Joint projects & Opening Research Positions

Joint projects
Faculty members
Enclosed bellow is a brief description of our research projects
Danny M.
Research area : Neurodegenation
The research in our laboratory is directed at unraveling the mechanisms underlying Neurodegeneration and at the
additional groups
development of cellular and molecular
approaches to counteract them. The research focuses on Alzheimer's disease (AD) and employs distinct cellular and animal
models to address these challenges.
Specifically the research focuses on a protein called apoE4 with is the main genetic risk factor of the disease( more than
60% of the AD patients and about 20% of the normal controls are apoE4 positive).
Accordingly the following specific projects are being pursed:
The mechanisms underlying the pathological effects of apoE4. This project focuses on the receptor system which
mediate the isoform specific effects of apoE4
and of the down stream signaling systems ( eg te VEGF system ) which mediate them.
Development of novel therapeutic approaches to counteract the effects of apoE4. This is pursued by two
complementary approaches directed either at the removal of apoE4 from the brain
with anti apoE4 monoclonal antibodies developed by our group, or at the pharmacological reversal of a structural
abnormality of apoE4 ( eg increasing the lipidation with RXR ligands).
The role of apoE4 in neuronal repair following head trauma . These experiments focus on the impairments in
neuronal plasticity and repair induced by apoE4 . Accordingly, the experiments employ
a head injury paradigm to assess the extent to which the anti-apoE4 therapeutic strategies described above can improve the
outcome of normal apoE4 carriers (about 20% of the population )
following head trauma. This project is pursued in collaboration with Prof Chagi Pick from the Tel Aviv university School of
The eye as a window to the brain and as a model for studying the interaction between the neuronal and vascular
systems. These experiments build on the unique structure of the retina for studying the interplay
between the neuronal and vascular systems in the central nervous system and the effects there on of apoE4. This project is
pursued in collaboration with Prof Wienberger , Tel Aviv University School of Medicine and
Head of the department of Ophthalmology at the Rabi Medical center Chief
Predicting consumer preferences using single electrode EEG signal
Prof. Nathan
Our main aim is to try and predict consumer preferences from neural activity using a single EEG electrode.
Intrator and Dr.
We plan to record EEG signals from one electrode located in the frontal cortex while subjects passively view commercials or
Dino Levy
other related marketing content. We want to identify neural activity patterns that will serve as a neural signature predicting
marketing content effectiveness, subjects’ preferences, and future choices. The use of one electrode is unique and has several
advantages over a standard EEG system. It is simple to use, the setup is immediate, and it is portable and uses a dry electrode.
The aim of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of extracting rich neural data and predictable power using only a
single electrode. Furthermore, the tools that would be developed in this project could potentially become applicable tools in
the field of neuromarketing.
The project involves four main stages:
1) Designing experiments involving passive viewing of marketing content.
2) Recording EEG signals from subjects while they passively view marketing content.
3) Measuring behaviorally the effectiveness of the marketing content.
4) Developing tools for analyzing the EEG signal in order to predict subject’s preferences and marketing content
This project is interdisciplinary and involves tools from very different disciplines. On the exact science and engineering side,
it includes signal processing, mathematical models, statistics and machine learning. On the other side, it includes measuring
EEG, psychology, cognitive science, decision-making, and marketing and behavioral economics.
Genes and decision-making
Dr. Oded Rechavi
Our main aim is to understand the interactions between various genes and value and choice.
and Dr. Dino Levy
We plan to use C.elegans nematodes as our animal model in order to examine the interactions between genes and choices in
decision-making tasks. Although C.elegans has a very "simple" nervous system with just 302 neurons, the worm is capable of
performing complicated behaviors and even learns simple associations. The powerful genetic tools that are available for
C.elegans make it an ideal model organism for our aim: to derive basic principles regarding the roles that specific genes play
in decision-making. These principles would enhance our understanding about the genetic underpinnings involved in decision
making and will help us shed light on the interaction between genes and clinical conditions associated with biased decision
making behavior, such as drug addiction, pathological gambling and obesity.
The project involves three main stages:
1) Designing novel decision making paradigms suited for C.elegans.
2) Manipulating various C.elegans genes and neuronal circuits.
3) Examining the influence of these gene manipulations on subsequent decision-making behavior.
This project involves tools from molecular biology, genetics, behavioral economics, decision-making and mathematical
models from psychology and economics.
