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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


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

  • 16 Faculty Scholars opening Zuckerman labs in 6 Israeli universities
  • 43 Postdoctoral Scholars at 7 Israeli Universities
  • 26 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. 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

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

  • 10 Postdoctoral scholars at 5 Israeli universities

Hillary Anne Craddock
Dr. Craddock is using diverse cutting-edge, next-generation sequencing technologies to evaluate the impact of household wastewater reuse on levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in livestock and agricultural products among the Israeli Bedouin.

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

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

Dahlia Klein
Dr. Klein is studying atomically thin quantum materials using the unique measurement capabilities of carbon nanotube-based electronic sensors developed at Weizmann. These studies will resolve open questions regarding the rich physics hidden in twisted stacks of 2D crystals, called moiré systems. Further developments could lead to the discovery of fundamentally new states of quantum matter.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From MIT

Nili Krausz
Dr. Krausz is working towards the development of assistive and rehabilitation robots and increased understanding of how neurological disorders affect function and behavior.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From Northwestern University

Alexandra Lai
Dr. Lai is researching the biological effects of exposure to atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5) released by biomass burning (organic matter used as a fuel), and the relationship between these effects and the chemical composition of the PM2.5 sources.

At Weizmann Institute of Science
From University of Wisconsin, Madison

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

Monica Mowery
Dr. Mowery is investigating genetic diversity and adaptation in the invasive brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus, a globally-distributed generalist predator with neurotoxic venom.

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

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

Michelle Talal
Dr. Talal is investigating public attitudes, uses, and preferences regarding urban green spaces, including the unique challenges faced by minorities and non-users, to better understand benefits and any potential barriers to access. Examining citizen science data to analyze human perceptions and knowledge of urban nature. Collaborating with local governments to help enhance urban landscape planning and management.

At Tel Aviv University
From Oregon State University

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

  • 5 Israeli Postdoctoral scholars at 5 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

Shira Tanny
Dr. Tanny working in symplectic geometry, a field of pure mathematics that emerged from classical mechanics. Her work concerns a well-known operation on functions coming from physics called ‘’the Poisson bracket.”

At Institute for Advanced Study
From Tel Aviv University

  • 10 Zuckerman-CHE Israeli Women Postdoctoral scholars at 8 US universities

Shai Berman
Dr. Berman is examining the way that we make decisions based on sensory information as well as prior information: what might affect the relative importance of each of these sources for decision making, and what factors could change their integration? Testing the specific effect of body arousal (for example, being hungry) on decision making, as well as employing a combination of functional and structural MRI measurements, to evaluate the roles of different brain regions in decision making and interoception—the brain’s representation of sensations from the body. Applying these approaches in pathological populations such as patients with amnesia.

At Columbia
From Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Esther Brielle
Dr. Brielle is reconstructing the spatial and temporal population-wide structure and ancestry of ancient humans by investigating their degree of familial relatedness, using a database of ancient DNA samples.

At Harvard University
From Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin
Dr. Faigenbaum-Golovin is developing a theoretical explanation of the success of Neural Network (NN) methods, which have become state-of-the-art technology for a wide range of practical machine learning tasks such as image processing, face recognition, and automotive applications. Aiming to shed light on NNs by analyzing their mathematic properties and their numerical computation.

At Duke University
From Tel Aviv University

Shiri Kult Perry
Dr. Kult Perry is working with amphibians to explain the mechanisms of wound healing and regeneration of vertebrate lungs. First, using tissue processing methods and molecular tools to study lung embryonic development and evolution in amphibians, then focusing in on the regenerative capacity and stages of healing in damaged amphibian lungs, and finally conducting genome-wide profiling of regenerating lung-specific regulatory regions.

At University of Chicago
From Weizmann Institute of Science

Inbal Rachel Livni-Navon
Dr. Livni-Navon Using expander graphs and other graph structures to solve problems in theoretical computer science, including property testing, error-correcting codes, and hardness of approximation of parameterized problems. Investigating algorithmic fairness.

At Stanford
From Weizmann Institute of Science

Tali Magory Cohen
Dr. Magory Cohen is studying the potential for birds to adapt to mercury toxicity in Peruvian lakes, investigating the correlations between mercury loads, phenotypic responses, and genomic changes over time. Drawing on whole-genome sequencing methods to evaluate mercury’s effects on genome diversity and gene expression, and to account for variations in susceptibility to mercury damage. Comparing contemporary birds’ genomic data to DNA from museum specimens of birds from pre-pollution times.

