Research Information System (CRIS)

Get to know our researchers through the Current Research Information System (CRIS)


Bloom Scholars Brochure



Annual Conference for Ph.D Students
Initial Steps for Post-Doctoral Researchers – 2024


 Meet Our Students

Hear from our Ph.D. & Post Doctoral students about their research

Post Doctoral

Dr. Ron Efrat

Faculty and Department: Natural Sciences, The Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology

Research Topic: The effect of anthropogenic landscape modifications on the migratory routes of an endangered raptor

Host: Prof. Nir Sapir

Research: I study the migratory tracks of the Steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), an endangered raptor, using GPS transmitters. By mapping environmental conditions and human-altered landscapes along their path, I try to understand what affects their daily movements’ speed and trajectory during their long migration from Asia to Africa and back.

Relevant keywords: Movement Ecology; Conservation Behavior; Biologging; Ornithology; Anthropocene

Hobbies: Birds, Hikes, Basketball

Dr. Sailendrakumar Kolatt Chandran

Faculty and Department: Department of Neurobiology Sagol

Research Topic: Understanding the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Placebo Effect

Host: Prof. Kobi Rosenblum

Research: My study focuses on the insular cortical region, a hidden cortical area representing innate bodily sensations making it ideal for investigating placebo mechanisms. I will explore the basic cellular, molecular, and circuit mechanisms that occur in the insula and are involved in the placebo effect.

Relevant keywords: Placebo, Insula Cortex, Taste learning, Conditioned Immune Response (CIR)

Hobbies:  Cricket, Football, Badminton and Listening to music

Dr. Dana Shamai-Leshem

Faculty and Department: Faculty of Social Science, Department of Psychology

 Research Topic: A Dual-Brain Approach for Understanding and Treating Social Deficits in Depression

Supervisor: Prof. Simone Shamay-Tsoory

Research: Depression presents a significant health challenge exacerbated by social disconnection. While past research has overlooked real-world social-interactions, recent studies employing functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) offer insights into brain function during ecologically-valid conditions. I use fNIRS to investigate inter-brain-coupling in depression and its causal relationship with symptoms, utilizing novel neurofeedback platform.

Relevant keywords: Depression, Inter-brain-coupling, Synchrony fNIRS


Dr. Amit Levi 

Faculty and Department: Department of Israel Studies, Faculty of Humanities

Research Topic: Colonia Encounters of Knowledge: Transnational Culture in Mandatory Jerusalem

Host: Dr. Assaf Seltzer 

Research: My current research project explores how transnational encounters in Mandatory Jerusalem transformed knowledge as part of its interplay with politics and culture. It focuses on the case of the Palestine Folk Museum, a trading zone of knowledge where Jews, Arabs, and the British collaborated in the production of cultural knowledge.

Relevant keywords: Cross-cultural encounters; Arab-Jewish relations; migrating knowledge; ethnography

Hobbies: cooking, traveling, exploring new music

Ph.D. Students

Orly Babitsky

Research Topic: Assessing the Impact of Seaward Expansion and Artificial Offshore Islands on Coastlines Within the Context of Climate Change

Department and Faculty: Marine Geoscience, Leon Charney School of Marine Sciences

Supervisor: Dr. Beverly Goodman- Tchernov

Research: The research investigates the repercussions of constructing an artificial island along the Israeli Mediterranean coast amid climate change. Focusing on the adjacent coast, it assesses the effects on coastal environment, morphology, and water quality. Additionally, the research explores the role of decision-making and proposes an efficient coastal management strategy.

Relevant keywords: Artificial Islands, Climate change, Coastal modeling, Coastal management

Hobbies: Basketball, Desert expeditions, Running, Reading

Oshri Balmas

Research Topic: The Role of Perceptual Category Learning in Developmental Dyslexia

Department and Faculty: Department of Special Education,  Faculty of Education

Supervisor: Dr. Yafit Gabay

Research: Categorizing complex sounds lays the foundation for the emergence of phonological skills. Studying this process in people with dyslexia can provide insights into their phonological impairments. My research combines controlled behavioral tasks with computational models to understand category learning disruptions in dyslexia and identify conditions for improvement, potentially guiding targeted interventions.

