Weizmann to set sail on science cruise in S.F. Bay

When the local fund-raising arm for Israel's Weizmann Institute hosts its "Science at Sunset" on a 100-foot yacht, the evening may not only be romantic — it may be historic.

The three-hour cruise set for Monday, Aug. 24, which combines a cocktail buffet with a scientific presentation, may be the first such event to be sponsored by a local Jewish organization.

Shirley Gerzon, assistant director of the Bay Area branch of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, said the cruise was "the first of its kind for us. It is an alternative mode to celebrate an institution that is very special."

The local fund-raising group has previously hosted events at the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Sciences.

"We are always looking for interesting ways to present science," Gerzon said. "We try to get people more in tune with science."

Dr. Roy Grekin, a professor of surgical dermatology at UCSF Medical Center, will discuss his research on melanoma and skin cancer in general. He will also speak about recent developments in photodynamic therapy, which combines the use of a laser and a photosensitizer to treat skin cancer.

Dr. Jay Levy of the Cancer Research Institute at UCSF will introduce Grekin and speak briefly about the Weizmann Institute.

The institute, located in Rehovot, Israel, is a highly regarded research center. More than 2,500 academics there engage in research projects across the scientific spectrum.

The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute helps raise money by organizing events for those connected to the institute in this region, including lectures and talks by Weizmann scientists traveling through the Bay Area.