A multidisciplinary project on protein translation, memory processes and alcohol addiction
Prof. Orna Elroy-
The lab for Translation Regulation in Health & Disease headed by Prof. Orna Elroy-Stein and the lab for Neurobiology of
Stein and Dr. Segev
Addiction headed by Dr. Segev Barak, are looking for excellent, motivated students from the Sagol School of Neuroscience,
for a joint project (for graduate studies).
The fascinating project will elucidate the role of mRNA translation machinery/processes in learning and memory processes in
general, and specifically those involved in addiction to alcohol and drugs. During the project, students will engage in a
multidisciplinary approach that combines molecular and biochemical techniques, behavioral analysis in rodents including
transgenic mice, brain histology and immunohistochemistry, and more.
Students who are interested in this joint project should contact Prof. Elroy Stein ( and Dr. Barak
( ). For further reading about the laboratories:
Prof. Orna Elroy-Stein (
Dr. Segev Barak (
‫ זיכרון והתמכרויות‬,‫דיסציפלינרי בנושא תרגום חלבונים‬-‫פרוייקט מולטי‬
‫שטיין והמעבדה לחקר הבסיס הנוירוביולוגי של ההתמכרות בראשות ד"ר שגב‬-‫המעבדה לחקר בקרת סינתזת חלבונים בראשות פרופ' אורנה אלרואי‬
.)‫ מזמינות סטודנטים מצויינים ובעלי מוטיבציה מביה"ס סגול למדעי המוח לביצוע פרויקט משותף (לתואר מתקדם‬,‫ברק‬
‫ ופרט לכאלה הקשורים להתמכרות‬,‫ לחלבונים בתהליכי למידה וזיכרון בכלל‬mRNA ‫הפרויקט המרתק יעסוק בחקר מנגנונים מולקולריים של תרגום‬
‫ היסטולוגיה‬,‫ ביוכימיה‬,‫ במהלך הפרויקט הסטודנטים יתנסו בגישות מחקר אינטרדיסציפלינריות הכוללות שיטות מולקולריות‬.‫לסמים ולאלכוהול‬
‫ סטודנטים המעוניינים להשתלב בפרויקט מוזמנים ליצור קשר‬.‫ ועוד‬,‫ עבודה עם עכברים טרנסגניים‬,‫ שיטות התנהגותיו ת במכרסמים‬,‫ואימונוהיסטוכימיה‬
.) ‫) ועם ד"ר ברק‬ ‫שטיין‬-‫עם פרופ' אלרואי‬
) -‫פרופ' אלרואי שטיין (לינק ל‬:‫לקריאה נוספת על המעבדות‬
)‫ד"ר שגב ברק (לינק ל‬
An interdisciplinary project: The biological basis of cognitive biases in anxiety and addiction
Dr. Segev Barak &
Psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and addiction, are characterized by cognitive biases; for example, attentional bias Prof. Yair Bartowards threatening cues in anxious patients, and towards drug-related cues in addicts. These biases play a major role in the Haim
development and maintenance of the disorders, and recent studies show that treatment eliminating the biases can improve the
clinical conditions.
We are seeking a highly motivated, excellent graduate student from the Sagol school of Neuroscience, for a fascinating
interdisciplinary project that involves the translation of human-tested cognitive biases tasks into animal models, including
establishment of the procedures, and testing various in vivo manipulations such as pharmacology, transgenic animals, viralmediated gene delivery, and optogenetics. The project will include rotations in the laboratory of Prof. Yair Bar-Haim that
studies cognitive biases and anxiety in humans, and uses various computerized behavioral and human imaging methods (e.g.,
EEG, ERP); and in the laboratory of Dr. Segev Barak, that studies the neurobiology of addiction and cognitive impairments
using rodent models, and uses various molecular biology, biochemistry and behavioral methodology. The project will also
involve collaboration with a research group in the Netherlands.
Outstanding students are encouraged to write to Dr. Segev Barak ( and Prof. Yair Bar-Haim
For more information, see labs' websites:
The Bar Haim lab:
The Barak lab:
Research topic: Exploratory behavior and management of attention. Model organisms: mice, fruit flies, autistic human babies. Prof. Emeritus Ilan
Research methods: Algorithmic video-based analysis of animal and human behavior, exploratory data analysis, computational Golani ; Prof. Yoav
approach to behavior, Dynamic systems, Movement Notation.
Benjamini and Dr.