At UC Davis
From Tel Aviv University

Lee Shaashua Berger
Dr. Shaashua Berger is using liquid biopsies (blood tests) to assess exosome composition in pancreatic cancer patients at diagnosis, during treatment, and following treatment. Exosomes are nanovesicles that contain a wealth of tumor-derived information. Detecting and analyzing tumor features throughout a patient’s course of treatment opens a new door to studying pancreatic tumor biology, monitoring and evaluating treatment response, and developing innovative, more effective therapies for this challenging cancer.

At Weill Cornell Medicine
From Tel Aviv University

Yulia Shmidov
Dr. Shmidov is utilizing post-translational modifications —a class of reactions carried out on proteins after they are made inside a cell—to create new biomaterials that self-organize into bulk materials (particles whose size is above 100 nanometers)with a unique internal structure, and that respond to changes in temperature. These properties make them useful for a range of applications in medicine and biotechnology, particularly in studying lysyl oxidase-related disorders of the ECM, including inflammatory diseases, fibrosis of distinct organs, and cancer.

At Duke University
From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Karin Yaniv
Dr. Yaniv is investigating how and why bacteria enter into and awaken from dormancy, a programmed sleep associated with a stressful environment. Discovering awakening mechanisms could enable “waking” microbes that currently cannot be cultivated in lab conditions, and help control chronic and recurrent infections in diseases like tuberculosis, anthrax, and cholera, where bacteria’s dormant state energy enables them to persist and be resilient in the human body.

At UC Berkeley
From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Anat Yaskolka Meir
Dr. Yaskolka Meir is focusing on human genetic variation, including DNA methylation, assessed through blood samples taken at the beginning and the end of a lifestyle intervention, to calculate a score called methylation age (mAge). Using several statistical models to assess immediate and long-term mAge associations with lifestyle interventions and clinical outcomes. Hoping that mAge as a biomarker could serve as an objective indicator for health status and risk of premature morbidity from cardiometabolic diseases, potentially able to predict individual responsiveness to weight loss interventions and help develop more successful personalized preventive and treatment strategies.

At Harvard University
From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Zuckerman Women Alumni Demonstrate Leadership

“The Zuckerman program 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
  • 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
  • Angela B. Grommet, Postdoc, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ariel Ganz, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • Ayala Allon, Data Scientist,, NY, NY, USA
  • Claudia Ciotir, Collection Manager, Canadian Clonal Genebank (CCGB) at the Harrow Research and Development (HRDC) Centre, ON, Canada
  • Dahlia Perez, Postdoc, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Dana Rubi Levy, Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, MA, USA
  • Emily Stark, Assistant Professor, Wesleyan University, CT, USA
  • Hadar Elor, Assistant Professor, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Inbar (Hotzen) Grinberg, Application Team Lead, Bruker Technologies, Israel
  • Jacqueline Warren, Data Scientist, StackAdapt, ON, Canada
  • Jennifer Gilda, Scientific Researcher, Genentech, CA, USA
  • Julie Shapiro, Research Assistant, French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety, France
  • Kelsey Moreno, Postdoc, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • 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
  • Lucia Myongwon Lee, Assistant Professor, Queen’s University, Canada
  • M. Kate Gallagher, Senior Technical Activity Manager, USAID’s Integrated Natural Resource Management, Washington, DC, USA
  • Margarita Orlova, Assistant Professor, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA
  • Miri Adler, Associate Research Scientist, Yale University, CT, USA
  • Naama Kadmon Harpaz, Postdoc, Harvard University, MA, USA
  • Nelli Bodiford, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Texas Christian University, TX, USA
  • Netali Morgenstern-Ben Baruch, Associate Research Fellow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, OH, USA
  • Renata Balgley, Process Development Scientist, Amgen, CA, USA
  • Shifra Lansky, Postdoc, Weill Cornell Medicine, NY, USA
  • Shira Weingarten-Gabbay, Postdoc, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, MA, USA
  • Shiran Bar, Postdoc, Stanford University, CA, 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