Relevant keywords: Developmental Dyslexia, Category Learning, Procedural Learning

Hobbies: Traveling, photography, baking

Dana Bsharat-Maalouf

Research Topic: Speech perception and listening effort in multilinguals

Department and Faculty: Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Supervisors: Dr. Hanin Karawani & Dr. Tamar Degani


Research: My research investigates challenges multilingual individuals encounter in challenging listening conditions, assessing their perceptual performance and listening effort. It analyzes perceptual accuracy across their spoken languages and measures listening effort subjectively and objectively. The goal is to identify these challenges and propose clinical and practical strategies to reduce these challenges.

Relevant keywords: Multilingualism, Listening Effort, Speech Perception, Challenging Listening Conditions

Hobbies:  Traveling, Hiking, Cooking, Swimming

Uri Bright

Research Topic: The mechanisms underlying the antidepressant properties of cannabidiol (CBD)

Department and Faculty: School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences

Supervisor: Prof. Irit Akirav

Research: My research aims to explore the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant properties of the cannabis plant derivative cannabidiol (CBD) in a rat model of depression. I focus on molecular, neuronal, and genetic changes in the brain that underlie the impact of CBD on the depressive-like phenotype behavior.

Relevant keywords: Depression, CBD, Cannabis

Hobbies: Football watching and playing, Reading, Hiking 

Amit Cohen

Research Topic: Exposure to terrorism, counter-terrorism and trust in government

Department and Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences, The School of Political Sciences

Supervisors: Prof. Daphna Canetti, PhD. Keren LG Snider

Research: Does exposure to terror affect support for preventive or offensive counter terrorism policies? What role do trust in government and psychological distress play in this relationship? I examine support for preventive policies, such as surveillance, or offensive policies, such retaliation in the context of exposure to terror.

Relevant keywords:  Terror, Exposure to terrorism, Counter terrorism, Trust, Psychological distress, Surveillance, Retaliation

Hobbies: Reading books, Sup surfing, Cooking and Nature walks

Nadav Cohen

Research Topic: Hybrid Learning Nonlinear Estimation Methods for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Navigation

Department and Faculty: The Hatter Department of Marine Technologies, Charney School of Marine Sciences

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Itzik Klein

Research: My research aims to enhance the capabilities of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) navigation by deploying cutting-edge algorithms rooted in nonlinear estimation and artificial intelligence (AI). This advancement is critical for AUVs navigating in remote underwater marine environments, where conventional navigation sensors, such as GPS, fall short.

Relevant keywords: Navigation, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Nonlinear Estimation

Hobbies: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Travelling, Playing the guitar

Stephanie Colley

Research Topic: Tracing Jewish identity construction beyond the typologies of mainstream groups in Israel among native-born Israeli Jews

Department and Faculty: Department of Israel Studies, Faculty of Humanities

Advisor: Dr. Asaf Shamis

Research: My research explores processes of Jewish identity construction beyond the mainstream groups in contemporary Israeli society. It deconstructs the layers beneath the surface of mainstream identity group categories, commonplace typologies, and dominant paradigms, and further assesses their implications on the broader culture of Jewish identity.

Relevant keywords: Identity, Typologies, Society

Hobbies: Traveling, playing the violin, cooking, and experiencing different cultures.

Malka Doron

Research Topic: Executing a Continuing Power o Attorney as a Planning Tool in Old Age: Personal, Interpersonal and Social Aspects – An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Department and Faculty: Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences. Department of Gerontology

Advisor: Prof. Israel Issi Doron

Research: My research examines the process of executing a continuing power of attorney in old age. It integrates the experiences of older people, future proxies, and lawyers, along with legal frameworks and gerontological perspectives. Thus, fostering a better understanding of this legal instrument’s potential to promote older persons’ rights and well-being.

