Neurobiology

 

Yadin Dudai, Head (until August 2010)
The Sara and Michael Sela Professorial Chair of Neurobiology

Rafi Malach, Head (from September 2010)
The Barbara and Morris L. Levinson Professorial Chair in Brain Research

Research in Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology encompasses a wide variety of subjects, in areas including cellular and molecular biology, neuroanatomy, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), physiology, pharmacology, psychophysics, and computational sciences.

Research in Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology encompasses a wide variety of subjects, in areas including cellular and molecular biology, neuroanatomy, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), physiology, pharmacology, psychophysics, and computational sciences.

At the Neurobiology Department, the structure, function, development, and plasticity of the nervous system are studied at various levels of analysis, using different types of cell and experimental animal models. Two main approaches explore the brain at the cellular and system levels.

At the cellular level, the research involves in vitro systems ranging from non-neuronal and neuronal cell lines to primary neuronal and glial cells of cerebellar, hippocampal and cortical origin. In many cases, the cells studied are transfected with genes of interest. These cell systems allow the study of the roles of various components of the nervous system, including cell surface membrane components, specific enzymes, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, growth factors, neuroreceptors, lipid components, ionic channels and cytoskeletal constituents. Algorithms for the synaptic plasticity between neurons, and the role of dendritic ion channels in synaptic input and information processing, are also being studied. Injury models of nerve lesion and oxidative stress paradigms are applied to examine the principles of CNS regeneration, rescue from ischemia and stroke, and apoptotic cell death and senescence.

At the system level, the experimenters strive to understand the complex neuronal mechanisms underlying learning, memory, and sensory processing (vision, taste, smell), and to determine the relationship between brain and mind. Using track tracing methods, the rules governing the interconnections in the visual cortex are being unraveled. Behavioral studies focus on principles of learning and consolidation, cortical information processing, learning disabilities, and addiction. Functional brain imaging of the human visual cortex is being studied by various techniques, including fMRI. Psychophysical approaches are being used to define processes involved in image segmentation, learning and memory skill acquisition, motor control, and language. Nearly 20 groups of researchers carry out both independent studies and collaborative research with colleagues from within the Department and outside it.

E.Ahissar
Active sensing: Brain mechanisms perception.
Theory of perception
Object localization in rats and humans
Biomimetic technology for active touch and vision
Sensory substitution - seeing by feeling

A. Arieli
The role of ongoing activity in sensory processing
Mechanisms of Active Sensing - studies in Humans:
Fixational eye movements and visual perception.
Active vision in sensory-substitution.
Brain-sensor dynamics during three-dimensional perception.
Decision Making Strategies revealed by Eye-tracking

S. Barash
Neuroscience of looking and seeing

A. Chen (http://www.weizmann.ac.il/neurobiology/labs/chen/)
Neurobiology of Stress:
The molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the brain responses to stressful challenges.
The central role of the CRF/Urocortins family of stress-related neuropeptides.
Stress and Energy Homeostasis.
Environmental Enrichment Positive Challenge.
microRNA and the Stress Response.
Epigenetic Mechanisms and the Stress Response.
Establishment of CNS-related genetic tools.

Y. Dudai
Mechanisms of memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction in the mammalian brain.
Memory enhancement and erasure.
Brain and behavioral mechanisms of episodic recollection in the human.
Theories of learning and memory.

A. Grinvald
The functional architecture underlying visual perception.
A. Grinvald, D. Omer, L. Rom

Cortical correlates of attention in behaving monkeys.
A. Grinvald, D. Omer, L. Rom

The space-time dynamics of cortical activity as revealed by population activity (EEG, LFP and real-time optical imaging) coupled with single-unit and intracellular recordings.
A. Grinvald, D. Omer, L. Rom M. Tsodyks

The Interactions between evoked and on-going activity and their potential functional role in cortical processing.
A. Grinvald, D. Omer, M. Tsodyks

The dynamics of cortical representations in the visual cortex.
A. Grinvald, S. Naaman

T. Kimchi
Neuronal Basis of Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors
Sexually dimorphic pheromone signals perception, processing and biology function.
Characterizing novel pheromone-mediated behavioral and neuroendocrine responses in laboratory and wild-caught mouse strains.
Identifying the genetic, neural and biochemical basis of sex-typical social and reproductive behaviors.
Studying the mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using genetic modified mouse models.

