Culture & Community

New Year, New Scientists

E-News, January 2021 • TAGS: Community

The start of a new year is always a time of optimism, yet more so than ever as we begin 2021. Science has offered hope for some of the world’s most devastating problems, particularly COVID-19 – but in order to continue its forward progress, science needs new researchers to take up the mantle and introduce fresh ideas and approaches.

That’s why we are also finding hope in the form of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s newest members: brilliant young investigators in fields from antibiotics to astrophysics. The Institute recruits only a handful of new scientists each year, searching worldwide for the most talented thinkers, the ones who will take Weizmann – and science – into the future. Here are a few of these remarkable researchers.

  • Dr. Nir Fluman returns to the Weizmann Institute, where he completed his MSc and PhD, after postdoctoral research at Stockholm University. He studies the proteins that reside in cellular membranes and serve as nano-machines that carry out work at the cell’s border, particularly how these proteins get constructed and destructed in the membrane. His work in his new Weizmann lab could shed light on how these processes go wrong in diseases such as cystic fibrosis, heart arrhythmias, and epilepsy and other neurological conditions. Dr. Fluman’s research may also help fight the growing health crisis of antibiotic resistance.

  • Dr. Michal Ramot conducted her postdoc in the lab of Weizmann’s famed Prof. Rafi Malach, then – with the support of the Israel National Postdoctoral Award for Advancing Women in Science – completed a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She has found sophisticated new ways to study brain activity, particularly in the resting state, and demonstrated that people at rest can actually learn. Dr. Ramot’s research may lead to novel interventions for those struggling to learn new languages or social skills, and could help people with mental illness overcome traumatic memories.

  • Dr. Rotem Arnon-Friedman joins Weizmann’s renowned computing and cryptography group after completing her postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley. She works in the emerging field of quantum information science, which aims to provide security for quantum computers. Dr. Arnon-Friedman focuses on one of the basic security questions: how to create a shared secret key that is impossible to crack. While it is currently nearly impossible to circumvent public-key encryption schemes, a hacker with a quantum computer could potentially perform this task with ease.

  • Dr. Barak Zackay comes home after his postdoc at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, where he established a team studying gravitational-wave signal data – and discovered eight new binary black holes. He received his MSc and PhD at Weizmann. The signals he studies indicate phenomena such as supernovas, binary black holes, pulsars, gravitational waves, and exoplanets. A technique he devised is already widely used, alerting astronomers to events in progress, such as supernova explosions. The award-winning Dr. Zackay, who will be part of the Frontiers of the Universe flagship project, is also studying fast radio bursts – mysterious bursts of energy emitted throughout the universe.

It is thanks to friends of the Weizmann Institute that it is able to recruit such rising stars and provide them with the resources they need as they establish their new labs, build their teams, and follow their curiosity to tomorrow’s breakthroughs. If you can help keep Weizmann science – and scientists – strong in 2021 and beyond, you can do so here. Thank you.

Culture & Community

New Year, New Scientists

E-News, January 2021 • TAGS: Community

The start of a new year is always a time of optimism, yet more so than ever as we begin 2021. Science has offered hope for some of the world’s most devastating problems, particularly COVID-19 – but in order to continue its forward progress, science needs new researchers to take up the mantle and introduce fresh ideas and approaches.

That’s why we are also finding hope in the form of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s newest members: brilliant young investigators in fields from antibiotics to astrophysics. The Institute recruits only a handful of new scientists each year, searching worldwide for the most talented thinkers, the ones who will take Weizmann – and science – into the future. Here are a few of these remarkable researchers.

  • Dr. Nir Fluman returns to the Weizmann Institute, where he completed his MSc and PhD, after postdoctoral research at Stockholm University. He studies the proteins that reside in cellular membranes and serve as nano-machines that carry out work at the cell’s border, particularly how these proteins get constructed and destructed in the membrane. His work in his new Weizmann lab could shed light on how these processes go wrong in diseases such as cystic fibrosis, heart arrhythmias, and epilepsy and other neurological conditions. Dr. Fluman’s research may also help fight the growing health crisis of antibiotic resistance.

  • Dr. Michal Ramot conducted her postdoc in the lab of Weizmann’s famed Prof. Rafi Malach, then – with the support of the Israel National Postdoctoral Award for Advancing Women in Science – completed a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She has found sophisticated new ways to study brain activity, particularly in the resting state, and demonstrated that people at rest can actually learn. Dr. Ramot’s research may lead to novel interventions for those struggling to learn new languages or social skills, and could help people with mental illness overcome traumatic memories.

  • Dr. Rotem Arnon-Friedman joins Weizmann’s renowned computing and cryptography group after completing her postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley. She works in the emerging field of quantum information science, which aims to provide security for quantum computers. Dr. Arnon-Friedman focuses on one of the basic security questions: how to create a shared secret key that is impossible to crack. While it is currently nearly impossible to circumvent public-key encryption schemes, a hacker with a quantum computer could potentially perform this task with ease.

  • Dr. Barak Zackay comes home after his postdoc at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, where he established a team studying gravitational-wave signal data – and discovered eight new binary black holes. He received his MSc and PhD at Weizmann. The signals he studies indicate phenomena such as supernovas, binary black holes, pulsars, gravitational waves, and exoplanets. A technique he devised is already widely used, alerting astronomers to events in progress, such as supernova explosions. The award-winning Dr. Zackay, who will be part of the Frontiers of the Universe flagship project, is also studying fast radio bursts – mysterious bursts of energy emitted throughout the universe.

It is thanks to friends of the Weizmann Institute that it is able to recruit such rising stars and provide them with the resources they need as they establish their new labs, build their teams, and follow their curiosity to tomorrow’s breakthroughs. If you can help keep Weizmann science – and scientists – strong in 2021 and beyond, you can do so here. Thank you.