Relevant keywords: Older persons, Continuing power of attorney

Hobbies: Reading, baking, urban wandering

Omar Ehsainieh

Research Topic: Targeting the Mechanism of Tumor Reversion to Prevent Breast Cancer Progression

Department and Faculty: Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Natural Science

Advisor: Prof. Sarit Larisch

Research: Although treatment of patients diagnosed at early stages of Breast Cancer (BC) is crucial for favorable prognosis, there are currently no safe and potent drugs to stop BC progression. Small molecules that we developed in our laboratory showed the ability to reverse early stage BC cells back to their normal state. These molecules form the basis for developing novel drugs that could prevent progression of breast cancer.

Relevant keywords: Breast Cancer Prevention, tumor reversion

Hobbies: Traveling, playing soccer and outdoor activities

Haitham Ezzy

Faculty and Department: The School of Environmental Sciences.

Research Topic: Seascape Ecology: Linking Shallow Coastal Habitat Features and Fish Diversity, Distribution, and Behavior via Multiple 3D Metrics and Artificial Intelligence

Supervisors: Prof. Anna Brook and Prof. Dror Angel

Research Description: My research pioneers the integration of 3D seascape models, machine learning, and remote sensing to explore marine biodiversity and habitats in the Mediterranean Sea. Focused on Rosh Hanikra-Achziv coastal habitat, the study aims to enhance our understanding of fish distribution and behavior, contributing to targeted conservation efforts.

Relevant keywords: Seascape, biodiversity, LiDAR,  Artificial Intelligence, 3D models

Hobbies: Mountain Biking (MTB), Paragliding, Drawing, Marine Life, and Experiencing Different Cultures.

Laurina Fazioli

Faculty and Department: Faculty of Education, Department of Special Education

Research Topic: Perceptual decision-making in autism spectrum disorder

Supervisors: Prof. Bat-Sheva Hadad & Dr. Amit Yashar

Research: I am investigating perception processes and decision making among autistic individuals. Specifically, I am examining to what extent Bayesian decision-making models, namely models that integrate expectations and rewards with uncertainty, differ between autistic individuals and non-autistic individuals. The research investigates basic perceptual decision-making processes (stimulus identification/categorization) and metacognitive processes (confidence level in the decision).

Relevant keywords: Developmental disorder, Bayesian perception, Metacognition

Hobbies: Playing the piano, dancing, reading, learning new languages

Shimrit Fisher

Faculty and Department: Faculty Of Social Sciences, School of Psychological Sciences

Research Topic: Epistemic Trust in Therapeutic Relationship

Supervisors: Prof. Sigal Zilcha-Mano

Research: The present study focuses on the role epistemic trust (ET) plays in therapeutic relationships. Through the development of the observer-based Epistemic Trust Rating System (ETRS), I aimed to identify individual differences in ET at the beginning of therapy and isolate the active mechanism that may facilitate positive changes throughout therapy. 

Relevant keywords: Epistemic Trust, Mentalization, Attachment, Psychotherapy Research, Process and Outcome in psychotherapy, Behavioral rating system


Hadar Eliash-Fizik

Faculty and Department: Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research Topic: Effects of Exposure to Messages with Risk Behavior Detail (RBD) on Intentions to Drive under the Influence of Cannabis

Supervisors: Prof. Nehama Lewis (Department of Communication) and Prof. Sharon R. Sznitman (School of Public Health)

Prof. Lewis’s website –
Prof. Sznitman’s website –

Research: My doctoral research examines the effects of exposure to media messages that contain varying levels of details about risk behaviors (RBD-Risk Behavior Detail) on audience intention to drive under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) and reported DUIC behaviors. The study uses a between-subjects online experiment with 900 participants and 14 conditions (2 waves, two weeks apart). Findings show that exposure to messages with high RBD may lead to an increase in viewers’ involvement in risky DUIC behaviors through perceptions of self-efficacy and response-efficacy to perform the behaviors. 

