The Zuckerman Faculty Scholars program, part of the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program, partially supports the purchase and construction of laboratories, the purchase of special equipment, as well as supplying research funds to top researchers. It thus provides vital resources to Israeli universities, allowing them to compete with top North American institutions for the most promising candidates.
The program facilitates the return of top Israeli scholars to Israeli institutions, cultivates world class scientific talent, and in turn, attracts outstanding postdoctoral researchers from top Western universities, creating a cycle of excellence.
EIGHT ZUCKERMAN LABORATORIES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN ISRAEL SINCE OCTOBER 2016.
COMPLEX PHOTONICS LAB
Exploring Complex Systems with Light
Dr. Yaron Bromberg, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The laboratory experiments with how light interacts with complex photonic systems, such as scattering media, disordered multimode fibers, aperiodic photonic crystals and more.
Such systems are composed of large numbers of spatial, spectral, and polarization degrees of freedom, which are strongly coupled due to disorder. The lab‘s curiosity-driven researchers focus on understanding the fascinating physical phenomena that emerge in these systems, which exhibit both the quantum (particle-like) and classical (wave-like) nature of light.
NANO & QUANTUM FUNCTIONAL STRUCTURES
Dr. Yachin Ivry, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The laboratory focuses on controlling the onset of collective-electron phenomena at the nanoscale, mainly in ferroelectricity and superconductivity. Lab researchers seek to understand these fascinating phenomena scientifically and to facilitate them for next-generation low-power computational technologies and other nano and quantum devices.
INTENSE LASER AND ULTRAFAST-SCIENCE
Dr. Ishay Pomerantz, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The laboratory investigates how intense light can accelerate particles to high energies. Lab researchers use these particles to study frontier areas of science at the meeting point between material science, plasma physics and nuclear physics. They conduct their experimental activities both in the local laboratory and in intense laser facilities abroad.
SPIEGEL LAB – HOW EXPERIENCE REGULATES BRAIN FUNCTION
Dr. Ivo Spiegel, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The laboratory researches the ability to adapt to and learn from experiences, which underlies many of our cognitive capabilities. Lab researchers seek to identify the molecular mechanisms through which neural circuits adapt to experience and to understand how the cellular functions that are regulated by these molecular mechanisms generate an animal’s adaptive behavior. They focus on signaling and transcriptional networks and apply genomic, molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches to understanding how experience-induced signaling and transcriptional networks in subtypes of cortical neurons regulate the connectivity and function of the cortex. Researchers believe this will allow them to untangle how nature and nurture cooperate to regulate adaptive behavior and to understand how mutations in the genome might give rise to individual variation in cognitive capabilities and to psychiatric disorders.
SYSTEMS PHYSIOLOGY OF OBESITY AND DIABETES
Danny Ben Zvi, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The laboratory focuses on understanding how bariatric surgery works, which presents opportunities for both understanding organismal physiology as well as identifying new clinical approaches for diabetes and obesity. Lab researchers collaborate closely with physicians, make use of mouse models for metabolic diseases and bariatric surgery, and apply mathematical tools to interpret results and design new experiments.
Dr. Yoav Shechtman, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The lab is developing imaging methods for exploring life on the nano-scale. This is the problem at the heart of methods such as single-particle-tracking and localization based super-resolution microscopy (e.g. PALM, STORM). One useful way of achieving such 3D localization at nanoscale precision is to modify the point-spread-function (PSF) of the microscope so that it encodes the 3D position in its shape. Lab researchers investigate the optimal way to modify a microscope’s PSF in order to encode the 3D position (x,y,z) of a point emitter in the most efficient way.
TUMOR SYSTEMS BIOLOGY LAB
Dr. Itay Tirosh, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The lab combines computational and experimental methods to study human tumors as a complex ecosystem in which diverse cancer and non-cancer cells interact and collectively determine tumor biology and response to therapies. Lab researchers leverage single cell technologies, computational approaches and clinical collaborations to analyze the diversity of cells within human tumors. They focus on identifying important tumor subpopulations such as cancer stem cells, drug resistant cells, invasive cells, and immune cells that respond to immunotherapies. They then study their function, regulation, and vulnerabilities, with the ultimate goal of developing better cancer treatments.
REGENERATION AND STEM CELL BIOLOGY USING INVERTEBRATE MODELS
Dr. Omri Wurtzel, Principal Investigator and Zuckerman Faculty Scholar
The laboratory will open in few months. Lab researchers hope to unravel principles of stem cell biology in higher organisms, such as humans, where only certain organs and cell types regenerate.