Fellows 2018 - 2019

 

Dr. Avraham Ashkenazi

Dr. Avraham Ashkenazi

Dr. Ashkenazi is a new faculty member at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Medicine and School of Neuroscience. He returned to Israel from a postdoc at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. His research utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to elucidate cellular mechanisms of neurological disorders. Some of these diseases progress late in life, such as Huntington's Parkinson's disease. A common characteristic in these diseases is the accumulation of proteins that are not folded properly and can form aggregates in the brain, which could lead to neuron death. Dr. Ashkenazi’s lab is currently focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy pathways, the main routes to break down aggregate-prone proteins. He aims to elucidate novel regulatory pathways of protein homeostasis to better understand the basis of and treat these devastating diseases.  (read more)
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Dr. Shai Bel

Dr. Shai Bel

Dr. Bel is a new researcher in the Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University. He investigates how the complex relationship between humans and their microbiome is sustained and why it breaks down in inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The human intestine is home to trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi – collectively, the microbiome. Recent discoveries have revealed that this microbiome plays an essential role in maintaining human health but is also involved in many human pathologies such as obesity, diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Bel and his research team use genetically engineered mice, combined with high-resolution microscopy and RNA sequencing to understand how the human body maintains healthy separation from the microbiome and the relation between that separation and inflammatory bowel diseases. Their mission is to understand the conditions for the development of these diseases and find ways to treat them.  (read more)
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Dr. Gil Cohen

Dr. Gil Cohen

Dr. Cohen is a new faculty member at the Department of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University, returning to Israel after postdoctoral positions at Princeton and Caltech. His interests lie in the foundations of theoretical computer science, and revolve mostly around studying the role of randomness in computation. Fundamental questions such as how can we harness randomness for our computational needs, how could one "purify" defective random sources efficiently, and whether or not we can bypass the need for randomness in algorithms altogether, are at the core of his research. Such questions have many applications for coding theory, combinatorics, cryptography and more. Dr. Cohen's research is mathematical in nature and makes extensive use of algebraic structures as well as probabilistic and combinatorial reasoning.  (read more)
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Dr. Ben Maoz

Dr. Ben Maoz

Dr. Maoz is a new faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. He returned to Israel after completing his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard. His research develops a new method for studying human physiology, focusing on the brain: "Organs-on-a-Chip" (OOC). These provide a conceptually new direction as organ functionality is mimicked in a microfluidic chip by using human cells. This concept enables us to tackle fundamental questions in human physiology without the need for human or animal experimentation. In his lab, Dr. Maoz will develop and implement this methodology in order to study complex human systems, with emphasis on deciphering the unknown interaction in the brain after traumatic injury, and by this identify potential drug targets and advance the treatment of head injuries.  (read more)
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Dr. Yakir Paz

Dr. Yakir Paz

Dr. Paz is a lecturer in the Departments of Talmud and Classical Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His postdoctoral studies were conducted at the universities of Yale and Ca’ Foscari, Venice, and the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University. His research focuses on commentaries in antiquity; the impact of Roman law on rabbinic law; Jews and Christian in the Sasanian Empire – the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire; theological polemics in antiquity; Syriac and Armenian literature; and ancient Jewish magic. In his current project, he reconstructs the various aspects of the Jewish communities in the Sasanian Empire outside of Babylonia (central Iraq). Since the Babylonian Talmud was composed largely in Babylonia, it mainly represents the point of view of the rabbis of that region. By cross-referencing its biased depiction of Jews outside Babylonia with non-Jewish sources, Dr. Paz hopes to uncover the cultural and religious diversity of the Jews during this crucial period.  (read more)
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Dr. Michal Rabani