Relevant keywords: Social cognitive theory, Media effects, Self-efficacy, Media Campaigns

Hobbies: Research, Traveling, Hanging out with my family.

Einav Gozansky

Faculty and Department: Faculty of Social Sciences, The Department of Psychology

Research Topic: Individually-tailored cognitive Understanding the behavioral and physiological factors determining inter-subject variability in pain perception.

Supervisors: Dr. Hadas Okon-Singer and Prof. Irit Weissman-Fogel

The Haifa Brain and Behavior Hub website
Cognition Emotion Laboratory

Research: My research combines knowledge taken from the fields of cognitive psychology, pain physiology, and data science. I examine the effects of cognitive-emotional trainings on experimental pain outcomes as well as on cognitive, emotional, and autonomic physiological factors. My research aims to enhance understanding of basic pain modulation mechanisms, for facilitating personalized training interventions addressing individual differences in pain perception.

Relevant keywords: Pain, Attention bias, Emotion regulation, Physiological measurements

Hobbies: Cooking, reading, doing yoga and pilates, visiting museums and hanging out with friends.

Hannah Katz

Faculty and Department: Bloom Graduate School; Faculty of Law

Research Topic: Transnational Human Rights Litigation and Migrant Rights in Europe: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Supervisor: Prof. Itamar Mann

Research Description: My research analyzes transnational human rights courts’ impact on migrant and asylum seekers’ rights in Europe. I apply socio-legal methods to study legal procedures and post-judgment implementation challenges. Additionally, I conduct expert interviews with migrant rights lawyers to understand the subjective meanings they derive from their encounters with ethical dilemmas.

Relevant keywords: Migrant rights, Border violence, Ethical dilemmas

Hobbies: Dance, Nature, Ancient civilizations

Naden Khateb

Faculty and Department: Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Natural Science

Research Topic: The role of glial phagocytosis in Drosophila models of neurodegenerative diseases

Supervisor: Prof. Estee Kurant


Research Description: My research focuses on the role of glial cells in neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Parkinson’s disease. I use the fruit fly Drosophila as a genetic model to investigate molecular mechanisms of neuronal loss in the brain and to identify potential points of intervention in the pathological processes. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the discovery of effective treatments for human disorders.

Relevant keywords: Glia, Drosophila, neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s disease

Hobbies: shopping, sport

Sewar Khatib

Faculty and Department: Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences Department of Occupational Therapy

Research Topic: Mapping the interactions between pain, emotional distress, executive functions, self-efficacy, and quality of life in women with Endometriosis

Supervisor: Prof. Batya Engel -Yeger

 Research: My research explores the multifaceted impact of Endometriosis on women, examining the complex interplay between pain, emotional distress, and executive functions, and their collective influence on quality of life. By integrating occupational therapy and gynecological perspectives, it aims to uncover the mediating roles of executive functions and self-efficacy in coping with this condition and its symptoms. This holistic approach seeks to develop innovative, multidisciplinary therapeutic strategies to enhance daily functioning and improve the quality of life for women dealing with Endometriosis.

Relevant keywords: Endometrioses, Pain, executive function, self-efficacy, coping, quality of life

Hobbies: Surfing, traveling, cooking, reading books

Alex Feigelman-Moskovich

Faculty and Department: Faculty of Law

Research Topic: Trust in the Context of Online Conflict Resolution

Supervisor: Prof. Orna Rabinovich- Einy


Research: The proposed research will explore the concept of trust in the context of online dispute resolution, focusing on the meaning and implications of trust in an algorithm-based dispute resolution framework. The research will seek to further explore the implications of building confidence in algorithm-based environment for conflict resolution, the factors that can reinforce trust in such an environment, and the ramifications of the existence of confidence and trust in this environment.

Relevant keywords: Online dispute resolution, conflict resolution, courts, judges, artificial intelligence, algorithmic decision making, legitimacy, procedural Justice, access to Justice, fairness 

Hobbies: Cooking and Baking, Spending time with my daughter in the pool and traveling.