Main projects in the lab include:
Hanna Alonim
1. Diagnosing autistic features in free exploratory behavior of human babies (toddlers) and using these features in search
for mouse models of autism (characterizing patterns of management of attention in toddlers and in mouse models of
2. Cognitive and emotional aspects of exploratory behavior in fruit flies.
3. Cognitive and emotional aspects of free exploratory behavior in mice
4. Animal models of autism
5. Recursion in animal exploratory behavior (might be of interest to students in Linguistics).
Studies are performed in close collaboration with Prof. Yoav Benjamini, Dept. of Statistics. Study on autism will be performed
in collaboration with Dr. Hanna Alonim of the Mifne center (
New approach for Alzheimer’s disease treatment; The mechanism whereby targeting CD38 improve learning and
reduce amyloid beta (Ab) load in Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-prone mice.
Assessing the effect of CD38 targeting (by genetic and pharmacological methods) on Ab production, clearance
and on g-secretase activity using cell lines and primary cultures
Assessing the involvement of SIRT1 in the effect of CD38 targeting
Assessing the effect of CD38 inhibitors to inhibit Ad pathology in mouse models for AD (in vivo studies).
The effect of CD38 on synapses and synaptic transmission (a joined project with Prof. Uri Ashery)
This projected is funded by TEVA’s National Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Research Project Award and BSF
The mechanism whereby CD38 targeting in brain tumor microenvironment inhibits tumor growth and extends the life
span of tumor baring mice.
Studying the effect of new CD38 inhibitors on glioma progression in vitro and in vivo.
Studying the effect of loss of CD38 on secondary brain tumors (melanoma).
This projected is funded by MAGNET/KAMIN, The Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and Ministry of
New therapeutic approaches for treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Mechanism whereby CD38 targeting attenuates
AD pathology in AD-prone mice.
1. Microglia and brain tumors’ progression; Inhibition of brain tumor progression by targeting CD38 in the tumor
2. The effect of the familiar AD-associated gene, presenilin1, on the mitochondrial functionality.
3. The mechanism of Programmed Cell Death, studies on new stress responses.
4. Neurofibromatosis type I: New insights into the tumor suppressor gene neurofibromin function and regulation
Prof. Reuven Stein
and Prof. Uri
Early detection of Parkinson's disease using super resolution microscopy.
Prof. Uri Ashery and
In this project we will use state-of-the-art super-resolution microscopy to characterize the molecular organization of Prof. Nir Giladi (Ichilov
the synapse in Parkinson disease patients and in transgenic mouse models.
Synaptic plasticity at the mossy fiber synapse.
This project involves electrophysiological recording from hippocampal slices, stereotactic injection of lentiviruses
encoding different shRNA sequences and possibly also behavioral tasks with genetically modified mice.
Previous study in this direction:
Neuron-specific expression of tomosyn1 in the mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus impairs spatial learning and
memory. Barak et al 2013
Prof. Uri Ashery and the
lab of Prof. Pablo Castillo
from Einstein College of
Medicine, NY, USA.
Unraveling the Nanometric Architecture of the Synapse.
In this project we will correlate between changes in synaptic function and the molecular organization of the synapse.
We will use transgenic mouse model and correlate their synaptic function to changes in the nanometric organization
of synaptic proteins.
See for example:
Composition of isolated synaptic boutons reveals the amounts of vesicle trafficking proteins. Wilhelm et al. 2014.
Prof. Uri Ashery and the
lab of Prof. Markus
Sauer from Wurzburg
university, Germany.
‫ בהתמכרות לאלכוהול‬PARP ‫ התפקיד של החלבון‬Prof. M. Cohen-Armon
and Dr. Segev Barak
Novel biomarkers by whole genome screening: Alzheimer’s disease
There are currently no routine blood test for late onset (sporadic) Alzheimer’s disease. We aim to identify novel
Alzheimer’s disease risk biomarkers by assessing gene expression in immortalized lymphoblstoid cells from late
onset Alzheimer’s disease patients compared to healthy, age matched controls. It is expected that this genome –
wide study will identify novel risk genes and allow for better management of the disease.
Prof. Illana Gozes and
ADNP- ethanol project
Illana Gozes and Segev Barak
Prof. Illana Gozes and
Alcohol abuse is a serious worldwide health problem with concomitant medical, social and economic burdens, for
which medical treatments are very limited. Findings from Dr. Barak’s laboratory have shown that chronic excessive
alcohol consumption promotes the development of alcohol addiction by inducing long-lasting neuroadaptations in
the brain reward system, including alterations in the expression of certain genes. Activity dependent neuroprotective
protein (ADNP), discovered in Professor Gozes laboratory, is crucial for brain formation, and is part of an essential
chromatin remodeling complex regulating transcription and RNA splicing. Recent findings from the Gozes
laboratory (Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;19(10):1115-24. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;20(1):126-32) showed that ADNP
interacts with the growing ends of microtubules and is associated with the regulation of autophagy. Importantly,
partial loss of ADNP results in cognitive dysfunction in mice and ADNP mutations are a major cause for autism.
