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Advancing Women in STEM

“Advancing Women in STEM” is not just a slogan at the Zuckerman STEM Program. 46% of the Zuckerman Scholars are women.

We continue to lead the way in advancing women in STEM in academic institutions. Much remains to be done, but the Zuckerman STEM Program believes it’s important to increase the momentum.

Each Zuckerman female scholar is making an impact in her field, creating a larger group of peers, and easing the way for other women to be accepted.

 

Community and Partnership

The Zuckerman STEM Program is proud to continue expanding the Women in STEM community through partnerships and broader opportunities.

Despite the fact that over half of all PhDs are awarded to women, the percentage of female tenured faculty hovers between 20% – 33% in the US, and falls to as low as 5% in fields such as engineering, demonstrating the difficulty women face advancing in academia.

According to the World Economic Forum:

• Female students and employees are under-represented in STEM-related fields.
• On average, around 30% of the world’s researchers are women.
• Less than a third of female students choose to study higher education courses in subjects like math and engineering.
• Women in STEM fields publish less and often receive less pay.

In the last six years since the program was started, we have grown our community as evidenced by the supervisors and scholars represented.

Partnership with WISER: A mentorship initiative for Israeli women postdocs
Wiser is an initiative whose goal is to increase the number of Israeli women who successfully complete postdoctoral training and transition to impactful academic or industrial positions. The Zuckerman Institute is proud to support this important initiative and invites other organizations to join in supporting Wiser.

Paving the way

Meet the Israeli Zuckerman Faculty women who are paving the way for women in Israeli academia. 

16 Faculty Scholars opening Zuckerman labs in 6 Israeli universities

Dr. Gili Bisker
Dr. Moran Dvela-Levitt
Dr. Gali (Galit) Fichman
Dr. Arielle Fischer
Dr. Limor Freifeld
Dr. Ariella Glasner
Dr. Yael Kiro
Dr. Geffen Kleinstern
Dr. Yaara Oren
Dr. Michal Ramot
Dr. Dekel Rosenfeld
Dr. Moran Shalev-Benami
Dr. Daphna Shimon
Dr. Neta Shlezinger
Dr. Hadas Soifer
Dr. Shani Stern

 

Cycle of Excellence

Meet the  Zuckerman Israeli postdoctoral women who are currently at universities in the US.

  • 6 Israeli Postdoctoral scholars at 5 US universities

Yael Avni
Dr. Avni intends to extend her interest in charged soft matter and in solving problems of relevance to biology using the tools of physics. She is also interested in active phase transitions and their applications in biological systems such as neural networks, as well as in far-from-equilibrium self-assembly and growth dynamics.

At University of Chicago
From Tel Aviv University

Shiran Bar
Dr. Bar investigates the relationship between stress and epigenetic regulation of transposable elements, attempting to answer the critical question of how environmental conditions can induce specific chromatin alterations, leading to changes in gene expression and cell function.

At Stanford University
From Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Adi Biram
Dr. Biram is using advanced molecular approaches to study the immune interactions governing inflammatory responses in the skin. Identifying novel cellular interactions and signaling pathways in the skin, allowing the examination of complex cellular processes in the context of an immunological niche in the skin, can provide insights for designing therapeutic strategies to prevent excessive skin inflammation.

At UC San Francisco
From Weizmann Institute of Science

Tal Gordon
Dr. Tal Gordon compares cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration by analyzing gene expression profiles at injured tissue sites. She focuses on the role of stem cells in three ascidian species with major differences in their regenerative capacities. Her studies, when combined with advanced tissue engineering applications, could potentially have implications for regenerative medicine and stem cell biology in vertebrates as well.

At Stanford University
From Tel Aviv University

Deborah Pereg
Dr. Pereg is exploring fast learning, transfer learning, and few-shot learning from a sparse representations point of view using neurological data. Analyzing high dimensional data from genomics platforms for biomarker discovery and personalized medicine, determining whether complex traits associated with certain common diseases vary across populations with different genetic backgrounds, and investigating the use of pattern analysis methods in brain imaging and genetics for behavioral research.

At Harvard
From Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Shira Tanny
Dr. Tanny working in symplectic geometry, a field of pure mathematics that emerged from classical mechanics. Her work concerns a well-known operation on functions coming from physics called ‘’the Poisson bracket.”