Dr. Michal Rabani

Dr. Michal Rabani is a new faculty member at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, returning to Israel after completing her PhD at MIT and a postdoc at Harvard University. She studies how molecular circuits inside living cells control the RNA products of genes, to generate the precise RNA levels that drive embryonic cells to assume more specialized identities during development. She particularly focuses on early embryos, which do not produce new RNAs, but function by regulating existing maternally deposited products. Dr. Rabani uniquely addresses these questions by using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo as a powerful in vivo model of vertebrate development. Her research implements cutting-edge genomic technologies and develops novel high-throughput assays, computational algorithms and statistical models to extract biologically meaningful insights. Understanding these basic cellular processes has wide implications for many practical applications, ranging from bioengineering to disease mechanisms.  (read more)
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Dr. Judith Weiss

Dr. Judith Weiss

Dr. Weiss is a senior lecturer in the Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She conducted her postdoctoral studies at the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT) and the Laboratoire d’études sur les monothéismes of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (LEM-CNRS) in Paris, and then at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her studies focus on the mystical and Kabbalistic literature written in Europe during the High Middle Ages and Renaissance by both Jews and Christians, as well as on the various types of overt and covert interrelations between them. Dr. Weiss’ current project wishes to contextualize and analyze medieval Kabbalistic thought not only as expressing inner-Jewish intellectual and cultural trends, but also as an expression of the general, non-Jewish, historical and cultural milieu from which Kabbalah emerged, and particularly the rich religious and cultural diversity characterizing this period.   (read more)
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Dr. Moran Yassour

Dr. Moran Yassour

Dr. Yassour is a new faculty member at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine. She completed her postdoctoral training at MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard. Her lab seeks to transform our understanding of the infant gut microbiome – the community of bacteria that live in our bodies and help educate our immune system, digest our food and protect us from pathogens. By computationally analyzing samples from infants and their parents that will be collected at unprecedented scale and depth, they will examine (1) how delivery mode affects establishment of the microbiome; (2) how early life feeding impacts its development; and (3) the microbial community’s implication on the onset of pediatric food allergies. Dr. Yassour’s research will enable the development of interventions to colonize the gut of children born by C-section, supplement the diet of formula-fed children, and shift the infant gut microbiome to a less “allergy-prone” state.  (read more)
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Dr. Tamir Arviv

Dr. Tamir Arviv

Dr. Arviv completed his PhD at the University of Toronto University and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Technion's Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning. He explores the relationship between the planning and design of high-rise complexes (HRCs) in ethnically mixed Israeli cities, and the everyday practices and interactions among residents of seemingly divided social groups, principally Arabs and Jews. Using a variety of methodologies, including in-depth interviews, observations and surveys, Dr. Arviv studies how residents use public and semi-public spaces in daily life and how they serve as meeting points for the various groups. Beyond his contribution to the body of knowledge concerning the nexus of city planning, multiculturalism, and shared spaces, Dr. Arviv wishes to provide planners, designers and policymakers with a deeper understanding of the new social and spatial opportunities and challenges posed by HRCs in multicultural urban areas in Israel and around the world.  (read more)
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Dr. Hugues Beauchesne

Dr. Hugues Beauchesne

Dr. Beauchesne completed his PhD in physics at Carleton University, Canada, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research is the field of high-energy physics phenomenology and the study of the experimental consequences of particle physics theories. Dr. Beauchesne focuses on both finding new solutions to the hierarchy problem, the need for extreme fine-tuning of the Higgs boson mass, and designing new strategies to discover these models at colliders. The model building aspect of his work considers new avenues in supersymmetry, neutral naturalness, extra spatial dimensions and cosmological relaxation, while his investigation of their experimental signatures includes collider simulations, analyses of exotic collider objects and design of new search strategies. If successful, his work could provide new insights into the smallness of the electroweak scale and help orient the work of experimentalists at current and future particle colliders.  (read more)
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Dr. Adina Houldin

Dr. Adina Houldin

Dr. Houldin completed her PhD in rehabilitation sciences at the University of Toronto. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Haifa’s Department of Occupational Therapy, she currently explores the use of virtual reality technology and its application to physical and cognitive rehabilitation training of children with developmental coordination disorder. This research aims to elucidate the mechanisms behind the generalization and transfer of learning from the virtual environment to “real world” activities. Virtual reality offers a unique and practical approach to improving skill performance beyond the rehabilitation context. Using it, Dr. Houldin hopes to develop the application of the burgeoning field of virtual reality rehabilitation to provide better therapeutic outcomes for children with developmental difficulties.  (read more)
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Dr. John Saunders

