Rivka Carmi

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Rivka Carmi

Prof. Rivka Carmi (born 1948) is an Israeli pediatrician and geneticist who, from May 2006 to December 2018, has served as President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). She is the first woman to be appointed president of an Israeli university.

Early life and education[edit]

Carmi was born in Israel in August, 1948 and raised in Zichron Yaacov. Her mother, Zipora, was a social worker. Her father, Menachem, was an accountant, a painter and an amateur archaeologist who died when Carmi was 14 years old. She was an officer in the IDF (Captain) and served as the commander of academics officers' training school. during the Yom Kippur War, she participated in establishing the missing in action (MIA) accounting unit in the IDF. Carmi is a graduate of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Hadassah Medical School. She completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in neonatology at the Soroka University Medical Center and an additional fellowship in medical genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University Medical School.[1]

Professional career[edit]


Prior to her entry into the administrative arena of the University, Professor Carmi’s research focused mainly on the delineation of the clinical manifestations and molecular basis of genetic diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population.[2][3][4][5] Author of over 150 publications in medical genetics, her research included the identification of 12 new genes[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] and the delineation of 2 new syndromes,[25][26][27] one of which is known as the Carmi Syndrome. Carmi first academic publication (1977) described an accumulation of carbon dioxide oxygen hoods, infant cots and incubators in possible relation with the sudden infant death phenomenon.[28] Her community outreach projects were aimed at preventing hereditary diseases and advancing women's education in the Bedouin community. She was deeply involved with the establishment of major biotechnology initiatives at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and served as the Acting Director of the nascent National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.

Academic and related positions[edit]

Rivka Carmi serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Genesis Prize Foundation.[29] She is a founding member of the UK-Israel Science Council and served as its co-chair alongside Professor Raymond Dwek in the years 2010-2017.[30] On April 4, 2013 the Minister of Justice, MP Tzipi Livni, appointed Carmi to be part of the Rivlin Committee. The committee examined the compensation agreement for workers of the nuclear research facility in Dimona that were exposed to ionizing radiation and diagnosed with cancer. In May 2014 Carmi was appointed to be a member of the Locker Committee which examined Israel's national defense budget. In addition, Carmi acts to advance the status of women in general and in the academic and medical spheres in particular. In 2011 she was appointed chairperson of the Promotion and Representation of Women in Higher Education Institutions Committee (the so-called Carmi Team).[31] In 2015 she performed as the head of the task force of the Israeli Medical Association to examine the status of women in medicine.

Controversy over the final extension of Prof. Carmi's tenure as president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev[edit]

In November 2017, the search committee for president recommended extending Prof. Carmi's tenure as president by two additional years, through May 2020. In response, the academic senate held an extraordinary meeting, in which it declared that the search committee failed and called for the resignation of the chair of the executive committee, Mr. Asher Heled.[32] The executive committee decided to approve the extension despite the objections of the academic staff, which resulted in further protest moves.[33] Furthermore, the state comptroller launched an investigation into the selection process.[34] In her response letter to the faculty members, President Carmi stated:

What I have in mind is the good of the university, so once a person is elected to head it, I will be the first to congratulate, to vacate my place and to pave the way for anyone found to be suitable - even if it is earlier than the two years that I was asked to fill.[35]

In February 2018, the executive committee announced that a new president will be elected by the end of 2018, at which time Prof. Carmi will end her tenure as president.[36]


Recent noteworthy honors she has received include:

  • 2016 - JEWISH 100 awardees, The Algemeiner [37]
  • 2015 - Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)[38]
  • 2015 - The Paul Harris Fellow recognition, Rotary
  • 2013 - Honorary degree, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada[39]
  • 2010 - An Honorary Fellowship by the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya[40]
  • 2009 - An award in excellence from the Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association (IAPA)[41]
  • 2008 - Women of Distinction Award of the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America
  • 2003 - Achievement in Medicine Award by the Municipality of Beer-Sheva
  • 2002 - Award for Peace from the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO), to which she served as representative of the Israeli Medical Deans
  • 2001 - Lifetime Achievement Award by the Yated organization for children with Downs Syndrome


