European Research Council Frontier Research Grants

ERC grants bring significant recognition to Zuckerman faculty scholars

Each year, the European Research Council selects and funds the best, most creative researchers throughout Europe and beyond, providing them with long term grants that enable them to pursue large scale research projects. ERC grants are awarded through open competition to starting and established researchers, with scientific excellence being the sole criterion. The grant, which totals 1.5 million euro ($1.8 million), is considered the most prestigious science award in Europe.

20% of Zuckerman Faculty Scholars are ERC Grant Recipients
As of January 2022, six Zuckerman Faculty Scholars have received ERC Starting Grants for their innovative research, leadership, and overall excellence. Being selected for an ERC Frontier Research Grant brings a level of status and recognition that says, “Pay attention to this researcher,” an impressive achievement for the Zuckerman program’s first five years.

Israel ranks number two in the world for the total of ERC grants won by scientists
According to the ERC, between 2007 and 2021, Israel had the second-highest number of ERC grant recipients, a reflection of Israel’s continued commitment to excellence in academic research.

Zuckerman faculty scholar ERC grant recipients (2018 – 2021)


  • Dr. Gili Bisker, Tel Aviv University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Grant Award: €1.5 M
    The Bisker Lab develops optical nano-sensors using optically active nanoparticles to analyze living systems, which provide both spatial and temporal information about biomolecular targets at the nanoscale. Dr. Bisker’s tools can enable long-term monitoring and imaging of biological samples, opening new opportunities for diagnostics and treatment.



  • Dr. Ido Goldstein, The Hebrew University, Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment

    Award: €1.5 M
    The Ido Goldstein Lab for Nutrigenomics, Liver Biology and Gene Expression researches the body’s response to periodic fasting, and explores ways to harness its benefits, which may extend to diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The lab investigates how liver cells program the expression of different genes in response to altered nutrition; how these programs are derailed in disease, and how we can re-establish them to restore health.
  • Dr. Moran Shalev-Benami, Weizmann Institute of ScienceGrant Award: €1.49 M
    The Shalev-Benami Lab focuses on visualizing the complex architectures of macromolecular assemblies, with the aim of learning how their complicated structures contribute to their ability to mediate cellular functions. Researchers use a combination of structural, biophysical and biochemical techniques with an emphasis on high-resolution electron cryo- microscopy (cryo-EM).



  • Dr. Omri Wurtzel, Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics; affiliated with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics and the Sagol School of NeuroscienceGrant Award: €1.49 M
    The Wurzel Lab for Regeneration and Stem Cell Biology studies the process of regrowing missing tissues. Following an injury, regenerative organisms activate molecular and cellular processes that lead to the formation of new tissues. The lab uses organisms that regenerate extremely quickly, working extensively with flatworms that can regrow any missing part of their bodies – including their brain – in less than a week



  • Dr. Danny Ben-Zvi, Assistant Professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical SchoolGrant Award: €1.5M
    The Ben-Zvi Lab focuses on understanding how bariatric (weight loss) surgery impacts all systems in the body, with the goal of discovering how to achieve its positive effects without surgical intervention, potentially leading to a cure for type-2 diabetes, and reversing obesity.
  • Dr. Yoav Shechtman, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of TechnologyGrant Award: €1.8M
    Dr. Shechtman’s Nano-Bio Optics Lab develops novel microscopy tools that are applied to some of the most challenging imaging applications in biology, trying to observe life on the nanoscale. The lab’s interdisciplinary research encompasses biomedical engineering, optics, and biology; and develops both hardware and software tools to precisely track different sources on the nanoscale in three dimensions.