At Institute for Advanced Study
From Tel Aviv University

  • 12 Zuckerman-CHE Israeli Women Postdoctoral scholars at 10 US universities

Shai Berman
Dr. Berman is examining the way that we make decisions based on sensory information as well as prior information: what might affect the relative importance of each of these sources for decision making, and what factors could change their integration? Testing the specific effect of body arousal (for example, being hungry) on decision making, as well as employing a combination of functional and structural MRI measurements, to evaluate the roles of different brain regions in decision making and interoception—the brain’s representation of sensations from the body. Applying these approaches in pathological populations such as patients with amnesia.

At Columbia
From Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Esther Brielle
Dr. Brielle is reconstructing the spatial and temporal population-wide structure and ancestry of ancient humans by investigating their degree of familial relatedness, using a database of ancient DNA samples.

At Harvard University
From Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin
Dr. Faigenbaum-Golovin is developing a theoretical explanation of the success of Neural Network (NN) methods, which have become state-of-the-art technology for a wide range of practical machine learning tasks such as image processing, face recognition, and automotive applications. Aiming to shed light on NNs by analyzing their mathematic properties and their numerical computation.

At Duke University
From Tel Aviv University

Shiri Kult Perry
Dr. Kult Perry is working with amphibians to explain the mechanisms of wound healing and regeneration of vertebrate lungs. First, using tissue processing methods and molecular tools to study lung embryonic development and evolution in amphibians, then focusing in on the regenerative capacity and stages of healing in damaged amphibian lungs, and finally conducting genome-wide profiling of regenerating lung-specific regulatory regions.

At University of Chicago
From Weizmann Institute of Science

Shira Landau
Dr. Landau will perform her research in the lab of functional tissue engineering led by Prof. Milica Radisic. The lab’s research focuses on three main objectives: tissue engineering of cardiac patches, injectable biomaterials, and microfabricated system for cell culture.

At University of Toronto
From Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Inbal Rachel Livni-Navon
Dr. Livni-Navon Using expander graphs and other graph structures to solve problems in theoretical computer science, including property testing, error-correcting codes, and hardness of approximation of parameterized problems. Investigating algorithmic fairness.

At Stanford
From Weizmann Institute of Science

Tali Magory Cohen
Dr. Magory Cohen is studying the potential for birds to adapt to mercury toxicity in Peruvian lakes, investigating the correlations between mercury loads, phenotypic responses, and genomic changes over time. Drawing on whole-genome sequencing methods to evaluate mercury’s effects on genome diversity and gene expression, and to account for variations in susceptibility to mercury damage. Comparing contemporary birds’ genomic data to DNA from museum specimens of birds from pre-pollution times.

At UC Davis
From Tel Aviv University

Lee Shaashua Berger
Dr. Shaashua Berger is using liquid biopsies (blood tests) to assess exosome composition in pancreatic cancer patients at diagnosis, during treatment, and following treatment. Exosomes are nanovesicles that contain a wealth of tumor-derived information. Detecting and analyzing tumor features throughout a patient’s course of treatment opens a new door to studying pancreatic tumor biology, monitoring and evaluating treatment response, and developing innovative, more effective therapies for this challenging cancer.

At Weill Cornell Medicine
From Tel Aviv University

Yulia Shmidov
Dr. Shmidov is utilizing post-translational modifications —a class of reactions carried out on proteins after they are made inside a cell—to create new biomaterials that self-organize into bulk materials (particles whose size is above 100 nanometers)with a unique internal structure, and that respond to changes in temperature. These properties make them useful for a range of applications in medicine and biotechnology, particularly in studying lysyl oxidase-related disorders of the ECM, including inflammatory diseases, fibrosis of distinct organs, and cancer.

At Duke University
From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Sonya Tiomkin
Dr. Tiomkin is examining a common method for suppressing aircraft noise—using serrated trailing edges on air vehicle wings. Developing a novel model for the interaction of the serrated wing trailing edge with vortices that could help explain the mechanism, which would be a significant achievement for science, as well as for solving the practical problem of aircraft noise.

At Lehigh University
From Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Karin Yaniv
Dr. Yaniv is investigating how and why bacteria enter into and awaken from dormancy, a programmed sleep associated with a stressful environment. Discovering awakening mechanisms could enable “waking” microbes that currently cannot be cultivated in lab conditions, and help control chronic and recurrent infections in diseases like tuberculosis, anthrax, and cholera, where bacteria’s dormant state energy enables them to persist and be resilient in the human body.