  1. ^ "Juggling Act". Haaretz. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  2. ^ Bet-Or H, Weizman D, Elbedour K, Shoham-Vardi I, Carmi R (2000). "Community based program to prevent hereditary deafness among the negev bedouins in israel". J Med Genet. A15 (37).CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Scott, D. A.; Carmi, R.; Elbedour, K.; Yosefsberg, S.; Stone, E. M.; Sheffield, V. C. (1996-08-01). "An autosomal recessive nonsyndromic-hearing-loss locus identified by DNA pooling using two inbred Bedouin kindreds". American Journal of Human Genetics. 59 (2): 385–391. ISSN 0002-9297. PMC 1914732. PMID 8755925.
  4. ^ Raz, Aviad E.; Atar, Marcela; Rodnay, Maya; Shoham-Vardi, Ilana; Carmi, Rivka (2003). "Between Acculturation and Ambivalence: Knowledge of Genetics and Attitudes towards Genetic Testing in a Consanguineous Bedouin Community". Public Health Genomics. 6 (2): 88–95. doi:10.1159/000073004. PMID 14560069.
  5. ^ Scott, D. A.; Carmi, R.; Elbedour, K.; Duyk, G. M.; Stone, E. M.; Sheffield, V. C. (1995-10-01). "Nonsyndromic autosomal recessive deafness is linked to the DFNB1 locus in a large inbred Bedouin family from Israel". American Journal of Human Genetics. 57 (4): 965–968. ISSN 0002-9297. PMC 1801487. PMID 7573061.
  6. ^ Birnbaum, Ramon Y.; Landau, Daniella; Elbedour, Khalil; Ofir, Rivka; Birk, Ohad S.; Carmi, Rivka (2008-04-15). "Deletion of the first pair of fibronectin type III repeats of the integrin β-4 gene is associated with epidermolysis bullosa, pyloric atresia and aplasia cutis congenita in the original Carmi syndrome patients". American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. 146A (8): 1063–1066. doi:10.1002/ajmg.a.31903. ISSN 1552-4833. PMID 18348258.
  7. ^ Chiang, Annie P.; Beck, John S.; Yen, Hsan-Jan; Tayeh, Marwan K.; Scheetz, Todd E.; Swiderski, Ruth E.; Nishimura, Darryl Y.; Braun, Terry A.; Kim, Kwang-Youn A. (2006-04-18). "Homozygosity mapping with SNP arrays identifies TRIM32, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, as a Bardet–Biedl syndrome gene (BBS11)". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (16): 6287–6292. doi:10.1073/pnas.0600158103. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 1458870. PMID 16606853.
  8. ^ Nishimura, Darryl Y.; Fath, Melissa; Mullins, Robert F.; Searby, Charles; Andrews, Michael; Davis, Roger; Andorf, Jeaneen L.; Mykytyn, Kirk; Swiderski, Ruth E. (2004-11-23). "Bbs2-null mice have neurosensory deficits, a defect in social dominance, and retinopathy associated with mislocalization of rhodopsin". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 101 (47): 16588–16593. doi:10.1073/pnas.0405496101. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 534519. PMID 15539463.
  9. ^ Mykytyn, Kirk; Nishimura, Darryl Y.; Searby, Charles C.; Shastri, Mythreyi; Yen, Hsan-jan; Beck, John S.; Braun, Terry; Streb, Luan M.; Cornier, Alberto S. (2002-08-01). "Identification of the gene (BBS1) most commonly involved in Bardet-Biedl syndrome, a complex human obesity syndrome". Nature Genetics. 31 (4): 435–438. doi:10.1038/ng935. ISSN 1061-4036. PMID 12118255.
  10. ^ Walder, Roxanne Y.; Landau, Daniel; Meyer, Peter; Shalev, Hanna; Tsolia, Maria; Borochowitz, Zvi; Boettger, Melanie Barbara; Beck, Gretel E.; Englehardt, Richard K. (2002-06-01). "Mutation of TRPM6 causes familial hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia". Nature Genetics. 31 (2): 171–174. doi:10.1038/ng901. ISSN 1061-4036. PMID 12032570.