Grigory Solomatov

Faculty and Department: School of Public Health, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences

Research Topic: The association of ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and the role of gut microbiome and genetic predisposition

Supervisor: Prof. Shira Zelber-Sagi, Prof. Revital Kariv

 Research: Our research tests the prospective association between a healthy lifestyle, with emphasize on nutrition and UPF consumption, and the incidence of NAFLD in an adult Western population. Moreover, we elaborate on the association by examining gut microbiome, genetic predisposition, as well as related liver damage including significant fibrosis and steatohepatitis.  

Relevant keywords: Ultra-processed food, fatty liver, public health, healthy lifestyle

Hobbies: Playing the piano, cooking, practicing yoga, and traveling with my family

Grigory Solomatov

Faculty and Department: Charney School of Marine Sciences, Hatter Department of Marine Technologies

Research Topic: Underwater computer vision

Supervisor: Dr. Derya Akkaynak

 Research: In my research, I design and fit mathematical models to marine data in order to estimate physical quantities that are difficult or impractical to measure directly. Examples include estimating the wavelength-dependent beam attenuation coefficient from photographs of a calibrated target surface at different distances using any standard consumer camera.

Relevant keywords: modeling, optimization, marine

Hobbies: Game design, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, guitar, piano, ukulele.

Shlomi Habusha

Faculty and Department: Brain and psychopathology, School of Psychological Sciences

Research Topic: BLA-mPFC-DMS circuitry: The gateway to the effect of fear on action control

Supervisor: Dr. Oded Klavir

 Research: This study explores fear’s impact on action control and its neural circuitry. In healthy individuals, the shift between goal-directed and habitual actions is typically flexible. However, fear can disrupt this transition, influencing the balance between adaptive and semi-automatic behaviors.

Hobbies: Drawing, reading and Collecting comic books, watching football games.

Yara Hussein

Faculty and Department: Sagol Department of Neurobiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Research Topic: Exploring the brain-gut interactions in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) using induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)

Advisor: Prof. Shani Stern

 Research: My research explores the brain–gut axis in Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is an auto-immune disease, by using an organoid platform derived from the patient-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in order to hopefully reach a better understanding of the disease mechanisms.

Relevant keywords: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Autoimmunity, Brain-Gut axis, stress

Hobbies: Learning and speaking new languages, Traveling and doing sports.

Mor Keleynikov

Research Topic: Strained Parenting and Emotion Regulation

Department and Faculty: Faculty of Education, Department of Special Education

Advisors: Prof. Noga Cohen & Dr. Joy Benatov

Research: My research focuses on investigating the impact of emotion regulation on the mental and emotional well-being of parents and children, particularly in the context of adversities. Specifically, I examine how stress-inducing situations (such as war, the COVID-19 outbreak, etc.) influence emotion regulation tendencies and efficacy among parents and their children.

Relevant keywords: Emotion regulation; Family; Stress; Parenting; Well-being

Hobbies: Traveling; Spending time with friends and family; Cooking

Tal Levy

Research Topic: Digital footprint data mining as a tool for assessing jellyfish outbreaks

Department and Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Environmental Sciences

Advisor: Prof. Andrea Ghermandi

Research: My research focuses on investigating the impact of emotion regulation on the mental and emotional well-being of parents and children, particularly in the context of adversities. Specifically, I examine how stress-inducing situations (such as war, the COVID-19 outbreak, etc.) influence emotion regulation tendencies and efficacy among parents and their children.

Relevant keywords: Digital footprints, Jellyfish outbreaks, monitoring

Hobbies: Hiking, Openwater swimming, Sup, Pottery

Omri Nahor

Faculty and Department: The Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences – Department of Marine Biology

 Research Topic: Seasonal microbiome and metabolome of Asparagopsis taxiformis, a red alga from the Israeli Mediterranean Sea

Supervisors: Dr. Tal Luzzatto Knaan, Dr. Alvaro Israel

Research: In my research I’m collecting the red invasive macroalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis from the Israeli Mediterranean Sea and exploring its DNA, surface microorganisms, bioactivity, and natural products. Using big data, I aim to identify key factors influencing bioactivity and discover new marine compounds with antibacterial or other desirable activity.

