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Advancing Women in STEM

“Advancing Women in STEM” is not just a slogan at the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program. Nearly half the scholars in the program are women.

We continue to lead the way in advancing women in STEM in academic institutions. Much remains to be done, but the Zuckerman STEM Program believes it’s important to increase the momentum.

Each Zuckerman female scholar is making an impact in her field, creating a larger group of peers, and easing the way for other women to be accepted.


Latest achievements

  • Congratulations to Zuckerman Faculty Scholar Yaara Oren who was awarded the 2023 ERC Starter Grant.
  • Congratulations to Zuckerman Faculty Scholar Neta Shlezinger who was awarded within the reserve program of the ERC Starting Grants for 2022.
  • Congratulations to Israeli Woman Postdoc alum Leehe Peled Avron who was promoted to Assistant Professor at Bar-Ilan.
  • Congratulations to Zuckerman Postdoc Alum Tifanny Lewis who was appointed Assistant Professor at Michigan Technological University.
  • Congratulations to Zuckerman Faculty Scholar Geffen Kleinstern who was named Outstanding Young Researcher at Haifa University.
  • Congratulations to Zuckerman Faculty Scholar Gili Bisker on being named as an “Emerging Leader” by the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics and being promoted to  promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Tel Aviv University.
  • Congratulations to Zuckerman Faculty Dekel Rosenfeld on being awarded a research grant from Israel’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology.


To date the Zuckerman Stem Leadership Program has supported the following outstanding women:

  • 19 Faculty Scholars opening Zuckerman labs in 7 Israeli universities
  • 47 Postdoctoral Scholars at 7 Israeli Universities
  • 27 Israeli Postdoctoral scholars at 18 North American universities and research centers
  • 28 Israeli Zuckerman-CHE Postdoctoral scholars at 19 North American universities and research centers


Cycle of excellence

Meet the Israeli Zuckerman Faculty women who are paving the way for women in Israeli academia.

Dr. Gili Bisker
Dr. Moran Dvela-Levitt
Dr. Gali (Galit) Fichman
Dr. Arielle Fischer
Dr. Limor Freifeld
Dr. Ariella Glasner
Dr. Leah Houri-Zeevi
Dr. Danielle Karo-Atar
Dr. Yael Kiro
Dr. Geffen Kleinstern
Dr. Yaara Oren
Dr. Michal Ramot
Dr. Dekel Rosenfeld
Dr. Moran Shalev-Benami
Dr. Daphna Shimon
Dr. Neta Shlezinger
Dr. Hadas Soifer
Dr. Shani Stern
Dr. Moran Yadid

Meet the Zuckerman postdoctoral women from North America who are currently at universities in Israel.

  • 10 Postdoctoral scholars at 6 Israeli universities

Talia Borofsky
Dr. Borofsky is a mathematical biologist interested in the evolution of social behavior. Her doctoral research in the Department of Biology at Stanford University showed that social learning—when animals adopt a behavior by watching others—can cause competition between animals for food.

Dr. Borofsky conducts her postdoctoral research jointly between the Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She uses analytical and network-based models to investigate how the evolution of two types of cooperation affect predators’ interactions with other species. Her research could guide conservation and wildlife reintroduction efforts that involve cooperative animal species.

At The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
From Stanford University

Eleanor (Ellie) Diamant
At the University of California Los Angeles’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Eleanor Diamant’s doctoral research explored how bird populations in LA respond to rapid human-caused (anthropogenic) change. Her work showed the importance of studying populations in situ to fully understand their responses to the combination of changes they face.

Dr. Diamant’s postdoctoral research at Ben-Gurion University’s Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology focuses on the relative impact of habitat change and competition on three bird species in the Negev desert. She uses an animal-tracking system that allows her to test interactions between the species as well as the effects of human disturbance on them.

Dr. Diamant hopes her results will help guide conservation policy in Israel and beyond.

At Ben Gurion University of the Negev
From University of California, Los Angeles

Avital Fischer
Dr. Fischer completed her MD and PhD in epidemiology at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. Her dissertation focused on the relationship between life event stress and breast cancer risk. She is a research track resident in Psychiatry at Stanford University.

