The Zuckerman Israeli Postdoctoral Program provides support to Israeli postdoctoral researchers who would like to study and do research in the U.S. 9 Israeli postdoctoral scholars are entering the STEM Leadership Program in 2017. Here are their profiles.
Now Dr. (Hotzen) Grinberg joins the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she plans to further develop her skills in micro/nano fabrication. She hopes to enhance her knowledge in the fields of topological insulators, non reciprocal systems, acoustics and optics. Furthermore, she looks forward to interacting with fellow researchers in seminars and conferences, and to establishing networking that may lead to future collaborations.
At the Technion, she was extremely popular as a teaching assistant in highly attended mandatory courses, winning five awards for outstanding performance as a TA. One advisor commented that her success, in addition to her natural didactic talent, reflected her deep and thorough understanding of the material, and her meticulous preparation.
Specifically, Dr. Ashkenazi is looking at neutrinos, the only particles with yet unknown properties and which cause inconsistency of the standard model by having a mass. This year, she will join the MicroBooNE experiment at Fermilab in Illinois in which her advisors at MIT serve as active collaborators. According to the Israeli national academy of sciences, not enough Israeli researchers are engaged in nuclear research, so 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.
She has won teaching prizes and, aside from her graduate teaching duties, has taught or guided in many diverse settings as the Bloomfield Science Museum, the Bonn Physics Show, and at gender education workshops.
While working on his PhD, Dr. Azencot had the honor of collaborating with researchers at École Polytechnique in France, Göttingen University in Germany, and the University of Bonn in Germany. He has received multiple awards, most notably the Adams fellowship, awarded yearly to about 10 Israeli PhD students across all fields.
His postdoctoral position is at the Department of Mathematics at UCLA, where he will be working with Prof. Andrea Bertozzi on applied math projects.Visit Website
Dr. Cohen’s deep mathematical understanding and his ability to explain abstract concepts clearly have made him a valued colleage, and also led to an outstanding teaching record. He was the lead teaching assistant for a new course, “Computer Vision,” at the Hebrew University. The course ran for four years and grew from 30 students to around 100 in the fourth year. Dr. Cohen organized the course and was responsible for the other teaching assistants who taught in it. He was ranked among the top five teaching assistants of his department.
Dr. Gokhman’s work on methylation in ancient hominins shows that it is largely similar to that in humans, but the differences that exist seem to be related to differing lifestyles and physiologies. For instance, our vocal tract has gone through a particularly rapid evolution that is not shared by archaic human groups. This work was published in Science, and was covered by more than 200 science and news websites.
During his graduate studies, Dr. Gokhman served as scientific coordinator of the Alpha program for high-school matriculation projects, which allows gifted high-school students to delve into scientific research.
At Stanford, Dr. Gokhman intends to use a new experimental system developed there to study the evolution of the human muscular system, focusing on skeletal myocytes, the main muscle cells that determine fitness, endurance and strength capabilities.
At Stanford, Dr. Iram plans to work with mice, trying to understand how normal molecular changes occurring with age alter the activity of adult neural stem populations. This could potentially lay the ground for manipulating adult neurogenesis to overcome, and possibly prevent, aging-related cognitive decline. Her project stems from findings showing that circulatory factors in the blood of young mice can increase neurogenesis, spatial learning, and memory in old mice, but Dr. Iram’s solid grounding in behavioral and cellular neuroscience qualifies her to explore the molecular basis of these findings.
Dr. Iram was recently appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, the first graduate student in such a position.
In 2014, together with Prof. Illana Gozes, she founded the Israeli national competition in neuroscience for high school students, as part of an international neuroscience competition for high school students called the International BrainBee. Overall, over 500 Israeli students enrolled in the program. This year, for the third year in a row, students will compete to represent Israel in the annual international competition
Dr. Ramot is intrigued by the biological processes underlying the remarkable ability of humans (and other animals) to adapt movements in an ever changing environment. At San Diego, as a post-doc in Dr. Takaki Komiyama’s lab, he will use mice to explore the brain mechanisms underlying motor learning processes, especially those that can be relevant to human pathological conditions like Parkinson’s, Huntington, and other motor deficits. The integrative approach that he will develop could be readily applied to different forms of learning to better understand the neural basis of learning and memory at large.
As a graduate student, Dr. Ramot was devoted to establishing state-of-the-art brain clearing and imaging techniques, which he used for his own project, and then went on, at great effort, to make available for the entire Weizmann community.
Dr. Schattner is known as a sharp communicator and a deep thinker, with an easy-going personality. A deep and careful scientist who is good at getting to the heart of the physics and pinpointing the key issues, his interests are broad, beyond his specific projects, and he has closely collaborated with a number of groups in different parts of the world.
He will do his postdoctoral work at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences and at the prestigious SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, located close to the Stanford campus.
At Northwestern, Dr. Schectman-Drayman will work on developing therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), using targeted memory reactivation (TMR), a non-invasive, easily implemented and robust method that manipulates the course of learning and strengthens specific memories during slow-wave sleep. He would like to find out if TMR can control not only what we remember but also what we forget. His work will help us understand how memory stability depends on sleep, and may also improve the efficacy of clinical therapies for various other disorders. He will test his theories using biological-based measures such as EEG and other, mostly non-invasive, tools.
Dr. Schectman-Drayman has been an active volunteer within the LGBT community, including organizing several Jerusalem Pride marches. He has led scientific outreach programs for teens from many different backgrounds.