Like ADNP, the other member of the ADNP family, ADNP2, is important for cell survival interacts with the
chromatin remodeling complex, and both proteins are deregulated in schizophrenia.
This collaborative project will elucidate the role of ADNP/ADNP2 in alcohol use and abuse disorders. Specifically,
we aim to determine whether acute alcohol administration and alcohol consumption results in changes in expression
of ADNP and/or the ADNP2 in brain regions relevant to addiction; and 2. to identify the relevant downstream
signaling pathway(s).
Dr. David Gurwitz
Dr. Segev Barak
Mechanisms of cell polarity in the mammalian inner ear
Dr. David Sprinzak and
Prof. Karen Avraham
Development of drugs to Inhibit ER stress-based cytotoxicity in Huntington’s disease
Prof. Gerardo
Prof. Daniel Offen
Prof. Moshe Portnoy
Value based binocular rivalry: can a preference change task bias perceptual dominance during binocular
We recently showed we could change preferences for junk food items, without external reinforcement of changing
the decision context (Schonberg et al., Nature Neuroscience 2014). The goal of this collaborative project is to test
if training participants on the cue-approach task changes the salience of the cued items. We will thus examine
whether the training changes subjects performance in a binocular rivalry task, in which subjects’ perception
alternates between two images, simultaneously presented to each eye. The collaborative project will include
adapting the task to rank faces and houses and then use these stimuli in the binocular rivalry task. We will then test
if non-reinforced training leads to changes in both number of transitions and viewing time of the cued items. Upon
successful completion of the behavioral phase the tasks will be performed during fMRI scanning to test for the
underlying neural representation of faces and house.
Dr. Liad Mudrik
Dr. Tom Schonber
Opening Research Positions
Opening for MSc and PhD candidates in Yoram Cohen’s lab
MRS and MRI in brain research; MRI of experimental models of neurological disorders (stroke, PD, AD,
HD etc.) and f-MRI in small animals.
q-Space diffusion MRI (QSI) of model systems, isolated organ and in white matter disorders in animal and
human subjects (EAE, MS, Vascular dementia, etc.). QSI as “virtual histology”. QSI allows to obtain
structural information of micron scale in vivo with MRI.
d-PFG NMR and MRI for characterization of microstructures in model systems, emulsions, cells, nerves
and brains in vitro and in vivo
Provides size and shape non-invasively.
Preparation of target specific MRI contrast agents for cellular and molecular MR imaging.
Functionalized magnetic nano-particles to follow stem cells in vivo in different brain disorders.
If you are interested in developing and using MRI methodologies to study the CNS microstructures, pathologies
and therapy on the cellular and molecular level and if you are a motivated student not afraid to be sent to
collaboration out of the country contact us:
e-mail:, Tel: 03-6407232
Prof. Yoram Cohen
‫‪ Prof. Matti Mintz‬למעבדה של פרופ' מתי מינץ דרוש‪/‬ה תלמיד‪/‬ת מחקר‬
‫המחקר עוסק במנגנונים עצביים של למידה אסוציאטיבית בצרבלום‪ .‬אנו משתמשים במגוון שיטות במדעי המוח‪ ,‬לרבות‪ :‬אלקטרופיזיולוגיה‪,‬‬
‫התנהגות ואופטוגנטיקה‪ .‬כיום כל המחקר מבוסס על חולדות (‪ ,)in vivo‬אך בהמשך ייתכן שימוש בעכברים טרנסגניים‪.‬‬
‫תכונות נדרשות‪:‬‬
‫מוכנות ללמוד שיטות חדשות ולערוך מחקר עצמאי‬
‫שאיפה ללימודי דוקטורט – יתרון‬
‫לפרטים‪ ,‬נא לפנות ל‪ :‬פרופ' מתי מינץ‬
‫‪,‬רוני חוגרי ‪‬‬
‫‪ Prof. Nathan Dascal‬למעבדה של פרופ' נתן דסקל דרושים סטודנטים‬
‫אנחנו מחפשים שני תלמידי מחקר לחקר המנגנונים של מחלות נוירופסיכיאטריות ומחלת אפילפסיה‪ ,‬ומנגנון פעילות התרופות שמשמשות‬
‫לטיפול במחלות האלה‪.‬‬
‫‪ .1‬תלמיד\ה ‪ Ph.D.‬לחקר מעורבות של תעלות יוניות במחלה ביפולרית (מניה‪-‬דפרסיה) ומנגנונים תאיים ומולקולריים של פעילות תרופות‪.‬‬
