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Finkelstein Yoram

E-mail: yoramf@ekmd.huji.ac.il

Yoram Finkelstein, MD, PhD has been with Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel since 1989, where he is the Head of the Neurology and Toxicology Service and Unit. He studied medicine at the University of Bologna, Italy, and graduated the Israel Technological Institute in Haifa (MD degree, 1980) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (PhD degree). He was specialized in Clinical Neurology in Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and had a fellowship in Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. For several years he served as a physician in the Israel National Poison Control Center.
His professional activity has combined basic research with clinical work.
Dr. Finkelstein established a widely-accepted standard clinical protocol for the treatment of severe acute cases of organophosphate poisoning. He studied the brain cholinergic systems, the underlying nature of pesticides and their specific patterns of intoxication in the human brain. He also studied lead poisoning and association of mercury, manganese and Parkinsonism, fields in which pressures and conflict of interests are all too pervasive.
Dr. Finkelstein has carried out a project for re-assessing the neurobehavioral status of a cohort of several hundred kibbutz workers, residents and their children who have continuously been exposed to pesticide drift. He has also characterized their genetic determinants and the confounding atmospheric variables. The same cohort was examined three decades ago by Professor Richter. All of these complex projects have provided a firm scientific and institutional basis for neurobehavioral toxicology in Israel.
Dr. Finkelstein has taught Clinical Neurology, Neurobiology and Toxicology in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 1986 and tutored graduate students. Since 2005 he has been an Adjunct Professor and faculty member of the Division of Pediatric Toxicology, Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Dr. Finkelstein organized and chaired in 2009 the 12th Meeting of the International Neurotoxicology Association on gene-environment interactions in Jerusalem. This meeting was critical tipping point for advancing neurobehavioral toxicology in Israel. As a guest editor of Neurotoxicology, he published seminal materials on exposure-susceptibility issues.
His public activities include consulting community groups exposed to industrial pollution hazards, mainly in the Bay of Haifa and Kishon River Basin. He assessed health risks to children from exposure to environmental pollution and recommend pesticide and phthalate policies. Dr. Finkelstein served on central committee of the Israel Medical Association and the National Insurance Institute. He is a member of several national commissions on environmental and toxicological principles and policies, both at the Parliamentary and Governmental levels. His successful defense against a SLAPP suit brought against him by a polluting smelter was a precedentary case in Israel. This was also the first SLAPP case to be defended by ISEE.

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