Dr. John Saunders

Dr. Saunders completed his PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mathematics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He focuses on the areas of combinatorial and analytic number theory, tackling problems that have a wide variety of applications, such as to cryptography and computer science.
Dr. Saunders applies tools from combinatorics, probability theory, sieve theory, graph theory, and complex analysis to show that how classical mathematical objects can spur new developments. His goal is to develop strategies that can solve a wide variety of problems. These strategies have the potential of creating new connections between different areas of mathematics, thereby equipping mathematicians with novel approaches to tackling currently unyielding problems in diverse areas.  (read more)
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Dr. Noah Stemeroff

Dr. Noah Stemeroff

Dr. Stemeroff is a postdoctoral scholar at Tel Aviv University, holding a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. His research focuses on the role mathematics plays in shaping our understanding of the natural world, examining the historical development of differential geometry and its philosophical implications. This study will expand upon neo-Kantian work in the philosophy of science and aims to provide a new perspective on the conceptual development of modern theoretical physics.  (read more)
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Essam Assali

Essam Assali

Essam Assali studies in the MD/PhD track in the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research is in the field of metabolism. Essam focuses on targeting the mitochondria – tiny organelles in our cells that act like power plants. When excess nutrients are provided, the mitochondria will drive the cell to store them in form of fat, leading to obesity. To treat obesity and its related diseases, we need to “convince” them to burn nutrients and dissipate energy in the form of heat. Unlike the white adipose tissue, where cells warehouse nutrients in the form of fat, in the brown adipose tissue cells burn fat and generate heat in response to cold. In order to reduce the body’s metabolic efficiency and make it waste energy without the stimulus of cold, Essam is looking at novel molecular mechanisms that can induce the thermogenic capacity of the brown adipose tissue by calcium signaling, so that if that tissue becomes more active than the white tissue, obesity and the diseases it causes may be reduced.  (read more)
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Yinon Bar-On

Yinon Bar-On

Yinon is a PhD student in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research field is quantitative biology, with a focus on the biomass composition and productivity of the biosphere (global amount of carbon fixation). Yinon aims to aggregate data from various sources to generate estimates of the global mass of all the kingdoms of life (plants, bacteria, fungi and animals). By combining estimates of the total biomass with additional data on the composition of key proteins within each group of organisms, Yinon seeks to estimate the global quantity of key proteins in global biogeochemical cycles (such as the main carboxylating enzyme RuBisCO. Estimating the total global biomass may allow us to quantitatively track humans impact the biosphere. Moreover, by estimating the quantity of key enzymes in global biogeochemical cycles, Yinon can probe into the factors which control global rate of carbon fixation, and thus into CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  (read more)
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Haddar Beiser

Haddar Beiser

Haddar Beiser is a PhD student in the Department of Musicology at Tel Aviv University. Her research addresses the interrelations between music and rhetoric in the late Middle Ages, through the songs of the era’s most prolific poet-composer, Guillaume de Machaut. Haddar borrows literary-rhetorical tools, which had an impact on Machaut as a poet, into the analysis of his music. By showing that Machaut’s music follows the principles of classical rhetoric as studied by poets in the Middle Ages, Haddar challenges the prevalent view that rhetoric and music reunited only in the sixteenth century, following a millennium of disengagement. In that, Haddar hopes to show that medieval music, long known to have been a mathematical art, is at the same time a language art that took part in a much broader system of knowledge.  (read more)
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Yoav Charpak-Amikam

