Department of Physiology and Cell Biology
Faculty of Health Sciences
My life before BGU:
I grew up in Ashdod and also spent several years of my childhood in Panama, as my parents were emissaries. I finished high school in Beer-Sheva, studied medicine at BGU and also completed here a doctorate in brain sciences in the MD/PhD track in the Faculty of Health Sciences in Department of Morphology (known today as the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology). After my internship at Soroka University Medical Center I travelled to Madrid for my post-doc and there I stayed until I established the Molecular Cognition Laboratory in the Basque country in Spain. I was recently recruited as a faculty member in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology. I am currently establishing the Israeli version of the Molecular Cognition Laboratory, which is located in the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.
"The prime objective of our research is the development of new tools to treat memory loss. For this purpose, we use a range of molecular, genetic and pharmacological tools, which can be translated later to the treatment of humans, especially Alzheimer patients"
In the Molecular Cognition Laboratory (shiraknafo.com), we are trying to identify the molecular and synaptic mechanisms, which are the basis of learning and memory, cognitive malfunction and improvement in cognitive capability. The prime objective of our research is the development of new tools to treat memory loss. For this purpose, we use a range of molecular, genetic and pharmacological tools, which can be translated later to the treatment of humans, especially Alzheimer patients.
The idea of coming full circle and returning to the University where it all started appealed to me. The University's development over the last few years in terms of infrastructure and the overall development of Beer-Sheva really drew me back here. The University's location so close to Soroka University Medical Center also provides many professional opportunities for collaboration with physicians (neurologists, neurosurgeons and psychiatrists).
An insight from my research:
In order to improve cognitive functioning, you need to improve synaptic functioning, that is the communication between brain cells.
Something that doesn't appear on my resume:
I am a big fan of all kinds of music and I also write occasional short stories.
A source of inspiration:
The book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" written by the neurologist Oliver Sacks, in which he relates his experiences with different patients suffering from various and strange neurological problems, finally convinced me to become involved with brain sciences.
When I grow up:
As a child I wanted to be an archaeologist. Going forward, I want to continue research in my field and to improve the condition of those suffering from memory problems.
If I was not a researcher, I would be involved with:
medicine (neurology or psychiatry).
Maccabi or HaPoel? What?
IPhone or Android? Android
Winter or summer? Winter
Book or Movie? Movie
Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad? Breaking Bad
An isolated cabin in nature or a pampering hotel in the city? In nature
Dire Straits or Queen? Kaveret
Meet other researchers who joined us this year »