I. Lampl
Cortical and subcortical dynamics of ongoing and sensory evoked synaptic activities.
The functional connectivity in the somatosensory system.
Mechanisms and functions of sensory adaptation.
Mechanisms and functions of synchrony in the mammalian cortex

R. Malach
Brain activity underlying human sensory perception- combined functional imaging with magnetic resonance and intracranial recordings in patients
Holistic and part based visual representations
Spatio-temporal cortical activity patterns associated with perceptual awareness
Changes of brain activity during sleep and wakeful states
Fundamental Intrinsic and Extrinsic networks in the human brain and their role in perceptual awareness.
Patterns of Spontaneous activity in healthy and pathological brains

R. Paz
Neurobiology of learning and memory
Neuronal circuits and interactions between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex
Generalization and specificity of learning
Extinction of memory
Motivational and emotional modulation of memory
Computational approaches to coding mechanisms in the brain
Psychiatric disorders from pathologies in the amygdala-prefrontal pathway (e.g. autism, anxiety-disorders, post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), epilepsy)

D. Sagi
Human vision, with an emphasis on processes involved in image segmentation, learning, and memory.

E. Schneidman
Computational and theoretical Neuroscience
Neural Coding, Information and noise in neural populations, Decoding neural activity, Design and function of network of neurons
Animal swarming and collective behavior
Decision making and learning
Biological networks

M. Schwartz
The role of circulating immune cells (macrophages and autoimmune T cells together providing "protective autoimmunity") in maintaining the brain's plasticity in health and disease
Acute CNS injuries- where and how the immune-brain dialogue takes place: How trafficking of beneficial immune cells through the brain's barrier to the diseased brain is controlled, and how their immune activity is regulated in acute injuries and in chronic diseases.
Cognitive activity and aging: How circulating immune cells contribute to life-long hippocampal dependent spatial learning/memory, and how aging of the brain is related to the aging of the immune system.
Cell renewal: The mechanism by which the immune response controls stem cells and cell renewal in neurogenic niches, the hippocampus, dorsal root ganglia (recently shown by my group to participate in touch sensation and habituation), and the eye.
Coping with stress: How the immune system protects the brain from threats arising from within and restores homeostasis. How immune cells contribute to coping with stress and depression.
Neurodevelopmental diseases: How congenital malfunction of the immune system causes attention deficits and induces late onset neurodevelopmental diseases, such as schizophrenia.
Chronic diseases: How breaches in the equilibrium between the immune system the brain affect the onset of ALS and Alzheimer's disease.

M. Segal
Intracellular calcium and structural/functional plasticity in cultured neurons. M. Segal, Dr. Eduard Korkotian, Professor Michael Frotscher, Prof. Thomas Deller
Hippocampal structure and function during stress.
M. Segal, Dr. Nicola Maggio, Dr. Gayane Grigoryan

Electrical activity in small hippocampal networks
M. Segal, Dror Cohen

Activity maintains survival of neurons in culture
M. Segal, Eldi Schonfeld-Dado

N. Sobel
Olfaction
Functional Imaging

V. Teichberg
Penetration of prion protein into brain via the blood brain barrier
V. Teichberg, Itzik Cooper

Peripheral mechanisms for brain neuroprotection
V. Teichberg, Yael Klin, Alexander Zlotnik and Yoram Shapira

Enzymatic scavenging of blood glutamate in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
V. Teichberg, Keti-Cohen-Kashi-Melina, Itzik Cooper, Alexander Zlotnik, Yoram Shapira, Angela Ruban, Yael Klin, Moti Boyko

Treatment of acute brain neurodegenerative conditions by activation of a blood glutamate scavenging system Glutamate transport in an in vitro model of the blood brain barrier

Treatment of malignant gliomas with blood glutamate scavengers

Treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with blood glutamate scavengers

Treatment of nerve gas exposure with blood glutamate scavengers GABA transport in an in vitro model of the blood brain barrier. Treatment of melanoma with blood glutamate scavengers