Yoav Charpak-Amikam

Yoav Charpak-Amikam is a research student on a MD/PhD track at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yoav's focus is on the immune system’s fight against infectious fungi such as Candida – the most common cause of fungal infections, which often lives peacefully in our body without causing any harm, but can sometimes leads to serious disease and even death. How the immune system recognizes Candida and decides whether it is a friendly resident or a dangerous enemy is unclear. Using molecular biology, human samples, and mouse models, Yoav is working to identify the immune-cell molecules that recognize the fungus, the molecules they identify on the fungus, and the biological and medical significance of these interactions. Yoav hopes that his work will provide targets for new anti-fungal drugs or drugs that boost the immune response, and help in the war against this deadly infection. As a future physician-scientist, he hopes his research would help his future patients, while his clinical experience would direct his research toward the directions most relevant to them.  (read more)
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Shahar Dery

Shahar Dery

Shahar Dery is a PhD student in the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on identifying catalytic processes on the surface of metallic nanoparticles. His experiments involve valuable metals for the chemical industry such as platinum, silver and gold. Shahar conducts measurements in particle accelerators using a technique that combines infrared radiation and atomic force microscopy in order to acquire molecular information with a spatial resolution of 20 nanometer. In doing so, more and less reactive locations on the surface of a single particle can be differentiated and mapped. Shahar hopes that the results will provide new insights into the mechanisms of catalytic reactions and on ways to optimize them. Future applications of the study could lead to a reduction in energy consumption and in the use of pollutants in the chemical industry.  (read more)
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Hagai Hillel Diamandi

Hagai Hillel Diamandi

Hilel Hagai Diamandi is a PhD student in the Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan University. His research field is nonlinear optics. Hagai focuses on opto-mechanical interactions – the complex relationships between light and sound waves that coexist in a medium. He addresses the excitation of mechanical vibrations of structures by light waves propagating in them, and how, in turn, those vibrations affect the light. His research includes analysis of the various physical processes, numerical simulation and predictions, as well as experimental validations. The structures Hagai investigates include standard optical fibers, specialty fibers, and optical waveguides in silicon photonic devices. Through his research, Hagai seeks to create new opportunities for opto-mechanical devices, and design custom-made opto-mechanical platforms with new capabilities and improved performances for sensing applications, metrology systems, and information processing systems.  (read more)
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Michal Dvir

Michal Dvir

Michal Dvir is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa. Her research is in the field of mathematics education, as part of a research team whose goal is developing young learners’ (ages 11-12) statistical reasoning, to better prepare the citizens of tomorrow for the challenges of the information age. Michal focuses on a key aspect of statistical reasoning: reasoning with models – visual (e.g. graphs) or abstract representations (e.g. linear relations between variables). While there has recently been a growing interest in the pedagogical potential of statistical modeling in the statistical research community, deeper understanding of its unique characteristics is still warranted to fully harvest its potential, particularly with regard to young learners who had not yet mastered relevant formal procedures. To this end, Michal examines informal alternatives devised by a class of sixth graders within an innovative learning environment, and hopes to suggest a comprehensive theoretical framework for their accompanying reasoning.  (read more)
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Lotem Elber-Dorozko

Lotem Elber-Dorozko

Lotem Elber-Dorozko is a PhD student in the field of computational neuroscience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research addresses the neural activity and computational principles that underlie learning and decision-making. To this end, she analyzes the behavior and neural activity of animals in decision-making tasks and compares them to predictions of computation models. Specifically, her central finding, supported in multiple publications, is that neurons in a brain region called striatum encode the values of actions, which are likely the result of an erroneous interpretation of unrelated neural activity. Currently, she investigates the unique contexts in which models that typically yield optimal behavior result in seemingly irrational behaviors, such as superstitions. Her experiments also inform her ongoing research in the philosophy of science, where she examines the explanatory value of computational and causal models in the cognitive sciences.  (read more)
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Michal Erlich

Michal Erlich

Michal Erlich is a PhD student in the School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University. Her research deals with contemporary religious practices in India, and focuses on the Guru-led Hindu communities in the peripheries of Delhi. These communities of several hundred devotees belonging to the city’s geographical, economical and sociocultural margins are pervasive yet under-researched in the academic literature that tends to focus on the dominant culture of the middle and upper classes. These peripheral communities are a unique case study because of their hybrid nature. Community members, mostly internal migrants, carry different cultural backgrounds, castes and mother tongues and still they make up one community sharing the common hardships of the lower classes. Based upon a two-year in-depth ethnographic fieldwork within two such communities, Michal aims to analyze the relationships between the devotees’ membership in a guru-community and their pursuit to improve their lives and achieve earthly and religious-spiritual wellbeing.  (read more)
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Michal Friedman