At UC Berkeley
From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Anat Yaskolka Meir
Dr. Yaskolka Meir is focusing on human genetic variation, including DNA methylation, assessed through blood samples taken at the beginning and the end of a lifestyle intervention, to calculate a score called methylation age (mAge). Using several statistical models to assess immediate and long-term mAge associations with lifestyle interventions and clinical outcomes. Hoping that mAge as a biomarker could serve as an objective indicator for health status and risk of premature morbidity from cardiometabolic diseases, potentially able to predict individual responsiveness to weight loss interventions and help develop more successful personalized preventive and treatment strategies.

At Harvard University
From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Meet the Zuckerman postdoctoral women from North America who are currently at universities in Israel.

  • 8 Postdoctoral scholars at 5 Israeli universities

Dr. Jacqueline Grimm
Dr. Grimm builds synthetic microbial communities, a unique approach which helps to disentangle the mechanisms behind these mutually beneficial plantmicrobe associations, with the ultimate goal of applying them to increase the resilience of agricultural crops to extreme heat and drought events.

At Hebrew University of Jerusalem
From Princeton University

Kathleen Jagodnik
Dr. Jagodnik’s research is to identify the numerous social, mental health, obstetric, and infant-related risk factors for CB-PTSD. Using questionnaires administered to a large sample of postpartum women, she will then employ Machine Learning algorithms to analyze their electronic medical records and develop a computational model for identifying women who are at risk. Dr. Jagodnik hopes to eventually create a web application to facilitate improved diagnosis and treatment, since experts believe that PTSD can be effectively treated with early intervention.

Bar Ilan University joint track with Harvard University

Dahlia Klein
Dr. Klein is studying atomically thin quantum materials using the unique measurement capabilities of carbon nanotube-based electronic sensors developed at Weizmann. These studies will resolve open questions regarding the rich physics hidden in twisted stacks of 2D crystals, called moiré systems. Further developments could lead to the discovery of fundamentally new states of quantum matter.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From MIT

Nili Krausz
Dr. Krausz is working towards the development of assistive and rehabilitation robots and increased understanding of how neurological disorders affect function and behavior.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From Northwestern University

Alexandra Lai
Dr. Lai is researching the biological effects of exposure to atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5) released by biomass burning (organic matter used as a fuel), and the relationship between these effects and the chemical composition of the PM2.5 sources.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From University of Wisconsin, Madison

Megan Mackintosh
Dr. Mackintosh is studying far-red–sensing cyanobacteriochrome (frCBCR) photoreceptors, proteins that can sense light in a wider range of the spectrum than was previously possible. Hoping to design mutants with enhanced photochemical properties for optogenetics and other biomedical applications, since light of this wavelength can easily penetrate through skin.

At Hebrew University of Jerusalem
From University of Louisville

Krista Natasha Oswald
Dr. Oswald’s postdoctoral research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology in the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research uses big data to ask whether human development on a small scale, while generally detrimental to bird communities, may in fact be beneficial if it provides “oases” of resources for birds in otherwise harsh landscapes. Dr. Oswald compares the reproductive success and social group cohesion of different groups of Arabian babblers, a Negev desert species, taking into account the effects of high temperature and invasive competitors.

At Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
From NorthWinds Environmental Services, Canada

Michelle Talal
Dr. Talal is investigating public attitudes, uses, and preferences regarding urban green spaces, including the unique challenges faced by minorities and non-users, to better understand benefits and any potential barriers to access. Examining citizen science data to analyze human perceptions and knowledge of urban nature. Collaborating with local governments to help enhance urban landscape planning and management.

At Tel Aviv University
From Oregon State University

 

Zuckerman and beyond

Meet the women who have completed the Zuckerman Postdoctoral and Israeli Postdoctoral programs.

  • 20 Postdoctoral scholars at 15 US universities
  • 16 Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoctoral scholars at 14 US universities
  • 33 Postdoctoral scholars at 6 Israeli universities

Miri Adler
Israeli Postdoc 2019-2020 at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Dr. Adler combines mathematical models and in vitro co-culture experiments to investigate the question of how protective tissue repair can evolve into a disease state of excessive scarring, namely fibrosis, if an injury is severe or repetitive.