M. Tsodyks
Modeling of cortical neuronal populations: From microcircuits to large scale networks.

Information transmission through dynamic synapses.
M. Tsodyks, H. Markram

Population activity in visual cortex.
M. Tsodyks, A. Grinvald, D. Sagi

N. Ulanovsky
Neurobiology of learning and memory: a systems neuroscience approach
Mammalian hippocampus - hippocampal place cells
Neuronal circuits and hippocampal neural activity in freely-behaving echolocating bats
Towards neurophysiological recordings in freely flying bats, using radio-telemetry
From the bat's biological sonar system to spatial cognition
The neural basis of behavior

A. Zangen
Depression and Addiction in the Brain Reward System
Evaluation of neurochemical and electrophysiological alterations in the brain reward system of animal models for addiction and depression.
Behavioral and neurochemical effects of brain stimulation in reward-related brain sites: Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in humans and localized electrical stimulation in animal models.

http://www.weizmann.ac.il/neurobiology/ 

Research Staff, Visitors and Students

Professors

Ehud Ahissar, Ph.D., Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
       The Helen Diller Family Professorial Chair in Neurobiology
Yadin Dudai, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Sara and Michael Sela Professorial Chair of Neurobiology
Amiram Grinvald, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Helen Norman Asher Professorial Chair in Brain Research
Rafi Malach, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, United States
       The Barbara and Morris L. Levinson Professorial Professorial Chair in Brain Research
Dov Sagi, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
       The George Zlotowski Professorial Chair
Michal Schwartz, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Maurice and Ilse Katz Professorial Chair of Neuroimmunology
Menahem Segal, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
       The Harry and Leona Levine Professorial Chair of Neurosciences
Vivian I. Teichberg, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Louis and Florence Katz-Cohen Professorial Chair of Neuropharmacology
Michail Tsodyks, Ph.D., L.D. Landau Institute of Theoretical Physics, Moscow, Russian Federation
       The Gerald and Hedy Oliven Professorial Chair in Brain Research

Professors Emeriti

Yitzhak Koch, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Uriel Littauer, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
David Samuel, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Israel Silman, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Izchak Z. Steinberg, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Zvi Vogel, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Ephraim Yavin, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Associate Professors

Shabtai Barash, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Ilan Lampl, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
       Incumbent of the Carl and Frances Korn Career Development Chair in the Life Sciences (until September 2010)
Noam Sobel, Ph.D., Stanford University, California, United States
Abraham Zangen, Ph.D., Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
       Incumbent of the Joseph and Celia Reskin Career Development Chair (until July 2010)

Senior Research Fellow

Amos Arieli, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Senior Scientists

Alon Chen, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       Incumbent of the Philip Harris and Gerald Ronson Career Development Chair
Tali Kimchi, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Rony Paz, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
       Yigal Allon Fellow
       Incumbent of the Beracha Foundation Career Development Chair
Elad Schneidman, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
       Center for Complexity Science Fellowship
Nachum Ulanovsky, Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Associate Staff Scientists

Knarik Bagdasarian, Ph.D., Orbeli's Institute of Physiology of Armenian Academy of Science, Armenia
Liora Cahalon, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Eduard Korkotian, Ph.D., University of Yerevan, Armenia

Senior Intern

Avi Mendelsohn, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Intern

Dori Derdikman, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Engineers

Vladimir Garber, M.Sc., National Technical University of Ukraine , Kiev, Ukraine
Daniel Goldian, B.Sc., Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
Abebe Medhanie, B.A., Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering, Afeka, Israel
Naama Rubin, M.Sc., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, United States

Consultants

Yael Adini
Avraham Avital, Yhe Yizreel Valley College, Israel (left March 2010)
Barak Blumenfeld (left October 2010)
Yoram Bonneh, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel
Yossi Chalamish, Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Alexander Cooperman
Thomas Deneux
Roman Gersner (left September 2010)
Sebastian Haidarliu
Ilana Harlev
Eilat Kahana, Rabin Medical Center, Petach-Tikva, Israel (left May 2010)
Uriel Littauer
Nicola Maggio, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel
David Samuel
Barbara Schick
Shani Revital (left March 2010)
Israel Silman
Ilan Vaknin, Active P, Kiryat Shmona, Israel
Eduard Yakubov (left July 2010)