Michal Friedman

Michal Friedman is a PhD student of Computer Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on designing concurrent algorithms that help recover from system crashes. In upcoming computer memory technology, the main memory will be non-volatile, meaning that documents and programs that were open and running before a power failure would be automatically saved, without any data loss. However, a small part of the computer's memory, known as the cache, will remain vulnerable. This introduces a new challenge in managing data in a way that allows complete recovery from a crash. Neglecting the cache entirely is not an option, since doing so would damage performance tremendously. Michal’s research thus aims to design innovative and fast storing algorithms and help coders make the best use of these new memories, without changing the way they are used to think about computer architectures, and without dealing with those challenges while they code.  (read more)
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Shilat Haim-Nachum

Shilat Haim-Nachum

Shilat Nachum is a PhD student in the School of Education at Bar-Ilan University. Her research seeks to understand the puzzling and inconsistent link between the duration of traumatic exposure and PTSD symptoms, while searching for possible moderators of that relationship. Specifically, she explores the moderating role of both cognitive and emotional flexibility in the relationship. For this purpose, she engages in research among firefighters, a population that is repeatedly exposed to traumatic events, using computerized tasks, self-report measures and clinical interviews designed to assess the intensity of the symptoms they develop with relation to their flexibility. Her study may shed light on the mechanisms that contribute to the development and maintenance of PTSD symptoms; it may also have therapeutic implications, where the improvement of cognitive and emotional flexibility in the course of an intervention program developed by Shilat may buffer the deleterious consequences of traumatic events.  (read more)
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Leore Heim

Leore Heim

Leore Heim is an MD/PhD student in the field of neuroscience at Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Medicine. Leore aims to understand how one’s location with respect to the environment is represented within the nervous system. By developing and implementing cutting-edge technology (e.g. implantable µLEDs), Leore is able to record and manipulate electrical impulses within the brains of freely moving mice – on the micro level. This unique approach provides the opportunity to link the animal’s neurobiology (e.g. the temporal dynamics of cellular activity) with a high-level behavioral function (e.g. spatial navigation). The research seeks to reveal the mechanisms underlying neuronal codes based on rate, time, and phase, and advance our understanding of the general principles that govern information encoding and communication within the mammalian nervous system.  (read more)
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Alon Israeli

Alon Israeli

Alon Israeli is a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Agriculture. His research is in the field of plant developmental biology. A unique feature of plants is their ability to generate organs such as leaves and flowers throughout the lifecycle, and to adjust the type, size and shape of these organs to changing environmental conditions. Alon investigates the genetic basis of this developmental flexibility, focusing on leaf and flower development in tomato. He uses genetic engineering tools to discover the genes and hormones that control growth and enable this flexibility while maintaining stability and resilience. The research aims to shed light on the genetic basis for the variability of plant organs.  (read more)
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Jonathan Jeffet

Jonathan Jeffet

Jonathan Jeffet is a PhD student in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University. His research deals with developing optical methods for single-molecule genomics. Jonathan wishes to enable simultaneous mapping of genetic (DNA sequence), and epigenetic (various chemical and structural DNA modifications that do not alter the sequence) information. The impact of these genetic and epigenetic features on cell activity and human diseases is at the heart of biological research and personalized medicine. Through a combination of nano-fabrication to trap and stretch single DNA molecules, and the construction of a novel fluorescence microscopy scheme, Jonathan hopes to simultaneously visualize and analyze all the information encoded on the human genome. Using this method, he aims to establish a complete and comprehensive view of the genomic characteristics of individual chromosomes, thus opening new avenues for basic genomic research and affordable personalized clinical diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.  (read more)
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Marryan Majerowitz