Relevant keywords: Asparagopsis, Metabolomics, Microbiome, Seaweed

Hobbies: Traveling and hiking in Israel or abroad, playing the guitar, cooking and fermentation

Barak Newman

Faculty and Department: Department of Israel Studies, Faculty of Humanities

 Research Topic: The Business Network of Jewish Traders During the Classical Genizah Period

Supervisors: Prop Efraim Lev & Dr. Amir Ashur

Research: My research focuses on the analysis of Jewish merchant  networks during the medieval period, utilizing the Cairo Geniza documents as a primary source.  The Cairo Geniza is a treasure trove of historical documents that provide a window into the  social, economic, and cultural life of the Mediterranean Jewish community from the 10th to the  13th centuries. By examining these documents, the study aims to uncover the structure and  dynamics of Jewish merchant networks, shedding light on their role in trade, their impact on  Jewish life, and their interactions with other communities.

Relevant keywords: Business, Network, Jewish Traders

Hobbies: Enjoying Life

Yael Ouliel

Faculty and Department: Faculty of Education, Department of Learning and Instructional Sciences

 Research Topic: Confronting Ethical Design Dilemmas in Israeli Design Institutes

Supervisors: Prof. Arie Kizel and Prof. Daniel Statman

Research: The current study seeks to examine the ethical issues unique to the field of design. The research claim is that the design academies are currently facing an ethical challenge, no less than a functional, engineering, planning or aesthetic one. The study aims to present a holistic view in accordance with the various conditions and forces involved in the design process, which merges the values of design and ethics together.

Relevant keywords: Design, Ethic, Dilemmas, Education

Hobbies: Reading, Cooking, Traveling

Alix Pahaut

Faculty and Department: School of Public Health, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences

Research Topic: Climate risk, vulnerability and adaptation in a hot, dry climate: mixed methods investigation within the rapidly urbanizing minority Palestinian citizens of Israel

Supervisor: Prof. Maya Negev

Research: A main focus of my research is a participatory case study assessing climate change-related vulnerability and adaptation in the city of Shefa-‘Amr, using focus groups, interviews and spatial mapping. This research is intertwined with a wider project led by The Galilee Society in partnership with the municipality of Shefa-‘Amr and the university.

Hobbies: Hiking with friends or while listening to podcasts/music, reading, learning languages

Merav Rosenfeld

Faculty and Department: Department of Human Services, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences

 Research Topic: The implications of using an online medium on psychometric aspects of online situational exercises and on the development of advanced assessment measures.

Supervisor: Prof. Gil Luria

Research: The study compares virtual situational exercises, currently used in assessment centers, and face-to-face exercises. The study seeks to fill the theoretical gap on this subject, examine the consequences of using the virtual medium and evaluate the potential of virtual assessment. Thus, this study provides relevant answers to the questions arising given the rapid technological developments.

Relevant keywords: Assessment center, situational exercise, virtual, frontal, assessment, evaluation

Hobbies: Netball, yoga, hiking, art, and cooking.

Michal Weiss

Faculty and Department: The Bloom school of graduate studies, and The School of Public Health

 Research Topic: A multimodal signature for chronic pain

Supervisor: Dr. Pavel Goldstein

Research: I’m developing a multimodal, non-invasive, and objective biomarker for diagnosing Fibromyalgia, a complex chronic pain syndrome. This involves analyzing biochemical, neurophysiological, and clinical data from both patients and healthy individuals. Through machine learning, I aim to create a reliable diagnostic tool for Fibromyalgia, thereby addressing a significant gap in current diagnostic methods and facilitating personalized treatment strategies.

Relevant keywords: Fibromyalgia, Chronic pain, machine learning

Hobbies: Reading, learning new stuff, Travelling