The Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness

A Joint Initiative of the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) and the Bennett Family

The Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness is an annual award designed to recognize experts doing collaborative research that merges science and wellness for the advancement of human health and wellbeing globally. It is a joint initiative between wellness advocate and Bennett Family Foundation President, Bija Bennett, and the Global Wellness Summit, an annual international symposium for leaders shaping the wellness industry’s future.

The award was inaugurated at the 2022 Global Wellness Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel, October 31 – November 3, 2022



The Global Wellness Summit is an international organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively impact and shape the future of the global wellness industry.

This award amplifies the Summit’s mission and shares its objectives:

  • To share, disseminate and showcase the work of important innovators
  • Create new stories/media that can be shared globally to inspire others
  • Serve as a role model to encourage multi-generational support for collaborative research projects across borders


See related media:

Cision PR Newswire

Bennett Family Award Honors Global Collaborations in the Science of Wellness

American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

Weizmann Institute President Awarded 2022 Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness

The University of Chicago News

Juan de Pablo receives inaugural Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness

UChicago News

Cross-institutional partnership propels global research in AI and quantum science


About the Award

The Bennett Family Award supports the study of the scientific mechanisms of wellness that can help us find answers to some of society’s most important questions: What makes a person healthy, happy and resilient? Why can one person cope with stress better than another? What types of resources are needed to empower individuals, families and communities to improve the quality of their lives?

A new vision of science and wellness is emerging that addresses the whole person in multiple interconnected biological, behavioral, social and environmental areas. Scientific research studies that go beyond the disease process can help our contemporary world learn how to restore health, promote resilience and prevent diseases across a lifespan.


The 2023 recipient of the Bennett Family Award

Michael Roizen, M.D.

Dr. Roizen is a distinguished American physician and author renowned for his significant contributions to the field of preventive medicine. With a medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, Roizen has dedicated his career to promoting health and wellness. He gained widespread recognition as the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, where he has been instrumental in shaping innovative approaches to healthcare. Dr. Roizen is a prolific author, co-writing several best-selling books, including the acclaimed “You: The Owner’s Manual” series, which empowers individuals with practical insights into optimizing their well-being. His expertise extends to areas such as aging, nutrition, and lifestyle choices, making him a sought-after expert in the field of longevity. Dr. Michael Roizen’s commitment to preventive healthcare and his ability to communicate complex medical concepts in an accessible manner have made him a trusted authority and a influential figure in the promotion of a healthier and happier life.

The 2022 recipients of the Bennett Family Award

Juan de Pablo

Juan is the Executive Vice President for Science, Innovation, National Laboratories, and Global Initiatives, as well as the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. A prominent materials scientist, de Pablo focuses his research on polymers, biological macromolecules such as proteins and DNA, glasses, and liquid crystals.

Juan’s work related to wellness has led to optimal processes to stabilize live bacteria for survival and extended stability performance after lyophilization (freeze-drying). Such processes are now used throughout the world in the food and probiotic industries.


Alon Chen

Prof. Alon Chen is the 11th President of the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was Head of the Department of Neurobiology (since renamed Department of Brain Science) from 2016-2019. He was also Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, and served as the Head of the Max Planck Society – Weizmann Institute of Science Laboratory for Experimental Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurogenetics. He is an External Member of the Max Planck Society an adjunct Professor at the Medical School of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.

Prof. Chen received a BSc in Biological Studies, with distinction, from Ben-Gurion University in 1995, a PhD from the Weizmann Institute in 2001, with distinction), and an MBA from Ben-Gurion University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. In 2005, he joined the faculty of the Weizmann Institute. He is the incumbent of the Vera and John Schwartz Professorial Chair in Neurobiology.

Prof. Chen’s research focuses on the neurobiology of stress, particularly the mechanisms by which the brain regulates the response to stressful challenges and how this response is linked to psychiatric disorders.

About Marshall and Arlene Bennett

Marshall And Arlene Bennett

Marshall and Arlene Bennett had a life-long commitment to philanthropy in the arts, medicine, culture and diplomacy and supported innovation and philanthropy in both civic and global endeavors including the Clinton Foundation, the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation, endowing a chair at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and building Bennett Gordon Hall at the Ravinia Festival for young student musicians and performers.

One of their most pressing goals was to make a difference in the world. In 1980, Marshall joined the board of the EastWest Institute, a global think-tank responsible for tackling tough international problems through diplomacy and problem solving. He also co-founded the Chicago Ten—a group of prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Chicago area, to devise and promote economic-based solutions for peace in the Middle East. Until shortly before their deaths, Marshall and Arlene were working for Middle East peace by fostering Israeli/Palestinian commerce, having traveled to Israel 46 times.

The Bennetts also gave to causes that furthered important research in science. Marshall served as a Life Trustee of the Northshore Medical Group where he founded the Arlene and Marshall Bennett Chair in Neurosurgery. Other significant donations have included the Arlene & Marshall Bennett Research Laboratory in Adolescent Psychiatry, Michael Reese Hospital and the Bennett/Pritzker Department of Women’s Health, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

They generously established the Marshall and Arlene Bennett Family Fund in 2011 to support a program of scientific collaboration between the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Chicago, combining the strengths of these two world-renowned research centers. These collaborative efforts include a yearly call for proposals and an evaluation of the projects proposed by joint teams of scientists.

Outside of their generous philanthropic work, Marshall Bennett was a pioneering real estate developer and broker of office and industrial property, advising institutional investors, and was an esteemed and effective mentor to many, imparting knowledge to, and making connections between protégés, partners and colleagues. His efforts facilitated significant real estate transactions and groundbreaking developments nationwide. Arlene was active with the Mary Lawrence Chapter of the Jewish Children’s Bureau, Misericordia, the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue, the University of Chicago Women’s Board, the Ravinia Festival Association, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Arlene and Marshall were a couple of great integrity, intelligence, curiosity, generosity, perseverance and kindness and were always more interested in what they could give than what they could receive.

Marshall and Arlene Bennett’s philanthropic efforts have always served as a role model for their daughter Bija, especially in her role as an educator and advocate for global wellness. Through this award, Bija hopes to encourage multi-generational support for future collaborative projects that combine the creative power of science, technology, human health and wellness across borders.



Lifescape: A Video Portrait of Marshall Bennett


About Bija Bennett

Bija Bennett is an internationally known author, speaker and thought leader in the wellness industry who conveys the tenets of mind-body health in remarkably accessible and engaging ways. As a life-long champion of mental health awareness, Bija is an advocate for an emerging wellness paradigm that addresses the whole person in interconnected ways and teaches the care strategies and multidisciplinary solutions to help individuals realize optimal wellbeing.

A certified yoga therapist, she has treated thousands of patients and has developed pioneering programs for Fortune 500 companies, major medical institutions, spa and hospitality groups, and personal clients. Bija has written four internationally respected books and publishes regularly in Rolling Stone and AGEIST magazines. She is an Ambassador for the Global Wellness Institute, the leading organization empowering wellness worldwide, and currently serves as the GWI Yoga Therapy Initiative Chair.

In partnership with the Global Wellness Summit, Bija established the Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness to recognize scientists collaborating for the advancement of human health and wellbeing. She has spoken at universities and corporate retreats and regularly appears at national and international conferences. Additionally, she has co-taught seminars with Deepak Chopra, M.D., and has worked with clients of all levels and ages, from CEOs to celebrities, including Laura Dern, George Harrison, The Beach Boys, Barbra Streisand, Donna Karan, Elizabeth Taylor and more. Through her charismatic and engaging style, Bija is a dynamic representative of the future of mind-body health.