Dr. Rita Schmidt was born in Moldova and immigrated with her family to Israel when she was 12 years old. She earned her BSc in physics (2000) and her MSc in medical physics (2005) from Tel Aviv University. After several years working as a system engineer at the hi-tech company Insightec, Dr. Schmidt returned to academia to earn her PhD in chemical physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science (2014). Her doctoral research on spatiotemporal encoding in 3D ultrafast magnetic resonance imaging was conducted under the guidance of Prof. Lucio Frydman. Dr. Schmidt then moved to the Netherlands to conduct a postdoctoral fellowship at the CJ Gorter Center for High-Field MRI in Leiden, with Prof. Andrew Webb. Throughout the fellowship, she has also worked as a visiting scientist in the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Neurobiology. She joined the Weizmann Institute faculty full-time in September 2018.
Dr. Schmidt’s research interests include changes in electrical conductivity within the brain. She aims to capitalize on these changes to develop a novel, more direct measurement method of brain cell activity. She is also interested in using metabolic spectroscopic imaging to shed light on healthy and diseased brain circuit function. These topics go hand-in-hand with her study of fast and high-resolution spectroscopic brain imaging, as well as her pursuit of new advanced and intelligent materials for MRI that allow researchers to zoom-in, as with a magnifying lens, into the brain.
Dr. Schmidt has received several academic awards and honors for her research on magnetic resonance imaging. She is the co-inventor of four patented systems and methods related to magnetic resonance and ultrasound.