Professor Talma Rosenthal (Israel)

Position: Acting Head, Department of Medicine, and initiator and head of the Hypertension Research Institute, Sheba Medical Center for 26 years; presently responsible for hypertension research at Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine

Affiliation: Tel Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

What is your role at your work?

Responsible for diabetes and hypertension research in animal studies.

How did you get interested in your career path?

A national survey on hypertension was conducted by the Ministry of Health in 1970 and a large number of such patients were hospitalized in my department at Sheba Medical Center. We studied the diagnosis of different etiologies and frequency of hypertension.

What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?
Four young physicians who began their careers under my supervision went on to become leaders in the field of hypertension in Israel.

In 1984 I introduced Israel to the World Hypertension League (WHL), which included participation in an international competition for children’s drawings on the subject of health.

I organized international conferences on Hypertension in the Community that attracted the leading figures in the field; 8 meetings were held in Israel and 2 abroad.

What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Feeling that hypertension should be considered a separate discipline, I convinced the top medical associations of the importance of a separate status for recognition and support for studying, combating, and developing treatments for the disease. The specialty received separate status.

What advice would you give your younger self?

To pursue research in addition to treating patients, and to never forget that you are dealing with people with problems. To evaluate colleagues not only on their professional skills but also on their humanity.

Highlight your most significant research contributions and publications (3-5) – if relevant to you.

  • Immigration studies: hypertension profiles of Ethiopians upon arrival and after years in Israel
  • Cohen Rosenthal Diabetic Hypertensive rats (CRDH) bred from Cohen non-insulin-dependent diabetic rats with SHR, an important research tool for evaluating mechanisms and treatment of hypertension
  • Studied with the Weizmann Institute the combination of allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, and captopril and its effect on hypertension and metabolic parameters. A patent was registered.

Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.

A number of researchers with whom I worked in the US (Columbia Presbyterian) and UK (St. Mary’s Hospital Paddington) influenced my career.

How can we support the next generation of women scientists?

With the increasing number of women enrolled in medical schools – sometimes outnumbering the men – and the increasing number of women in the profession, much of the work has been done. It remains to see to it that women get equal consideration for grants, pay and promotion.