Zvia Agur

Professor Zvia Agur is an eminent international biomathematician, who has made major contributions to the theory of disease dynamics, chemotherapy and vaccination policies optimization. Prof. Agur is founder of the Institute for Medical BioMathematics (IMBM), has been the president of the Israeli Society of Theoretical and Mathematical Biology, a member of the Board of Directors of the European Society of Mathematical and Theoretical Biology, and an editor of several professional publications. Her innovative research work has won national and international awards, has been published in a long line of leading scientific journals and is recognized by the academic community worldwide. Prof. Agur holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Université Libre de Bxl in Brussels.

Education and Positions:

Years Education / Position
2000 – 2020 Chairperson & CSO, Optimata Ltd
1999 – President, Institute for Medical Biomathematics (IMBM)
1994 – 1999 Associate Professor, Cell Research and Immunology, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
1987 – 1994 Senior Scientist, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1982 PhD in Biomathematics, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Academic and Professional Awards:

Year Award
2022 Elected as 2022 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2016 Finalist for EU Prize for Women Innovators, European Commission
2004 Best Paper Award, 6th International Conference on Cellular Automata for Research and Industry, ACRI.
1989 The Juludan Prize for Outstanding Scientific Achievements, Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
1987 Jakubskind-Cymerman Research Prize, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1987 The Elaine Blond Career Development Chair, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1974 Aharon Katzir Prize for Scientific Writing, Israel Academy of Science, Israel

Academic and Professional Experience:

Period Name of institution Department Rank/Function
2017 European Parliament, Brussels EU – Israel: 20 Years Research and Innovation Partnership Guest of honour
2010-2011 National Research Agency (ANR), France “Investissements d’Avenir” programme Member of the Board of Juries
2006 Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) “Mathematics and…” Member of the Board of Juries
2000-2020 Optimata Ltd. Chairperson & CSO
1994-1999 Tel-Aviv University, Israel Cell Research and Immunology Associate Professor
1992-1994 Oxford University, UK, Jesus College Zoology and Wellcome Centre for Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Visiting Senior ResearchFellow
1991 Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London, UK Biology Visiting Research Fellow
1989 Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France Physics Visiting Scientist
1989 Rockefeller University, New York, USA Neurosciences Institute Fellow in Residence
1987-1994 The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel Applied Maths. & Comp. Science Senior Scientist
1986-1987 The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel Ecology and Evolution Scientist
1983-1985 The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel Applied Maths. & Comp. Science Postdoctoral fellow
1975-1978 Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Genetics and EnvironmentalBiology Teaching and research assistant
1971-1973 Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Genetics and EnvironmentalBiology Teaching and research assistant


Recent Selected Publications:

  1. Kogan Y, Robinson A, Itelman E, Bar-Nur Y, Jakobson DJ, Segal G, et al. Developing and validating a machine learning prognostic model for alerting to imminent deterioration of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Sci Rep (2022) 12(1):19220.
  2. Agur Z. Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: On the Importance of Machine Learning Models in the Fight Against COVID-19 and on the Necessity to Scrutinize them. Isr Med Assoc J (2022) 24(11):705-07.
  3. Gillis A, Ben Yaacov A, Agur Z. A New Method for Optimizing Sepsis Therapy by Nivolumab and Meropenem Combination: Importance of Early Intervention and CTL Reinvigoration Rate as a Response Marker. Frontiers in Immunology. 2021;12(468).https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.616881
  4. Agur Z, Elishmereni M, Foryś U, Kogan Y. Accelerating the Development of Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy by Integrating Molecular Patients’ Profiles with Dynamic Mathematical Models. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/CPT.1942.
  5. Perlstein D, Shlagman O, Kogan Y, Halevi-Tobias K, Yakobson A, Lazarev I, et al. Personal response to immune checkpoint inhibitors of patients with advanced melanoma explained by a computational model of cellular immunity, tumor growth, and drug. PLoS One. 2019;14(12):e0226869. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226869. PubMed PMID: 31877168.
  6. Tsur N, Kogan Y, Rehm M, Agur Z. Response of Patients with Melanoma to Immune Checkpoint Blockade – Insights Gleaned from Analysis of a New Mathematical Mechanistic Model. J Journal of Theoretical Biology 2019:110033. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2019.110033. PubMed PMID: 31580835.   
  7. Tsur N, Kogan Y, Avizov-Khodak E, Vaeth D, Vogler N, Utikal J, Lotem M, Agur Z. Predicting response to pembrolizumab in metastatic melanoma by a new personalization algorithm. J Journal of Translational Medicine 2019;17(1):338. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-2081-2. PubMed PMID: 31590677.
  8. Gillis A, Beil M, Halevi-Tobias K, van Heerden PV, Sviri S, Agur Z. Alleviation of exhaustion-induced immunosuppression and sepsis by immune checkpoint blockers sequentially administered with antibiotics—analysis of a new mathematical model. J Intensive Care Medicine Experimental. 2019 7(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s40635-019-0260-3.    
  9. Hochman G, Halevi-Tobias K, Kogan Y, Agur Z. Extracellular inhibitors can attenuate tumorigenic Wnt pathway activity in adenomatous polyposis coli mutants: Predictions of a validated mathematical model. J PLoS One 2017 Jul 14;12(7):e0179888.
  10. Agur Z, Halevi-Tobias K, Kogan Y & Shlagman O. Employing dynamical computational models for personalizing cancer immunotherapy. Expert Opin Biol Ther., 26, 2016, pp 1-13.
  11. Elishmereni M, Kheifetz Y, Shukrun I, Bevan GH, Nandy D, McKenzie KM, Kohli M, Agur Z. Prediction of individual response to androgen deprivation therapy in hormone sensitive prostate cancer stage patients by integrating a mathematical mechanistic model of tumor progression with clinical patient characteristics. Prostate, 76(1), 2016, pp 48-57.