Ayala Allon
Israeli Postdoc 2018-2019 at Ohio State University
Dr. Allon investigates the filtering of irrelevant information in working memory using both behavioral and electrophysiological measures. Her research takes into consideration the field of education technology in Israel, since filtering irrelevant information has a key role in the learning process in schools, due to the difficulty of processing all the incoming stimuli in our crowded environment. Dr. Allon is currently in Tel Aviv, working as a Data Scientist in a startup company called AntiToxin.
“It was a great honor for me to be a Zuckerman Scholar, and I enjoyed my time very much.”

Adi Ashkenazi
Israeli Postdoc 2017-2018 at MIT and Fermilab
Dr. Ashkenazi‘s research lies in the field of experimental neutrino physics in a world-leading facility, Fermilab. According to the Israeli national academy of sciences, not enough Israeli researchers are engaged in nuclear research. Dr. Ashkenazi’s experiences as part of the international nuclear community (at the intersection between particle and nuclear physics) could potentially contribute to enhancing Israel’s role in this area.
“These years are a great adventure. I’ve made my first steps in the field of experimental neutrino physics in a world-leading facility, and I look forward to carry on my work here.”

Moran Balaish
Israeli Postdoc 2018-2019 at MIT
Dr. Balaish develops solid-state ceramic-based memristors, materials which change their electrical resistance depending on their pre-history, or on the total current or charge that has passed through them, which have the potential to lead to neural-like information processing and storage.

Renata Balgley
Israeli Postdoc 2019-2020 at Caltech
Dr. Balgley is investigating novel approaches for selective chemical functionalization of silicon systems to achieve desirable chemical and electronic properties for use in solar cells and other types of energy-related applications.

Biana Bernshtein
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
Dr. Bernshtein studies samples from young children who were vaccinated against Rotavirus infection, comparing the antibody profiles of those who were protected with those that became infected. Defining how antibodies confer protection in the guts of challenged mice. Understanding the role of antibodies in guiding innate immune function in the gut, paving the way to new and better vaccines against infectious diseases.

Rachel Blau
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at UC San Diego
Dr. Blau is establishing the design principles of molecular structures that will produce realistic tactile cues upon stimuli. Developing and synthesizing stimuli-responsive conductive polymers and elastomers, organic materials that can transmit the actual feel of the biological milieu, which could potentially be used for medical training, remote patient visits, physical therapy, robotic-assisted surgery, and prosthesis design.

Nelli Bodiford
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Bodiford is researching the design of degradable nanostructured silicon and polymer composite materials for the delivery of therapeutics to the brain.

Claudia Ciotir
Postdoc 2019-2020 at University of Haifa
Dr. Ciotir uses a combination of genetics, genomics and greenhouse experiments to study domestication-related traits and evolutionary processes that occurred during the transition from wild to domesticated wheat. Understanding the genomic basis of adaptive variation in plants could be applied in the future to improving the productivity and resilience of grain crops.

Hillary Anne Craddock
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Craddock is using diverse cutting-edge, next-generation sequencing technologies to evaluate the impact of household wastewater reuse on levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in livestock and agricultural products among the Israeli Bedouin.

Ivy Curren
Postdoc 2017-2018 at Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Curren’s specialization in laboratory experimentation (used to supplement spacecraft data) has led her to explore the environmental processes that dictate the evolution of materials on the surfaces of solar system bodies. The low temperature (–40º C) chamber at the Simulated Planetary Ices and Environments Laboratory (SPICE Lab) at Weizmann allowed her to simulate such planetary-like processes.
“I very much enjoyed being part of the program, especially connecting with fellow Zuckerman scholars (it was one of my highlights in Israel). I really think the program is doing an excellent job connecting scholars and getting us really involved.”

Jeana Drake
Postdoc 2019-2020 at University of Haifa
Dr. Drake is studying coral skeletal and membrane-associated proteins toward a better understanding of corals’ biomineralisation mechanisms.

Hadar Elor
Israeli Postdoc 2019-2020 at Cornell Tech
Dr. Elor is exploring how to leverage deep neural networks to boost clustering performance in challenging multimodal settings, improving image-to-image translation, and, in general, organizing visual information in a useful manner.

Natalie Fardian-Melamed
Israeli Postdoc 2020-2021 at Columbia University
Dr. Fardian-Melamed is developing Atomic Energy Transfer Scanning Nano-Optical Microscopy (AETSOM), a lateral ultra-high-resolution technique based on optical sources, which can investigate materials in the single nanometer range, impacting various fields of technology where single defects (atoms on semiconductor surfaces, etc.) are important for understanding functionality.