Visiting Scientists

Shimon Amir, Concordia University , Montreal, Canada
Osnat Ben Shahar, University of California at Santa Barbara, U.S.A.
Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, Internal Medicine Program, U.S.A.
Satomi Ebara, University of Meiji, Japan
Howard Eichenbaun
Natalya Exselrod, Barzilai Med. Ctr., Ashkelon, Israel
George Fink, University of Melbourne, Australia
David Golomb
Yona Greenman, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel
Kalanit Grill - Spector, Stanford University , U.S.A.
Amichai Hareven
Guido Hesselmann, INSERM E0021, Paris, France
Anna Hill, Medizinische klinik munichen, Germany
David Holcman
Thomas Hummel
Adela Ana Juknat Geralnik, University of Tel - Aviv, Israel
Bianca Jupp, University of Melbourne, Australia
Eilat Kahana
Steve Lisberger
Etan Markus, University of Conneticut, Storrs, CT, U.S.A.
Tal Marom
Mohammed Ragib Milad-Hayek
Daniela Schiller, University of New-York, U.S.A.
David Shore, McMaster University , Ont., Canada
Sagit Shushan, Wolfson Hospital, Yaffo, Israel
Mikhail Stepanichev, Russian Acad. of Sci., Moscow, Russia
Gasper Tkacik, University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Larry Young

Postdoctoral Fellows

Michal Cardon, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Dror Cohen, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Katayun Cohen-Kashi, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Thomas D. A. Deneux, Ph.D., Ecole Polytechnique
Ilan Dinstein, New York University
Georg Dirnberger, University of Vienna, Austria
Evan Elliott, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Ehud Fonio, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Orit Furman, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Catherine Wairimu Gatome, Anatomy
Gayane Grigoryan, Institute of Physiology Of National Academy Of Sci
Lior Haviv, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Guido Hesselmann, University of Dusseldorf
Yonatan Katz, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Oded Klavir, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Mariana Laura Melcon Morante de Sa, Ph.D., University of Tuebingen
Avi Mendelsohn, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Yael Michaeli, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Uri Nili, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Kazunori Ohashi, Ph.D., Kyushu Institute of Technology
Alexander Pine, University College London (Wellcome Centre For Neu
Son Preminger, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Neta Rimmerman, Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington
Julia Maria Rist, University of Cambridge
Sandro Romani, Universita' Di Roma "Sapienza"
Noga Ron-Harel, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Avraham Saig, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Maytal Shabat-Simon, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Yair Shemesh, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Dekel Taliaz, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Michael Tsoory, Ph.D., Haifa University, Israel
Ilan Vaknin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Yossi Yovel, Tuebingen University + Mpi Biological Cybernetics
Viviana Zlochiver (Munoz Flo, Suny Upstate Medical University

Research Students

Ana Catarina Aidos Raposo Anat Arzi
Karen Assayag Yekutiel Baruch
Aya Ben-Yakov Irit Birnboim Sella
Michal Cardon Dror Cohen
Eyal Cohen Merav Cohen
Yarden Cohen Katayun Cohen-Kashi
Itzik Cooper Eran Dayan
David Deutsch Gili Ezra
Arseny Finkelstein Lior Fisch
Oren Forkosh Orit Furman
Rotem Gabai (Genud) Elad Ganmor
Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv Sharon Gilad-Gutnick
Goren Gordon Leor Gruendlinger
Sharon Haramati Tal Harmelech
Orna Issler Muna Jubran
Roni Kahana Yonatan Katz
Yonat Keshet Yael Klin
Gilad Kunis Yael Kuperman
Hadas Lapid Offir Laufer
Maya Lebow Tomer Livne
Uri Livneh Anat London-Drori
Rachel Ludmer Shirley Mark
Avi Mendelsohn Meir Meshulam
Omer Miller Adi Neufeld
Uri Nili Shira Ozana (Eilam)
Yaron Penn Limor Regev
Jennifer Resnik Noga Ron-Harel
Alon Rubin Avraham Saig
Inbar Saraf-Sinik Eldi Schonfeld-Dado
Ravid Shechter Reut Shema
Sagit Shushan Erez Simony
Dekel Taliaz Bo Xiao
Michael Yartsev Yaara Yeshurun
Noga Zilkha

Administrator

Michal Hirschberg