‫המחקר ייעשה בשיטות אלקטרופיזיולוגיות‪ ,‬ביוכימיות‪ ,‬אופטיות (דימות) ואחרות בחיות מעבדה בריאות (חולדה‪ ,‬עכבר) וכן במודלים‬
‫למחלה ביפולרית וסכיזופרניה שפותחו באוניברסיטת תל אביב‪ .‬מועמד\ת מתאימים יזכו למלגה מוגדלת וחופש פעולה מחקרי משמעותי‪.‬‬
‫‪ .2‬תלמיד\ת מסטר לחקר המנגנונים של אפילפסיה מהסוג ‪ .Dravet‬המסטרנט\ית יחקור השפעות של מוטציות חדשות שנמצאו בגן של תעלת‬
‫נתרן )‪ Nav1.1 (SCNA1A‬בחולים בבית חולים בארץ‪ ,‬על הפונקציה וביוגנזה של החלבונים האלה‪ .‬המחקר ישולב במעקב אחר חולים‬
‫ויכלול מגוון שיטות אלקטרופיזיולוגיות‪ ,‬מיקרוסקופיות‪ ,‬ביולוגיה מולקולרית ו‪.EEG‬‬
AND Dr. Dafna Ben Bashat
PI: Dr Dafna Ben Bashat,
Project location:
The Functional Brain Center,
Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
Project description:
In biologic tissues, microstructural motions of water, include molecular diffusion and microcirculation of blood in
the capillary network. DWI and DTI is the commonly used method to study the diffusion propertied of the tissue.
However, it has been recognized for some time that the calculation of apparent diffusion coefficient by simple
monoexponential relationship between MRI signal and b value does not fully account for tissue behavior. More
sophisticated analytic approaches has been proposed based on the principles of intravoxel incoherent motion
(IVIM), which allows quantitative parameters that reflect tissue microcapillary perfusion and tissue diffusivity to
be derived from a single multi b-values data set.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the contribution and sensitive of IVIM analysis for tissue characterization in
the normal and pathological brains in comparison to "gold standard" – other perfusion MRI methods and diffusion
During the project the student will gain:
 Knowledge and experience in basic MRI
 Planning and execution of an MRI study
 Analysis of MRI data
 Interpretation of study results in relation to clinical indications
 A highly motivated student
 Availability and full commitment to the project
 Knowledge in programming (Matlab)
 Basic knowledge in MRI
For more details please contact:
Dr. Dafna Ben Bashat
Dafna Ben Bashat group, Functional Brain Center,
Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 
PI: Dr Dafna Ben Bashat,
Project location:
The Functional Brain Center,
Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
Project description:
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) enables in vivo evaluation of the microstructure and integrity of white matter (WM)
tracts. Structural connectivity analysis is a further step in DTI post-processing which enables quantification of WM
networks within the brain.
The aim of this study is to characterize the topological network measures and study sub-networks in children with
cerebral palsy in compere to typically developed children.
During the project the student will gain:
 Knowledge and experience in basic MRI
 Analysis of structural network from DTI data
 Interpretation of study results in relation to clinical indications
 A highly motivated student
 Availability and full commitment to the project
 Knowledge in programming (Matlab) - preferable
 Basic knowledge in MRI
For more details please contact:
Dr. Dafna Ben Bashat
Dafna Ben Bashat group, Functional Brain Center,
Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
Dr. Dafna Ben Bashat
Neural Circuits and Olfactory Perception
We are looking for highly motivated M.Sc. and PhD students to join us
Using a multidisciplinary approach we are exploring how neural circuits encode information and support behavior
as well as how such neural circuits are affected by brain disorders
in vivo electrophysiology ● in vivo functional imaging ● Behavior experiments ●
Molecular biology ● Mathematical modeling ● Genetics
Functional imaging
Genetic accessibility to defined neurons
For more details please contact Dr. Moshe Parnas Email:
Dr. Moshe Parnas