Shdema Filler-Hayut
Israeli Postdoc 2020-2021 at MIT
Dr. Filler-Hayut is studying the dynamics of enhancer-promoter looping and their effect on RNA transcription with single-cell super-resolution microscopy in order to shed light on the connection between 3D genome organization and transcriptional regulation. Potentially serving as a platform for testing different therapeutic approaches, as well as investigating a variety of known and newly discovered disease mutations.

Avital Fischer
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Fischer is working with one of the largest population-based cancer registries in Israel, as part of the Clalit Heath Services non-profit insurance group, to study factors that contribute to long-term survival of breast cancer patients. Results are expected to allow medical practitioners to better understand the risks and benefits of treating depression in women who are either at risk for breast cancer or have already been diagnosed with it.

Whitney Fleming
Postdoc 2021-2022 at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Fleming uses field-based tests, questionnaires, and a virtual 3D lab environment to see how subjects respond to environments containing different nature-based solutions in order to identify the extent and quality of nature needed to reduce detrimental impacts of urbanization on people’s quality of life.

M. Kate Gallagher
Postdoc 2017-2018 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Gallagher is investigating the ecological and evolutionary processes that maintain continuous color variation and the existence of extremely dark flowers in the native endemic Royal Irises (Iris section Oncocyclus).

Ariel Ganz
Postdoc 2017-2018 at Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Ganz researches the impact of gut microbiota on aging, and her goal is to improve human health through personalized nutrition. Dr. Ganz currently works as a postdoc at Stanford University. She investigates the physical and psychoneuroimmunological consequences of beliefs including inflammation, immune function, cardiovascular risk, auto-immune sensitivity, gene expression, microbiome, and metabolism.
“The Zuckerman Fellowship brought so much good and collaboration to my life! Already one of the people from my lab in Israel has moved to Stanford and we have lunch together and consult on academics. AND the people in my previous lab at Weizmann have been invaluable as resources that I direct all my scientific questions about the microbiome to. They have undoubtedly helped me to succeed and excel at Stanford! And the skills I learned in Israel helped me to get on a Nature Medicine paper.”

Tal Gilboa
Israeli Postdoc 2019-2020 at Harvard University
Dr. Gilboa is working on single-molecule biosensors that have the potential to detect biomarkers quickly, with low sample requirements, low cost, and high throughput, potentially leading to earlier detection of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s before significant neurodegeneration has occurred.

Jennifer Gilda
Postdoc 2018-2019 at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Gilda is researching the question of myofibril breakdown during muscle atrophy, a debilitating process associated with fatigue, weakness, insulin resistance, bone fracture, disability and death.

Koral Goltseker
Israeli Postdoc 2020-2021 at Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University
Dr. Goltseker explores how internal states and prior experience, such as hunger, thirst, emotion, and expectation, can modify consummatory responses to innately attractive or aversive tastes, and why tasting is not necessary to develop preferences for sugar and fat.

Lilach Gorodetski
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at At UC San Diego
Dr. Gorodetski examines mutations that play essential roles in glutamatergic synapse formation. These mutations in mice are associated with many NNDs including autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. A greater understanding of changes associated with these mutations could be key to the development of novel disease-specific therapies.

Inbar Grinberg
Israeli Postdoc 2017-2018 at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Dr. Grinberg’s research is focused on MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) actuators, and the ability to manipulate their responses using smartly placed directional elements. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Grinberg has further developed her skills in micro/nano fabrication, and has enhanced her knowledge in the fields of topological insulators, non-reciprocal systems, acoustics and optics.

Angela Grommet
Postdoc 2018-2019 at Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Grommet is decorating nanoparticles (NPs) with coordination cages to develop a drug delivery vehicle for improved treatment of cancer.

Rachel Gur-Arie
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Gur-Arie researches healthcare personnel and wellbeing within the context of infectious disease control, in light of personal and professional responsibilities.

Danielle Gutman
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at The Wistar Institute
Dr. Gutman investigates RNA-mediated epigenetic regulation. Identifying when nucleic acid structures called R-Loops are formed in a stable manner, since even slight variations in the process can lead to the development of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Such research could potentially allow scientists to create R-loops to correct aberrant gene expression programs in many diseases.