Her postdoctoral research in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University focuses on how exposure to female hormones during a woman’s lifespan influences maternal-infant outcomes and her risk of postpartum depression.

At Tel Aviv University
From Stanford University

Sophia Gad-Nasr
As a PhD candidate in Astroparticle Physics at the University of California – Irvine, Sophia Gad-Nasr began the investigation of dark matter that is now the heart of her postdoctoral research at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. She uses computer simulations to explore self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) halos, which undergo a process called gravothermal evolution that causes the central density of a halo to increase so much that it collapses and leaves behind a supermassive black hole (SMBH) seed. Using the Technion’s high performance computing resources, she hopes to estimate the mass of these black holes that are formed from SIDM halos. She is proud to be able to pursue her passion for working on the big questions in cosmology and help make difficult concepts in physics easier for students to understand, and at the same time to serve as a role model to women in physics.

To Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
From University of California, Irvine

Jacqueline Grimm
Dr. Grimm builds synthetic microbial communities, a unique approach which helps to disentangle the mechanisms behind these mutually beneficial plantmicrobe associations, with the ultimate goal of applying them to increase the resilience of agricultural crops to extreme heat and drought events.

At Hebrew University of Jerusalem
From Princeton University

Kathleen Jagodnik
Dr. Jagodnik’s research is to identify the numerous social, mental health, obstetric, and infant-related risk factors for CB-PTSD. Using questionnaires administered to a large sample of postpartum women, she will then employ Machine Learning algorithms to analyze their electronic medical records and develop a computational model for identifying women who are at risk. Dr. Jagodnik hopes to eventually create a web application to facilitate improved diagnosis and treatment, since experts believe that PTSD can be effectively treated with early intervention.

Bar Ilan University joint track with Harvard University

Megan Mackintosh
Dr. Mackintosh is studying far-red–sensing cyanobacteriochrome (frCBCR) photoreceptors, proteins that can sense light in a wider range of the spectrum than was previously possible. Hoping to design mutants with enhanced photochemical properties for optogenetics and other biomedical applications, since light of this wavelength can easily penetrate through skin.

At Hebrew University of Jerusalem
From University of Louisville

Krista Natasha Oswald
Dr. Oswald’s postdoctoral research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology in the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research uses big data to ask whether human development on a small scale, while generally detrimental to bird communities, may in fact be beneficial if it provides “oases” of resources for birds in otherwise harsh landscapes. Dr. Oswald compares the reproductive success and social group cohesion of different groups of Arabian babblers, a Negev desert species, taking into account the effects of high temperature and invasive competitors.

At Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
From NorthWinds Environmental Services, Canada

Grace Snyder
Dr. Snyder’s PhD in Marine Biology and Ecology from the University of Miami dealt with cell diversity in the coral Pocillopora damicornis.

The destruction of coral reefs due to climate change could result in the collapse of many ecological systems in the ocean. Dr. Snyder’s postdoctoral project in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Genetics at Ben-Gurion University, aims to discover whether corals have stem cells, and then to isolate these cells from a resilient donor coral colony and transplant them to a recipient, in the hope of increasing its resiliency and ability to generate diverse cells. Her research could greatly impact coral conservation efforts.

At Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
From University of Miami

Sarah Spitzer
Dr. Spitzer did her PhD research in Space Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. She used ion mass spectrometers in situ to remotely sense the interaction between the solar system and the Very Local Interstellar Medium.

Dr. Spitzer joins a team at Weizmann Institute of Science that is creating a large cost-effective telescope from smaller individual telescopes. Her postdoctoral research centers on the Oort Cloud, a collection of icy objects which is hypothesized to be orbiting the Sun at distances of thousands of astronomical units, but which has never been directly measured. Measuring the Oort Cloud with these new telescopes could further our understanding of how our solar system was formed.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From University of Michigan

Meet the Zuckerman Israeli postdoctoral women who are currently at universities in the US.

