Congratulations to the February 2018 JBC “Golden Opportunity Scholarship” winners

February 25, 2018

amirAmir Dahari, Mathematics Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “Gray and White Matter Network Analysis Using qMRI”. Through his research, Amir will seek new insights into the organization of human brain networks at the macroscale level. With his mathematical knowledge in network science and graph theory, he hopes to contribute to neuroscience research, especially in the field of brain network analysis. Advisor: Dr. Aviv Mezer, Senior Lecturer, Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, HUJI.

dan biniaminiDan Beniamini, Biology and Cognitive Science Depts, HUJI; research proposal: “Can High-Frequency Broadband Brain Responses Be Recorded from the Scalp?” Dan’s research will address the contemporary interest in measuring neural activity markers more accurately and in a non-invasive manner via the scalp. His goal is not only to further research into this elusive measurement, but also to discover a solution to counter the difficulties in this area of EEG research. Advisor: Prof. Leon Y. Deouell, Faculty of Social Sciences, Psychology Dept., HUJI.

HagarHagar Goldenberg, Psychology Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “The Role of the Neurogenesis-Related Gene Sox11 in the Microglia-Dependent Anti-Depressive Effect of Electroconvulsive Therapy”. Hagar’s research aims to elucidate underlying biological mechanisms of major depression. Given the accumulating number of findings that point to the involvement of microglia in depression, Hagar hopes to provide insight into the mechanism in which microglia mediate the anti-depressive effect of ECT. She also hopes that this insight will have ample theoretical and practical implications for the treatment of this disorder. Advisor: Prof. Raz Yirmiya, Social Sciences Faculty, Psychology Dept., HUJI. 

Omomer darer Dar, Psychobiology Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “The Neural Mechanisms Behind Gamma Waves”. The goal of Omer’s research is to increase the understanding of the neural mechanisms behind Gamma waves using the “Blue Brain” model, and of how Gamma might affect disease pathogenesis. Advisor: Prof. Idan Segev, Natural Sciences Faculty, Neurobiology Dept., HUJI.

yaelYahel Cohen, Life Sciences Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “Sex Bias in Autism: Genes, Hormones and Neurogenesis”. Yahel will focus on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in males in order to research differences between males and females in cognitive and social behaviors. Advisor: Sagiv Shifman, Faculty of Science, Genetics Dept., HUJI.

Yoav Ryoavubinstein, Physics Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “The Effect of Inhibitory Neurons and Network’s Motifs on the Learning Process that Shapes the Final Structure of a Neural Network’s Architecture”. Yoav is interested in findings about the encouragement of the STDP function of certain motifs in the architecture of networks of excitatory neurons, along with the potential of these motifs to predict outcoming structure. He hopes to explore whether this theory can be adapted to inhibitory neurons, and whether there are any significant differences for this theory between inhibitory and excitatory neurons. Advisor: Dr. Yoram Burak, Faculty of Science, Racah Institute of Physics, HUJI

ESTIEsti Amsalem, Psychology Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Empathy in ASD Subjects with and without Comorbid Alexithymia”. With her research, Esti hopes to provide supportive evidence for the hypothesis that wide heterogeneity in empathy and social-emotional abnormalities observed in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) population are a reflection of the presence or absence of alexithymia. Moreover, she hopes that these findings will constitute evidence against the popular view that oxytocin acts as a universal pro-social enhancer that can universally improve social abilities. Advisor: Dr. Anat Perry, Social Science Faculty, Psychology Dept., HUJI

MATANMatan Shaked, Psychology and Political Science Depts, HUJI; research proposal: “Overcoming ‘Something’ vs. Overcoming ‘Nothing’?” Matan will research the cognitive and neural consequences of cases in which people seem to inhibit “blanks” -- i.e. cognition whose content is a lack of representation. He hopes to contribute to a further understanding of the predictive brain framework. Advisors: Prof. Anat Maril and Dr. Tali Kleiman, Social Sciences Faculty, Psychology Dept., HUJI.

SHIRShir Genzer, Life Science Dept, HUJI; research proposal: “Empathic Accuracy in Autism Spectrum Disorder”.  Shir will study Emphatic Accuracy in a high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder population, in collaboration with the Hebrew University’s Autism Center. Advisor: Dr. Anat Perry, Faculty of Social Sciences, Psychology Department, HUJI.

SLAVSlav Pesin, Psychology Dept., HUJI; research proposal: “Characterizing Psychophysics in the Tactile Modality: Spatial and Temporal Properties”. Slav will continue his exploration of spatial interference and temporal prediction through psychophysical experiments that assess detection thresholds of given targets. Advisor: Dr. Ayelet N. Landau, Social Sciences Faculty, Psychology Dept., HUJI.

VICTORVictor Yahid, Institute of Dental Medicine, HUJI; research proposal: “The Role of Protein S in Microglia Following CNS Injury”. In an effort to shed light on Traumatic Brain Injury, Victor hopes to overcome contemporary hurdles of testing the role of PROS1 expressed by microglia by enhancing clearance of debris by professional phagocytes and limiting inflammation at the same time. Advisor: Dr. Tal Burstyn-Cohen, Dental Medicine Faculty, Institute for Dental Research, HUJI

LALUSHYair Lellouche, Life Science Dept, HUJI; research proposal: “Connectivity and Molecular Characterization of the Mesopontine Tegmental Anesthesia Area (MPTA)”. Yair plans to complete an ongoing study of connectivity between MPTA neurons and their rostral (forebrain) targets, with emphasis on the degree of collateralization of MPTA neurons to their projection sites; then, moving on to focus on revealing the molecular properties and diversity of MPTA neurons, more specifically the identity of the receptors and neurotransmitters which enable the unique functionality of these neurons. Advisor: Dr. Marshall Devor, Science Faculty, Life Science Dept., HUJI

GANITGanit Kupershmidt, Computer Science and Psychology Depts., HUJI; research proposal: “How One’s State of Mind Influences Visual Exploration and How the Brain Plays a Role in this Process”.  Ganit will research the relationship between direct and diffuse effects of emotional events. She will seek findings that can extend our understanding about visual exploration of a person in a mindset of fear. Advisor: Dr. Yoni Pertzov, Social Science Faculty, Psychology Dept., HUJI

Offered by the JBC, the Golden Opportunity Scholarship supports 15 month-long fellowships for undergraduate students starting the second semester of their 3rd year studies, extending into the first year of graduate studies. These fellowships are only be awarded to students conducting research in a laboratory of an active JBC member. For more information click here.