Christine Hall
Postdoc 2020-2021 at Haifa University
Dr. Hall is Examining ostracodes, small bivalved crustaceans who have specific environmental tolerances, to help reconstruct Pliocene (5M-2M years ago) paleoenvironmental shifts. Collecting ostracode-rich sediment samples from the central Jordan valley and Mt. Sedom, comparing shifts that occurred at the two sites. Understanding the response of organisms to global warming (‘biotic sensitivity’) remains a major unknown in climate change research and is crucial in evaluating predictions of the future impact of climate change on the Earth’s systems.

Tal Iram
Israeli Postdoc 2017-2018 at Stanford University
Dr. Iram studies how normal molecular changes occurring with age alter the activity of adult neural stem populations. This research could potentially lay the ground for manipulating adult neurogenesis to overcome, and possibly prevent, aging-related cognitive decline.

Ella Jewison
Postdoc 2020-2021 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Jewison is researching the evolution of mountain belts in the vicinity of the Dead Sea Transform, a major tectonic boundary located in northern Israel. Identifying melt inclusions and applying highly complicated technology to track their origin and evolution, thus gaining a better understanding of what drives the melting of the mantle in this region.

Naama Kadmon Harpaz
Israeli Postdoc 2018-2019 at Harvard University
Dr. Kadmon Harpaz researches the joint dynamics of neuronal populations to reveal principles of motor control and motor learning.

Nanami Kikuchi
Postdoc 2018-2019 at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Kikuchi uses the CRISPR/Cas9 system for gene editing as part of a large international program investigating the regulatory rules of RNA sequences, potentially leading to decoding genomic information.

Sarah Kostinski
Postdoc 2017-2018 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Kostinski is working on theoretical aspects of statistical and biological physics.

Shifra Lansky
Israeli Postdoc 2019-2020 at Weill Cornell Medicine
Dr. Lansky uses pioneering high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) technique to directly observe the conformational dynamics and gating mechanisms of transmembrane receptor channels at a single-molecule scale.

Bracha Laufer-Goldshtein
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at MIT
Dr. Laufer-Goldshtein is in the fields of data science and machine learning, addressing new problems of highly structured data analysis, using tools from manifold learning and statistical inference, combined with new theoretical and analytical techniques of graph theory, geometric deep learning and optimization. Applying these mathematical tools to molecular property prediction and generation, with the potential to develop viable, highly effective methods for speeding up drug discovery.

Lucia Myongwon Lee
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Lee incorporates chalcogen elements in developing molecules that are capable of changing their behavior in response to external stimuli such as light (“photoswitching”). Through this project, she is gaining insight into the effect of chalcogen bonding on structural and functional components.

Dana Rubi Levy
Israeli Postdoc 2020-2021 at Harvard University
Dr. Levy observes mice behavior as well as their neuronal activity to try to determine the influence of environmental changes on common and individually-unique behavioral patterns throughout their lifespans, potentially contributing to unraveling the link between brain and behavior.

Tiffany Lewis
Postdoc 2018-2019 at University of Haifa
Dr. Lewis researches and explores the question of why jets form in some active galactic nuclei and not in others. She hopes that her work will eventually benefit the broader study of galaxy evolution.

Amanda Lounsbury
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Lounsbury examines pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), one class of contaminants that is often not removed completely by wastewater treatment, and that presents risks at very low exposure concentrations.

Margaret Lutz
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Lutz is working to devise a trigger algorithm sensitive to physics that existing algorithms are largely blind to: new particles which are produced in decays of the Higgs boson (a fundamental particle discovered in 2012), which then travel for several centimeters before decaying within the ATLAS inner detector.

Laura McCaslin
Postdoc 2016-2017 at Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. McCaslin specializes in theoretical and computational chemistry with expertise in atmospheric chemistry, photochemistry, and vibrational spectroscopy of small molecules and molecular clusters. Dr. McCaslin is currently continuing her postdoc work under her advisor, Benny Gerber, at UC Irvine.
“I’ve had an incredible life-changing experience living in Israel and I am excited to move back to the U.S. with what I’ve learned.”

Kelsey Moreno
Postdoc 2018-2019 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Moreno is conducting research at the Bat Lab for Neuro-Ecology, working on a project testing the influence of urbanization on the Egyptian fruit bat.