  11. ^ Nishimura, Darryl Y.; Searby, Charles C.; Carmi, Rivka; Elbedour, Khalil; Maldergem, Lionel Van; Fulton, Anne B.; Lam, Byron L.; Powell, Berkley R.; Swiderski, Ruth E. (2001-04-02). "Positional cloning of a novel gene on chromosome 16q causing Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS2)". Human Molecular Genetics. 10 (8): 865–874. doi:10.1093/hmg/10.8.865. ISSN 0964-6906. PMID 11285252.
  12. ^ Haider, Neena B.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Swiderski, Ruth; Streb, Luan M.; Searby, Charles; Beck, Gretel; Hockey, Robin; Hanna, David B. (2000-02-01). "Mutation of a nuclear receptor gene, NR2E3, causes enhanced S cone syndrome, a disorder of retinal cell fate". Nature Genetics. 24 (2): 127–131. doi:10.1038/72777. ISSN 1061-4036. PMID 10655056.
  13. ^ Carstea, Eugene D.; Morris, Jill A.; Coleman, Katherine G.; Loftus, Stacie K.; Zhang, Dana; Cummings, Christiano; Gu, Jessie; Rosenfeld, Melissa A.; Pavan, William J. (1997-07-11). "Niemann-Pick C1 Disease Gene: Homology to Mediators of Cholesterol Homeostasis". Science. 277 (5323): 228–231. doi:10.1126/science.277.5323.228. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 9211849.
  14. ^ Maman, Eran; Maor, Esther; Kachko, Leonid; Carmi, Rivka (1998-06-30). "Epidermolysis bullosa, pyloric atresia, aplasia cutis congenita: Histopathological delineation of an autosomal recessive disease". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 78 (2): 127–133. doi:10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19980630)78:2<127::aid-ajmg6>3.0.co;2-l. ISSN 1096-8628.
  15. ^ Scott, Da; Kraft, Ml; Carmi, R; Ramesh, A; Elbedour, K; Yairi, Y; Srisailapathy, C. R. Srikumari; Rosengren, Ss; Markham, Af (1998-01-01). "Identification of mutations in the connexin 26 gene that cause autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss". Human Mutation. 11 (5): 387–394. doi:10.1002/(sici)1098-1004(1998)11:5<387::aid-humu6>3.0.co;2-8. ISSN 1098-1004.
  16. ^ Buskila, Dan; Neumann, Lily; Hazanov, Ilia; Carmi, Rivka (1996-12-01). "Familial aggregation in the fihromyalgia syndrome". Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 26 (3): 605–611. doi:10.1016/S0049-0172(96)80011-4.
  17. ^ Carmi, R.; Rokhlina, T.; Kwitek-Black, A. E.; Elbedour, K.; Nishimura, D.; Stone, E. M.; Sheffield, V. C. (1995-01-01). "Use of a DNA pooling strategy to identify a human obesity syndrome locus on chromosome 15". Human Molecular Genetics. 4 (1): 9–13. doi:10.1093/hmg/4.1.9. ISSN 0964-6906. PMID 7711739.
  18. ^ Sheffield, Val C.; Carml, Rivka; Kwltek-Black, Anne; Rokhlina, Tatiana; Nishlmura, Darryl; Duyk, Geoffrey M.; Elbedour, Khalil; Sunden, Sara L.; Stone, Edwin M. (1994-08-01). "Identification of a Bardet-Biedl syndrome locus on chromosome 3 and evaluation of an efficient approach to homozygosity mapping". Human Molecular Genetics. 3 (8): 1331–1335. doi:10.1093/hmg/3.8.1331. ISSN 0964-6906. PMID 7987310.
  19. ^ Carmi, R.; Gohar, J.; Meizner, I.; Katz, M. (1994-06-01). "Spontaneous abortion–high risk factor for neural tube defects in subsequent pregnancy". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 51 (2): 93–97. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320510203. ISSN 1096-8628.
  20. ^ Parvari, R.; Weinstein, Y.; Ehrlich, S.; Steinitz, M.; Carmi, R. (1994-02-15). "Linkage localization of the thoraco-abdominal syndrome (TAS) gene to Xq25–26". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 49 (4): 431–434. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320490416. ISSN 1096-8628. PMID 7909197.
  21. ^ Kwitek-Black, Anne E.; Carmi, Rivka; Duyk, Geoffrey M.; Buetow, Kenneth H.; Elbedour, Khalil; Parvari, Ruti; Yandava, Chandra Naidu; Stone, Edwin M.; Sheffield, Val C. (1993-12-01). "Linkage of Bardet–Biedl syndrome to chromosome 16q and evidence for non–allelic genetic heterogeneity". Nature Genetics. 5 (4): 392–396. doi:10.1038/ng1293-392. PMID 8298649.