  • 4 Israeli Postdoctoral scholars at 3 US universities

Yael Avni
Dr. Avni intends to extend her interest in charged soft matter and in solving problems of relevance to biology using the tools of physics. She is also interested in active phase transitions and their applications in biological systems such as neural networks, as well as in far-from-equilibrium self-assembly and growth dynamics.

At University of Chicago
From Tel Aviv University

Tal Gordon
Dr. Tal Gordon compares cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration by analyzing gene expression profiles at injured tissue sites. She focuses on the role of stem cells in three ascidian species with major differences in their regenerative capacities. Her studies, when combined with advanced tissue engineering applications, could potentially have implications for regenerative medicine and stem cell biology in vertebrates as well.

At Stanford University
From Tel Aviv University

Deborah Pereg
Dr. Pereg is exploring fast learning, transfer learning, and few-shot learning from a sparse representations point of view using neurological data. Analyzing high dimensional data from genomics platforms for biomarker discovery and personalized medicine, determining whether complex traits associated with certain common diseases vary across populations with different genetic backgrounds, and investigating the use of pattern analysis methods in brain imaging and genetics for behavioral research.

At Harvard
From Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Dr. Rana Shahout
For her PhD in Computer Science at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Rana Shahout designed and developed streaming algorithms for data analytics, reducing space requirements and enhancing system speed.

As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, she bridges the theoretical and practical worlds. She focuses on the development of novel data structures and probabilistic algorithms for optimizing large-scale machine learning and networking systems. She hopes her solutions will be applied to industry, enhancing big-data solutions and large-scale systems.

To Harvard University
From Technion–Israel Institute of Technology


Zuckerman Women Alumni Demonstrate Leadership

“The Zuckerman program allowed me to work on projects at the forefront of understanding stony coral biomineralization with top researchers. I had an amazing time in Israel and look forward to continuing collaborations that were established during my time as a Zuckerman postdoctoral fellow.”
Jeana Drake, Assistant Project Scientist and Lecturer and Director of Marine Programming at The Center for Diverse Leadership in Science at University of California, Los Angeles, USA – Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Haifa 2019-2021

“I am very grateful to the Zuckerman STEM program for providing this opportunity to do postdoctoral research in Israel. It was a memorable time in my life: I had a lot of fun working with my postdoctoral advisor and colleagues and enjoyed living in such a culturally rich country.”
– Sarah Kostinski, Assistant Professor of Physics at New York University, USA – Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholar Tel Aviv University, 2017-2021