Netali Morgenstern-Ben Baruch
Israeli Postdoc 2018-2019 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Dr. Morgenstern-Ben Baruch is investigating an inhibitory receptor, Immunoglobulin-like transcript 2, or ILT-2, to learn more about its role in T cell expansion and activation in EoE patients. She hopes to devote her career to research into personalized medication of food-related disorders.

Monica Mowery
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Mowery is investigating genetic diversity and adaptation in the invasive brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricu, a globally-distributed generalist predator with neurotoxic venom.

Margarita Orlova
Israeli Postdoc 2016-2017 at Arizona State University
Dr. Orlova researches the complex interrelationship between queens and workers in honeybees. Her approach is multidisciplinary, encompassing behavior, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. More detailed knowledge of this field could help closer monitoring of queen health and productivity in commercial hives, an area of research that is greatly needed in Israel.

Leehe Peled-Avron
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at UC San Francisco
Dr. Peled-Avron uses oxytocin to reinstate neural responses to observed—or vicarious—social touch in patients with schizophrenia, in an effort to improve self-other differentiation and thus to alleviate patients’ difficulty with social interactions. These social deficits are resistant to currently available pharmacotherapies.

Dahlia Perez
Postdoc 2018-2019 at Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Perez researches mechanisms to promote cardiac regeneration after a heart attack, with implications for treatment of infarction in human cases where damage has until now been irreversible.

Michal Polonsky
Israeli Postdoc 2018-2019 at Caltech
Dr. Polonsky researches cellular interactions and signaling pathways in human tissue samples to elucidate how the immune system interacts with tumor cells, holding the potential to aid in the design of improved cancer therapy protocols and more accurate diagnoses.

Maayan Pour
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at NYU
Dr. Pour uses patient-derived organoids, established from primary tumors in various kinds of cancer tissues, as well as spatial mapping, to study the role of tumor microenvironment in cancer cell state determination.

Andrea Price
Postdoc 2018-2019 at University of Haifa
Dr. Price examines the climactic and paleoenvironmental conditions that contributed to the northward migration of humans’ ancestors (hominins) from Africa.

Crystal Rapier
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Rapier is working on generating a personalized Blood Brain Barrier-on-Chip device that could biologically mimic the human blood brain barrier, leading to the ability to reproduce a disease on the device, administer therapeutics, and measure tissue response, ultimately resulting in vaccines and other therapeutic measures for dealing with infectious and chronic diseases.

Avia Raviv-Moshe
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Stony Brook University
Dr. Raviv-Moshe researches the role of discrete and continuous symmetries in quantum field theory, and hoping to provide new insights into quantum field theory and particle physics, as well as useful applications to physical systems in condensed matter.

Tamar Regev
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at MIT
Dr. Regev explores ways in which auditory stimuli give rise to linguistic and emotional content, establish meaning, and contribute to human communication. Studying the neural basis of prosody and identifying computations and representations that enable us to understand and produce language, and their neural implementations.

Anat Rotstein
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Rotstein focuses on epidemiological research projects using nationally representative healthcare data to investigate modifiable risk factors for dementia in old age and for autism spectrum disorders in children. Research is based on the R program for statistical computing and graphics, used to apply standard and complex statistical modeling and visual presentations.

Julie Shapiro
Postdoc 2020-2021 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Shapiro is studying relationships between wildlife, humans, domestic animals, and anthropogenic disturbance, and using ecological modeling to understand and manage emerging diseases. Advancing understanding of the effect of land-use change on the structure of host-parasite networks in Madagascar, and its implications for disease risk to humans. Developing better predictive models of disease transmission with broad implications for human health, and hopefully making major theoretical and applied contributions to disease ecology.

Xi Shen
Postdoc 2021-2022 at Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Shen is Improving scientific understanding of self-control by investigating whether implicit measures of subjects’ concept of importance of the means needed to achieve a goal are more predictive of success than explicit measures. Examining whether implicit importance can be manipulated and influence real life behaviors, with implications for further research in implicit cognition, social psychology, education, consciousness, and cognitive science.

Grace Smarsh
Postdoc 2017-2018 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Smarsh studies bat acoustic and spatial behavior, using novel GPS and microphone tagging technology to track Tadarida teniotis while studying their dynamic movements and vocal emissions. The study facilitates understanding of how small, fast-flying, nocturnal animals use social information while foraging, while also collecting valuable data for species conservation. Dr. Smarsh hopes her research will provide key information on bat movement ecology and behavior necessary to help determine how populations respond to environmental changes, such as disease, pollutants, hunting, and decimated food sources.