Marryan Majerowitz

Merryan Majerowitz is a master's student in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Her research examines replication of residential environments in neoliberal Israel, in which housing is primarily a commodity in a market economy. In the current era, the discourse on housing has mainly real estate and socioeconomic aspect, with the architectural dimension left out and therefore not part of the nationwide effort to find solutions to the housing crisis. In her research, Merryan seeks to discuss precisely this dimension, which focuses on the quality of the housing unit and its packaging as part of all the components making for quality residential neighborhoods. The research will ask in-depth questions regarding architectural ethics, and illuminate and analyze the planning and design processes currently taking place in Israel. Through her research Merryan hopes to contribute to the development of theoretical as well as practical knowledge, for planning housing for the public and enriching the public debate together with an effective change in planning systems.  (read more)
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Roy Marom

Roy Marom

Roy Marom is a PhD candidate in the Department of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa. His research concerns the social history of rural Palestine during the late Ottoman and British Mandate periods. In his doctoral dissertation, Roy addresses the question of the renewed Arab settlement in the Sharon (the central section of the Coastal Plain) and in Western Samaria between the years 1700-1948. Following two centuries of demographic decline, in the eighteenth century, these regions experienced (as did the rest of the Levant) a prolonged period of settlement expansion, involving multiple population movements from diverse origins, village formation and abandonment. Roy's work bridges the gap between existing scholarship in the fields of ethnography, historical geography and sociopolitical history. By using a wide range of hitherto unpublished local oral and written sources in Arabic and Turkish, Roy hopes to provide new insights into the precise causes of these transformations, which have so far eluded satisfactory explanations.  (read more)
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Orit Nafcha

Orit Nafcha

Orit Nafcha is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa. Her research focuses on the influence social context has on our perception and attention and the evolutionary origin of these interactions. Specifically, Orit studies the social inhibition of return (SIOR) effect, which is our tendency to inhibit responses toward locations previously attended by others. This phenomenon represents an automatic evolutionary process, designed to optimize visual search of the environment when working with others. Orit studies the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying this effect and explores whether and how several social aspects (e.g., group affiliation, type of social relationship) modulate it. Moreover, she explores the evolutionary origin of SIOR by studying a basic phylogenetic model, the Archerfish. The Archerfish serve as a useful model thanks to their natural ability to shoot down insects, and their ability to respond, in a laboratory setting, to targets presented on a computer screen. Orit hopes that this study will further expand our knowledge on the effect that social context has on cognitive processes that are usually explored in individual (non-social) settings.  (read more)
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Tom Shaked

Tom Shaked

Tom Shaked is a PhD student in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. His research extends existing knowledge in digital manufacturing, seeking to integrate sensory data and manual capabilities into architectural production using industrial robots as a platform. Additionally, he explores historical craft techniques and adapts them to better suit the current requirements of the architectural industry. By doing so, Tom examines the status of the architectural artefact when it is transferred onto the machine, examining the nature of architectural operations and tools in the age of robotics. By developing computational tools for integrating sensory data and manual capabilities into architectural production, Tom hopes to bridge the gap between the machine and the human hand.  (read more)
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Keren Shoham

Keren Shoham

Keren Shoham is an architect and graduate student in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Her research is in the field of design thinking, focusing on reflection in architecture pedagogy. Reflection is a term defined by philosopher and educator John Dewey as a unique way of thinking: active, constantly changing and considering the unknown. While reflection and its philosophical and pedagogical definitions are well established, its architectural applications have yet to be studied. Keren's research integrates three disciplines: philosophy, architecture, and pedagogy, in order to define, identify and characterize reflection in architecture and in architectural pedagogy in particular. By doing so, Keren seeks to better understand the integration of guided reflection as a tool in the teaching of architecture and its adaptation to changes in the academic world as a result of the information revolution.  (read more)
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Gal Sofer

