Azrieli CIFAR Fellowship

Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorsky of the Technion Has Won the Azrieli Foundation’s Prestigious CIFAR Fellowship

The 12 recipients were selected from 402 candidates from 55 countries

Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorsky

Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorsky

Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorsky of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine has received a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR )scholarship from the Azrieli Foundation. This year, 402 researchers from 55 countries submitted their candidacy for the scholarship, and the Foundation selected 12 winners from five countries: Israel, Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States, and Canada. Two of the winners are Israeli: Dr. Geva-Zatorsky and Dr. Yaniv Ziv of the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Neurobiology.

The researchers were selected based on excellence in research, potential contribution to the relevant program in CIFAR, and leadership potential outside the academy. The fund announced the winners last week and noted that the diverse areas of research interest include renewable energy, astrophysics, understanding consciousness, and the microbiota’s effect on human evolution and health.

Dr. Geva-Zatorsky studies the microbiota – the microbial population that exists in our body and plays a critical role in our health. In her research, published in CELL, Science, and other leading journals, she has shown that the microbiota dramatically affect the immune system’s functions. While at Harvard, she developed a new technology that can track live intestinal bacteria in a living organism in real time. She says, “Our technology allows us to identify the role of each bacterium in this process. In the future, we hope to produce drugs from these bacteria, customized to various immune system disruptions and diseases.”

Dr. Geva-Zatorsky completed her bachelor’s degree at Tel Aviv University and her MSc and PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science. After a postdoctoral research at the Harvard Medical School, she joined the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and the Technion Integrated Cancer Center. She has been awarded the Alon Fellowship – a prestigious scholarship designed to enable the absorption of young researchers in Israeli universities – and was selected as a Horev Fellow in the Technion’s program for leaders in science and technology.

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars Program

According to the Azrieli Foundation’s website, “CIFAR has been successfully taking on difficult challenges for more than three decades by undertaking global research programs connecting many of the world’s best minds – across borders and between disciplines – to shape new perspectives and spark groundbreaking ideas. CIFAR offers research fellows the rarest of commodities: freedom to take the kinds of intellectual risks that are essential for creating truly transformative knowledge.”

The CIFAR scholarship provides researchers who are just beginning their academic careers with funding and support in building academic ties and developing the skills necessary for research leadership in academia and beyond. Since its inception in 1982, CIFAR has selected about 400 promising researchers. Each recipient receives a $100,000 research grant and is integrated into one of CIFAR’s 12 programs for two years. The program helps participants present their research to colleagues, contribute to discussions, initiate new collaborations, and reach policymakers, industry leaders and others.

“Young people are the future of research,” said CIFAR President and CEO Alan Bernstein. “CIFAR is exceptionally pleased to provide financial and other support to this phenomenal group of young researchers to advance their leadership and financial skills. Their enthusiasm and energy lead to new ways of thinking that will advance science and create solutions for the challenges facing our world today.”

For the Azrieli Foundation’s announcement about the CIFAR Global Scholars, click here