KEDEM, ORA (1924– ), physical chemist. Kedem was born in Vienna and immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1940 as an "illegal" immigrant on the ill-fated Patria. She graduated from the Hebrew University and received her doctorate from the Weizmann Institute in 1953. Together with Prof. Aharon *Katzir she initiated the analysis of biomembrane processes in terms of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, defining the energy conversion in active transport and muscle action. In the 1960s and early 1970s she helped to found Ben-Gurion University (the University of the Negev). She founded and chaired the Department of Membrane Research at the Weizmann Institute and was scientific director of membrane products there and then of RPR). She contributed to the understanding and development of membrane processes for desalination and other separation technologies. In 1965 she was appointed associate professor in the Department of Polymer Research at the Institute and full professor in 1970. She was awarded the Israel Prize for science in 1961. [Bracha Rager (2nd ed.)]
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.