s role in 1993. During her term the administrative aspects and registration as a non-profit organization of the Society were legally processed.

Ever since, an annual meeting of the Members of the Society became a tradition and the focus of the activity of the society. Each year, always in Hanukah, always on Sunday, the society convenes for a one day meeting in one of the academic institutions, usually with the participation of an internationally leading guest speaker. During the first decade of the 21st century, the Society had more than two hundred members (including students) in all the Institutions of high education, in hospitals and in related industry.

In the last 15 years, the nature of the free radical research continuously drifted from chemistry to biology, agriculture, medicine and food sciences. Most of the researchers in those fields had modest interest in free radical research. Almost all the members of ISOFRR are active members of other experimental biology societies and many of them lost interest in the activity of ISOFRR. In the last seven years, the number of the participants of the annual meetings decreased and the number of active members threatened the mere existence of the society. Similar trends occurred in international societies and led to the realization that the main direction of scientific research in the field has to be re-defined, to stress the general nature of the redox state and redox reactions.


List of past presidents

Mordechay Chevion – 1985-1993

Ayala Hochman – 1993-1998

Dan Meyerstein – 1998-2000

Joseph Kanner – 1999-2004

Abraham Reznick – 2004-2007

Dov Lichtenberg – 2007-2009

Yoav Sharoni –     2009-2013

Vaya Yaacov –     2013-2016