Gal Sofer

Gal Sofer is a MD/PhD student at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Alongside his MD studies at the university's School of Medicine, Gal's PhD research at the Department of Jewish Thought addresses late medieval and early modern Jewish magic, specifically practices of summoning and binding demons, so the magician would force them to do his bidding. Through examination of manuscripts and Genizah fragments in Hebrew, Aramaic, Italian, Latin and Greek, Gal seeks to trace the paths of knowledge transmission of cross-cultural demonic magical practices. He examines spells, incantations and magical formulas in order to track their origins. In this way, he seeks to describe the reception of Jewish magic in the Latin West, and the contribution of Jewish literature to works on magical practices that were very popular in the period under study, practices that are still used today.  (read more)
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Aviv Steren

Aviv Steren

Aviv Stern is a PhD student in the Faculty of Business and Management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research deals with energy policy and consumer behavior, focusing on energetic efficiency and its effect on consumers. Looking at the transportation sector, Aviv examines how policies to promote efficiency affect drivers' car choice as well as car use. She uses national-scale records of government agencies to study the connection between vehicle characteristics and driving behavior. By connecting purely technical car characteristics to drivers’ behavior, Aviv hopes to shed light on the conflict between two crucial policy areas, namely energy efficiency and road safety, and to equip policymakers with a deep understanding regarding the relationship between energy-efficient cars, car use, and driving behavior.  (read more)
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Mirjam Streng

Mirjam Streng

Mirjam Streng is a PhD candidate at Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Law. Her fields of interest include refugee and asylum law, immigration, international human rights law, public international law and political theory. Mirjam examines the extent to which host states have normative and international legal obligations to guarantee asylum seekers’ access to education, integration into the general education system, school and curriculum choice. Building upon political theory and philosophy of education, she analyzes normative grounds for inclusion and exclusion of asylum seekers in education. She examines current legal norms guaranteeing asylum seekers’ right to education under international human rights law and refugee law. The research clarifies current state obligations under international law and suggests grounds and ways for rethinking state obligations that guarantee asylum seekers’ right to education and their socio-economic rights more generally.  (read more)
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Ella Tovia

Ella Tovia

Ella Tovia is a PhD student in the Department of Talmud and Jewish Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ella focuses on units with parallel structures in the Babylonian Talmud. These textual units share a dialectical structure that is mostly identical, but differ in some of their specific contents. Some of them are found in a single textual sequence while others are located separately. Their parallelism is evident on the one hand in the content and phrasing of the recurring elements, and on the other hand in the logical role of the changing elements. Ella's research is based on a comprehensive study of all the relevant textual units – every unit by itself, and compared to other units with a shared dialectical structure. By examining this phenomenon, Ella hopes to shed light on one of the aspects of the Babylonian Talmud that has yet to be studied as such and to promote the discussion of its redaction processes, and perhaps even the learning, transmission and literary creation methods of the Amoraim (Talmudic sages).  (read more)
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Vanessa Workman

Vanessa Workman

Vanessa Workman is a PhD student of archaeology at Bar-Ilan University. Her research centers on humanity's exploration of new materials and objects through technologies in ancient crafts and production. Vanessa investigates technological and sociocultural aspects of early iron production in the southern Levant, the way in which new metalworking practices manifested within the various societies that existed in the region in the 10-9th centuries BCE. This is accomplished through the examination of artifacts, byproducts and production debris found within excavations of ancient metal workshops. Using macro- and micro-archaeological approaches, she explores the modes in which cultures adopted new and complex metal technologies affected by factors such as cultural traditions, environmental conditions, and trade relations.  (read more)
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Ayelet Zalic

Ayelet Zalic

Ayelet Zalic is a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the field of experimental solid-state physics. She studies two-dimensional materials – crystals that can be cleaved as thin as a single atomic layer. Thin crystal layers have unique properties compared to the bulk crystal. Moreover, layers of different thin crystals that are mechanically stacked may interact on an atomic level, creating new properties at their interface. Ayelet attempts to construct and study electronic devices which incorporate thin layers of superconducting materials, hoping to further our basic understanding of superconductivity. She is also interested in engineering the behavior of electronic devices by controlling the angle between different layers. Discoveries in this field can contribute to the understanding of fundamental questions in quantum physics, and may find eventual application in electronics and quantum computing.   (read more)
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