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Dr. Ernest Baden Recognized for Advancing Medical Research at TAU


Prof. Yoseph A. Mekori and
Dr. Ernest Baden

Dr. Ernest Baden, a distinguished intellectual and oral and general anatomic pathologist with a subspecialty in surgical head and neck pathology, was honored for his generous support for the advancement of medical research at a May 18th ceremony at Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine during TAU's annual Board of Governors meeting.

The Pompano Beach, FL, resident, will establish the Dr. Ernest Baden Institute of Head and Neck Pathology, as well as the Dr. Jane R. Baden Endowed Research Fund for Molecular Research to Elucidate the Etiology and Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease in honor of his mother, who died of the disease. His gift will benefit both the School of Medicine and TAU's Sagol School of Neuroscience.

Among the notables on hand to applaud the unveiling of a plaque recognizing Dr. Baden were medical pathologists from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine Dean Prof. Yoseph A. Mekori, and a number of leading Alzheimer's disease researchers. Many members of the American delegation to the annual meeting were in attendance, including American Friends of Tel Aviv University National Chairman Jon Gurkoff, President & CEO Gail Reiss, and Southeast Region Consultant Joel S. Friedman.

A perfect nexus

Dr. Ernest Baden and
Joel S. Friedman

Addressing the guests, Prof. Mekori said, "As an expert pathologist, Dr. Baden was quite precise about where the resources should go. I want to convey my deep gratitude for his very important contribution to Alzheimer's research, and to the study of head and neck pathology."

While in Israel — a trip that encompassed his first visit to the city of Tel Aviv — Dr. Baden delivered two lectures: "The Spectrum of Lesions, Benign and Malignant Neoplasms of the Head and Neck Caused by the Human Papilloma Virus," delivered at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center on May 13, 2014, was attended by staff pathologists and residents. "The Differential Diagnosis of Oral Ulcers," delivered in the Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, on May 14, 2014, was attended by undergraduate dental students, residents, and faculty members of the department.

Friedman noted that Dr. Baden has spent a lifetime teaching. "His great passion is medicine," he said, "and he feels a strong affinity for global Jewry. This contribution is an ideal legacy, melding his love of education, medicine, and the Jewish people."

A bohemian perspective

At the ceremony, Dr. Baden spoke of his experiences fleeing from the Nazis during WWII. Leaving Marseille, France on May 15, 1941, on the S.S. Wyoming with his parents sailing to Fort De France, Martinique, where another ship was going to take the family to their final destination of Montevideo, Uruguay. The S.S. Wyoming, without informing its passengers and already past Gibraltar and in the international waters of the Atlantic Ocean, was instead ordered to change its course and sail to Casablanca, French Morocco. All foreign Jewish passengers were arrested and interned in concentration camps, even though they had valid exit permits to leave France and valid visas to enter various countries. He and his parents were interned first in Oued Zem and later in Sidi El Ayashi, French concentration camps in Morocco.

Following studies at the University of Algiers and Paris, Dr. Baden went on to earn his DDS degree from New York University and a medical degree from the University of Geneva, graduating with the distinction of summa cum laude and becoming a physician with board certification in pathology. "I am really a bohemian; I've lived la vie boheme," he said. "I started my medical career in the Near East, first studying dentistry and literature at the University of Algiers and Paris. I have studied and taught at three universities in the course of my career and directed a clinic in oral medicine.

"And now I have discovered TAU, one of the leading medical research institutions in the Middle East. I find the intellect of the faculty and the student body impressive — and I have never in my life received such a generous reception. I feel at home here."

That made his decision to advance research at TAU an obvious choice, he said. "Immortality is a philosophical and religious concept having many interpretations," he told the guests. "My view is a pragmatic one, namely ensuring the continuation of a successful and rewarding career educating dental and medical students, training future specialists, and supporting medical research in head and neck pathology, my field of expertise and interest. The elimination of poverty and unemployment, can only be achieved by education in all fields of human endeavors."

Dr. Ben Williamowsky, a member of TAU's Board of Governors and AFTAU's Board of Directors, said after the ceremony, "Dr. Baden is a dentist, a physician, and a philanthropist who is an all-around wonderful person. We're lucky to have him in the TAU family."


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