An International Collaboration in Brain Sciences
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
SUPPORTING NEW RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
The overarching goal of this collaboration is to strengthen the ties between academic institutions in Israel and the UK through research. We will set a platform to encourage exchange and promote collaborations between research groups at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, ELSC (Hebrew University) and the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (SWC), UCL, London. The collaboration will be made possible through local competitive seed grants and through mutual meetings. ELSC and SWC are two relatively new world-renowned research centers, each combining theory and experiments for understanding brain function from the genetic, cellular, system and whole brain levels.
The funding sought will help bring together scientists from both institutions through support of an annual colloquium, alternating between Jerusalem and London. The funding will also help support student exchange between the institutions and countries thereby strengthening the ties between the countries through academia.
ELSC and SWC researchers will initiate projects that are high-risk high-gain; projects that are normally not funded by governmental agencies. Specifically, we seek to support research that will develop a theoretical understanding of a biological problem in Neuroscience. We already have a number of successful past collaborations between members of both institutions.
Process & Applications
An open call for postdoctoral trainees was published in London and Jerusalem along with a call for a seed research grant support. These applications were evaluated by a joint committee between London and Jerusalem and the following three postdoctoral trainees were chosen for postdoc fellowship support:
- Dr. Haran – Shani-Narkiss will lead a project between the labs of Prof. Idan Segev (ELSC) and Prof. Tiago Branco at SWC. The title of his project is: “Using Deep Neural Networks to identify the architecture of midbrain computations generating defensive behavior”. Haran started his position on Feb 1, 2021, stationed in the Segev lab in Jerusalem.
- Dr. Nathaniel Zuk will lead a project between the labs of Prof. Merav Ahissar (SWC) and Prof. Athena Akrami (SWC). The title of his planned project is: “Perception and neurophysiology of acoustic patterns in adults with autism”. Nathaniel did not yet start his project. He is expected to be stationed in Jerusalem, moving here from Ireland. Due to COVID- 19 restrictions his arrival has been delayed. He is expected to start by summer 2021.
- Dr. Victor Pedrosa will lead a project between the labs of Prof. Yonatan Loewenstein and Prof. Athena Akrami (SWC). He will be stationed in London. The title of his planned project is: “The development of prior stimulus statistics and their neural correlates”. He recently started his postdoctoral training at SWC.
In addition, the donations provided by Fondationjfmlct have funded a joint project between the labs of Prof. Hagai Bergmann (ELSC) and Prof. Marcus Stephenson-Jones entitled: “Investigating the single-cell projection logic of the basal ganglia to reveal their motor function”.
Profs. Israel Nelken & Adi Mizrahi
Directors: Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Prof. Thomas Mrsic-Flogel
Director – Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UK