Alexandra Shtein
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Harvard
Dr. Shtein is improving air pollution estimations in the US and in the eastern Mediterranean region. Integrating data from satellite-based products from geostationary satellites in improved statistical models using machine learning algorithms. Working to improve our ability to estimate PM pollution during dust storms in the eastern Mediterranean.

Emily Stark
Postdoc 2017-2018 at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Dr. Stark’s research lies within low-dimensional topology and geometric group theory, a field that aims to understand the algebraic properties of infinite groups, the geometry of spaces on which groups act, and the connections between the two. Dr. Stark is currently at the University of Utah for a one-year academic position, followed by a tenure-track position in the math department at Wesleyan University.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to study at the Technion for the last three years! Thank you very much for supporting this position!”

Laurel Stephenson Haskins
Postdoc 2018-2019 at Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Stephenson Haskins’ goal is to understand the fundamental building blocks of nature. She works with phenomena that are outside of what is known as the Standard Model of particle physics. At Hebrew U, she researched dark matter model building, whose composition remains mysterious even though it may comprise up to a quarter of the energy density in the universe. Because of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN (near Geneva, Switzerland) and other developments, scientists believe that dark matter detection might actually be within reach. Dr. Haskins is currently a fellow at Insight Data Science in California.

Merav Stern
Israeli Postdoc 2016-2017 at University of Washington, Seattle
Dr. Stern strives for a deeper understanding of how our brains process information. She seeks to identify brain areas that alter their activity during the course of learning a visually-guided behavioral task, to characterize these changes, and to assess for each brain area the intrinsic (local) changes versus alterations in external influences from other cortical areas.

Or Szekely
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Duke University
Dr. Szekely examines the dominant mutation process in human cancers, DNA replication errors. Challenging the believe that such errors are mainly caused by DNA polymerases, and hypothesizing instead a fundamental role for DNA dynamics in its own copying errors, which could help to explain the varying susceptibility of different genes to different types of mutations leading to cancer.

Yael Tsarfati
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Stanford University and UC Berkeley
Dr. Tsarfati examines the microstructure of organic soft materials, specifically thin films of organic molecular or polymeric semiconductors, which have shown promise as active elements in thin film electronic devices such as field effect transistors, solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). However, the fundamental structural origin of such enhanced performance is unknown. Using new cryo-techniques and high sensitivity detectors, along with new developments in machine learning for big data analysis, to visualize and analyze these materials.

Ayelet Uzan
Israeli Postdoc 2020-2021 at Princeton University
Dr. Uzan is combining advanced optical tools and sub-Kelvin conductance measurements in the study of 2D quantum materials, potentially revealing their formation mechanisms and the unique quantum properties of the recent discovered quasiparticles in these systems.

Jacqueline Warren
Postdoc 2021-2022 at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Warren is using homogeneous dynamics to study certain infinite volume 3-manifolds by way of geodesic planes. In physics, space-time is a manifold, and manifolds called Lie groups, Dr. Warren’s topic of study, can be used to describe the symmetries of particles. Thus, understanding these objects has concrete applications.

Judith Wexler
Postdoc 2019-2020 at Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Wexler uses RNA sequencing technologies to integrate gene expression data from multiple tissues and time points in species across the insect tree of life.

Shira Weingarten-Gabbay
Israeli Postdoc 2018-2019 at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Dr. Weingarten-Gabbay studies viral immunogenicity, with the goal of identifying novel phenomenon affecting hundreds of viruses pathogenic to humans, in work that could be fundamental to rethinking vaccines and therapies to counteract viral threats.

Maya Yablonski
Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoc 2020-2021 at Stanford University
Dr. Yablonski is interested in the relationship between brain structure and reading skills. Exploring whether changes in white matter pathways in dyslexic children driven by an intensive reading intervention are transient or long lasting, and whether neurobiological markers exist that could determine which children are likely to benefit from such reading interventions.

Anastasia Yanchilina
Postdoc 2016-2017 at Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Yanchilina researches past changes in Earth’s climate through the implementation of geochemical techniques which include isotope geochemistry, trace element analysis, chirp profiles, and more. Her work encompasses isotope geochemistry of amorphous opal and its diagenetic derivatives in the form of porcelanite and chert.