  22. ^ Carmi, Rivka; Boughman, Joann A. (1992-01-01). "Pentalogy of Cantrell and associated midline anomalies: A possible ventral midline developmental field". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 42 (1): 90–95. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320420118. ISSN 1096-8628. PMID 1308371.
  23. ^ Carmi, R.; Meizner, I.; Katz, M. (1990-07-01). "Familial congenital diaphragmatic defect and associated midline anomalies: Further evidence for an X-linked midline gene?". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 36 (3): 313–315. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320360314. ISSN 1096-8628. PMID 2363430.
  24. ^ Carmi, R.; Sofer, S.; Karplus, M.; Ben-Yakar, Y.; Mahler, D.; Zirkin, H.; Bar-Ziv, J.; Opitz, John M. (1982-03-01). "Aplasia cutis congenita in two sibs discordant for pylori atresia". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 11 (3): 319–328. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320110308. ISSN 1096-8628. PMID 6177243.
  25. ^ "OMIM - % 313850 - THORACOABDOMINAL SYNDROME; THAS". www.omim.org. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  26. ^ "OMIM Entry - # 226730 - CARMI SYNDROME". www.omim.org. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  27. ^ Carmi, R.; Barbash, A.; Mares, A. J. (1990-05-01). "The thoracoabdominal syndrome (TAS): A new X-linked dominant disorder". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 36 (1): 109–114. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320360122. ISSN 1096-8628. PMID 2139758.
  28. ^ Gale, Rena; Redner-Carmi, Rivka; Gale, J. (1977-10-01). "Accumulation of Carbon Dioxide in Oxygen Hoods, Infant Cots, and Incubators". Pediatrics. 60 (4): 453–456. ISSN 0031-4005. PMID 905008.
  29. ^ "A member of the Advisory Board of the Genesis Prize Foundation". The Genesis Prize.
  30. ^ "UK-Israel Science Council British Council". www.britishcouncil.org.il. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  31. ^ "במוסדות להשכלה גבוהה קידום וייצוג נשים -תשע"ה 2015 דו"ח הועדה" (PDF).
  32. ^ צור, ירדן (2017-11-22). "חרף ההנחיות, אונ' בן גוריון רוצה להאריך את כהונת הנשיאה; הפרופסורים מתנגדים". הארץ (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  33. ^ צור, ירדן (2017-12-21). "מחריף המשבר באונ' בן גוריון: נעצר הליך מינוי הרקטור החדש". הארץ (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  34. ^ "מבקר המדינה בודק הארכת מינויה של נשיאת אוניברסיטת בן גוריון". ערוץ עשר (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  35. ^ (Tzur) צור, (Yarden) ירדן (2 January 2018). "(The president of Ben-Gurion University responds to the protest) נשיא אוניברסיטת בן גוריון מגיב למחאה". הארץ (in Hebrew). Ha'aretz. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  36. ^ צור, ירדן (2018-02-05). "אוניברסיטת בן גוריון: נבחר נשיא חדש עד תום 2018". הארץ (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  37. ^ "JEWISH 100 awardees". The Algemeiner. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  38. ^ "Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Honorary degree, Dalhousie University". Dalhousie University.
  40. ^ "An Honorary Fellowship by the Interdisciplinary Center". idc.ac.il. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  41. ^ "An award in excellence from the Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association". inn.co.il. Retrieved 8 July 2009.

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