Ph.D. Program

ELSC is educating a new generation of (“da-vinci”) renaissance scientists – from a range of disciplines – and in its faculty initiated 5-year PhD Program it emphasizes that all students, regardless of their academic background, become strongly educated both in theoretical and quantitative methods, as well as in experimental neuroscience. ELSC believes that this broad based multifaceted education will ensure the interdisciplinary collaboration which is essential to the future development of brain research.

The program is a magnet for top students in Israel as well as for the brightest students worldwide. Those who pass the rigorous admissions criteria receive an education in Brain Sciences, with an emphasis on ELSC’s particular strength – Computational Neuroscience.

With Over 80 doctoral and post-doctoral students to date, the ELSC Program has become one of the world’s largest graduate programs in the field.  The importance of doctoral scholarships at ELSC cannot be overestimated. The ability to attract the best doctoral scientists from around the world is a key element in building a world-class research center.

Examples of ELSC Students

Image-014Tal is 35 years old, and comes to ELSC following undergraduate studies in cognitive science and psychology. He completed his military service in the navy, and was discharged with the rank of staff-sergeant.

Tal is fascinated by the ways in which electrical and biochemical events within and between brain cells give rise to our everyday conscious experience. His research is concerned with visual perception and the brain’s translation of the two-dimensional image on the retina into a rich understanding of the external world. The particular focus of his research is the effect of eye blinks on neural activity.

Upon completing his PhD, Tal hopes to develop his skills in neuroimaging in post-doctoral studies in the US before returning to Israel.

Image-015Rotem is 27 years old and the middle child of five siblings. She grew up in Kohav-Yair and has a B.Sc. in computational biology from the Hebrew University.

In her PhD research, Rotem is studying recordings of the electrical patterns of neuronal activity in the basal- ganglia of Parkinson’s patients – documented during brain surgeries in human patients – in order to better elucidate the two main symptoms of Parkinson’s (tremors and akinesia), with the aim of improving their targeting through DBS.

In addition to brain sciences, Rotem is passionate about sports, playing the piano, movies, and astrophysics.

Image-016Matan is 31 years old and the fourth of six children. He is the first of his siblings to acquire an academic education, and the first in his family to pursue a career in science. Having served in the military police and attaining the rank of staff-sergeant, Matan went on to complete his BSc in computer science and computational biology in the Hebrew University.

Matan’s research is focuced on neurodegenerative diseases. He is seeking to reveal the mechanisms that are related to gene expression heterogeneity that characterize the process of neural differentiation in general, and specifically differentiation towards affected neurons in a neurodegenerative disease. To this end, he is working with both experimental state-of-the-art methods, such as live imaging and single-cell RNA sequencing, as well as advanced computational methods.

Merav is 33 years old, and joined the ELSC PhD program following her service in the Israeli air force (where she attained the rank of sergeant) and completing her MSc in Theoretical Physics.

Seeking a profession that would enable her to “address some of the relevant and significant questions of our times”, she is researching clustered networks in a quest to understand the benefits of this structure arrangement that is common across the brain, particularly in cortical areas.

Image-013Ido is 32 years old lives on the shores of the Dead Sea, is married and the proud father of a baby boy. He completed his military service with the rank of staff-sergeant and went on to study biology in Ben-Gurion University.

Ido is studying the ways in which learned information is processed in the brain – specifically examining the nuronal substrate in mice in order to elucidate the computational role of inhibitory and excitatory cells in the processing of auditory learned information.

Galit is 30 years old, and the second of four children. She completed her military service and was discharged with the rank of lieutenant. She then went on to complete a BA in cognitive sciences and linguistics at the Hebrew University.

In her PhD research she wishes to integrate linguistic knowledge with brain research in order to understand the brain mechanisms involved in the processing of natural language. Her interdisciplinary research combines tools from a range of fields, including theoretical linguistics, cognitive psychology and brain imaging, and she aspires to lead an intellectual life by gaining knowledge and contributing to the very exciting emerging field of neurolinguistics. Galit feels very blessed to have a supportive and loving family as well as a wonderful working environment with inspiring people.