  • Adi Ashkenazi, Senior Lecturer, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Adi Biram, Postdoctoral training fellow, The Francis Crick Institute, London
  • Alexandra Lai, Postdoc, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Alexandre Laurier, Research Scientist, Carleton University, Canada
  • Amanda Lounsbury, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, DC, USA
  • Anastasia Yanchilina, Research Scientist, Impossible Sensing, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • Anat Rotstein, Postdoc, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA
  • Anat Yaskolka Meir, Postdoc, Harvard, MA, USA
  • Angela B. Grommet, Assistant Professor, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Ariel Ganz, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Avia Raviv-Moshe, Postdoc, Stony Brook University, NY, USA
  • Ayala Allon, Data Scientist,, NY, NY, USA
  • Ayelet Uzan, Postdoc, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • Biana Bernshtein, HFSP Postdoctoral Researcher at Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, MA, USA
  • Bracha Laufer Goldshtein, Assistant Professor, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Christine Hall, Visiting Assistant Professor, Lafayette College
  • Claudia Ciotir, Collection Manager, Canadian Clonal Genebank (CCGB) at the Harrow Research and Development (HRDC) Centre, ON, Canada
  • Dahlia Klein, Postdoc, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Dahlia Perez, Postdoc, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Dana Rubi Levy, Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, MA, USA
  • Danielle Gutman, Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ella Jewison, Data Scientist, ASTERRA, Israel
  • Emily Stark, Assistant Professor, Wesleyan University, CT, USA
  • Esther Brielle, Postdoc, Harvard, MA, USA
  • Hadar Elor, Assistant Professor, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Hillary Anne Craddock, Postdoc, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland
  • Inbal Rachel Livni-Navon, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Inbar (Hotzen) Grinberg, Application Team Lead, Bruker Technologies, Israel
  • Jacqueline Warren, Data Scientist, StackAdapt, ON, Canada
  • Jeana Drake, Assistant Project Scientist and Lecturer. Director of Marine Programming at the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, University of California Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Jennifer Gilda, Scientific Researcher, Genentech, CA, USA
  • Julie Shapiro, Research Assistant, French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety, France
  • Karin Yaniv, Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • Kelsey Moreno, Assistant Professor, Saint Xavier University, IL, USA
  • Koral Goltseker, Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University, NY, USA
  • Laura McCaslin, Staff Scientist, Sandia National Laboratories, CA, USA
  • Laurel Stephenson, Haskins Artificial Intelligence Scientist, Smiths Digital Forge, CA, USA
  • Leehe Peled-Avron, Assistant Professor, Bar Ilan University
  • Lee Shaashua Berger, Postdoc at Weill Cornell Medicine, NY, USA
  • Lilach Gorodetski, Postdoc, UC San Diego, CA, USA
  • Lucia Myongwon Lee, Assistant Professor, Queen’s University, Canada
  • Kate Gallagher, Senior Technical Activity Manager, USAID’s Integrated Natural Resource Management, Washington, DC, USA
  • Maayan Pour, Postdoc, New York University, NY, USA
  • Margarita Orlova, Assistant Professor, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
  • Maya Yablonski, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Merav Stern, Postdoc, University of Oregon, OR, USA
  • Michal Polonsky, Postdoc, Caltech, CA, USA
  • Michelle Talal, Postdoc, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Miri Adler, Associate Research Scientist, Yale University, CT, USA
  • Monica Mowery, Postdoc, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Moran Balaish, Junior Research Group Leader, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Naama Kadmon Harpaz, Postdoc, Harvard University, MA, USA
  • Nanami Kikuchi, Research Scientist, Cell Signaling Technology, MA, USA
  • Natalie Fardian-Melamed, Postdoc, Columbia University, NY, USA
  • Nelli Bodiford, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Texas Christian University, TX, USA
  • Netali Morgenstern-Ben Baruch, Associate Research Fellow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, OH, USA
  • Nili Krausz, Postdoc, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Or Szekely, Postdoc, Duke University, NC, USA
  • Rachel Blau, Postdoc, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Rachel Gur-Arie, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, AZ, USA
  • Renata Balgley, Process Development Scientist, Amgen, CA, USA
  • Sarah Kostinski Assistant Professor of Physics, New York University, NY, USA
  • Shai Berman, Postdoc, Columbia University, NY, USA
  • Shdema Filler-Hayut, Postdoc, MIT, MA, US
  • Shifra Lansky, Postdoc, Weill Cornell Medicine, NY, USA
  • Shira Landau, Postdoc, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin, Postdoc, Duke University, NC, USA
  • Shira Weingarten-Gabbay, Postdoc, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, MA, USA
  • Shira Tanny, Postdoc, Institute for Advanced Study, USA
  • Shiran Bar, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Shiri Kult Perry, Postdoc, University of Chicago, IL, USA
  • Sonya Tiomkin, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, FL, USA (starting Fall 2023)
  • Tal Gilboa, Postdoc, Walt Research Group, Harvard University, MA, USA
  • Tal Iram, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Tali Magory Cohen, Postdoc, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  • Tamar Regev, Postdoc, MIT, MA, USA
  • Tiffany R. Lewis, Assistant Professor, Michigan Technological University MI, USA
  • Whitney Fleming, Visiting Assistant Professor Queens University of Charlotte, NC, USA
  • Xi Shen, Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA
  • Yael Tsarfati, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Yulia Shmidov, Postdoc, Duke University, NC, USA
  • Tal Iram, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Tal Gilboa, Postdoc, Walt Research Group, Harvard University, MA, USA
  • Tiffany R. Lewis, NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow Goddard Space Flight Center, MD, USA
  • Xi Shen, Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA