263 faculty members recruited over the past decade
IMPASSIONED, INDUSTRIOUS, INSPIRED: Meet some of the outstanding young professors who are bringing fresh energy and cutting-edge research to Technion, Israel and the world.
Prof. Ashraf Brik
SCHULICH FACULTY OF CHEMISTRY
Ashraf Brik, who is an Arab Israeli, received his PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry from Technion and was a research associate at the Scripps Research Institute in California from 2002 to 2006. He returned to Israel in 2007, joining Ben-Gurion University’s faculty before being recruited in 2015 by Technion’s Schulich Faculty of Chemistry as a Neubauer professor.
Brik is well known for his contributions to the development of chemical approaches to prepare posttranslationally modified proteins for biochemical, biophysical and functional analyses. In particular his group has developed chemical methods to prepare ubiquitin-based conjugates, which opened the door for several studies that were not previously feasible.
“The university has an excellent environment for my type of research.”
Brik is an elected member of the Israel Young Academy of Sciences, and recipient of the ERC Advanced Grant. He has over 120 publications in top journals, holds several patents, and has received numerous prestigious awards. He is 45, lives in Haifa and has two children.
Asst. Prof. Ido Kaminer
ANDREW AND ERNA VITERBI FACULTY OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
Ido Kaminer joined Technion as an assistant professor and an Azrieli Faculty Fellow in 2018, when he returned to Israel after a postdoc at MIT. He currently holds the Technion’s Jacques Lewiner Career Advancement Chair.
“One major reason that brought me to Technion was the decision to invest in an ultrafast transmission electron microscope. This facility is unique in Israel and one of only a few in the world, enabling powerful research capabilities.”
Prof. Kaminer’s research on applications of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics applies ideas from the field of light-matter interactions to nanophotonics with 2D material platforms. His group is developing new microscopy techniques in novel materials using ultrafast lasers and electron microscopes.
During his PhD studies at Technion, Prof. Kaminer discovered new classes of accelerating beams in nonlinear optics and electromagnetism, for which he received the 2012 Israel Physical Society Prize and the 2014 APS Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Laser Science.
Kaminer, 33, lives in a faculty apartment on the Technion campus. He has wide interests including sports, traveling, hiking, and the history of Israel and Judaism.
Assoc. Prof. Moran Bercovici
FACULTY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Moran Bercovici, associate professor of analytical chemistry at Technion, is one of three outstanding recipients of the 2019 Blavatnik Israel Award for Young Scientists. He was recognized for developing novel microfluidic technologies for microscale manipulations of fluids and molecules.
A central theme in Prof. Bercovici’s lab has been the development of new microfluidic devices and assays. His current focus is on exploring physical mechanisms for the development of highly configurable microfluidic devices. He and his team demonstrated the ability to control flow patterns using surface chemistry, field effect electrodes or temperature gradients, all without the use of physical walls. Prof. Bercovici joined Technion in 2011, following his postdoc at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
“I was actively recruited by Prof. Pini Bar-Yoseph, who was then dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, and by Dist. Prof. Moti Segev, who convinced me that one can conduct research at Technion that is comparable to or better than any top US universities. Both believed in me way before I believed in myself.”
Bercovici, 36, lives in Haifa with his wife and two daughters. In addition to research, he also enjoys playing the saxophone.
Asst. Prof. Adi Radian
FACULTY OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Adi Radian is an environmental chemist who, during her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota, designed encapsulation matrices for bacteria in order to improve bioremediation technologies. She joined Technion in 2016 as an assistant professor.
“I chose Technion mainly for the high quality of students, the available facilities and funds for young scientists – and, of course, for it being in Israel.”
Today, Prof. Radian heads a lab which studies the fate of pollutants in the environment and the development of comprehensive and sustainable soil and water remediation solutions. Her team also designs and applies clay minerals and metal oxides as catalytic surfaces to improve and develop remediation technologies. Their work alongside Prof. Ayelet Fishman from the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering has resulted in a provisional patent that hopefully will become applicable in the future.
Aside from conducting research, Prof. Radian also finds her role as a mentor and lecturer to be very important and fulfilling. “I am devoted to my teaching and feel I can make a real difference through my work in the classroom,” she says. This year, she received a teaching excellence award for her “Introduction to Soil Chemistry” course.
Radian lives in Kiryat Tivon with her husband Oren and their three young sons, aged 6, 4 and 2.
Asst. Prof. Shay Hacohen-Gourgy
FACULTY OF PHYSICS
Shay Hacohen-Gourgy is an experimental physicist who joined Technion in 2017 after a postdoc at UC Berkeley.
“I wanted to join Technion as it educates high-quality students and hosts high-quality fabrication infrastructure, which are important for building a successful lab and research group.”
Prof. Hacohen-Gourgy works on quantum circuits built from superconducting materials. His most substantial achievement has been demonstrating a simultaneous measurement of non-commuting observables. The dynamics of such a measurement had been an open experimental problem until this demonstration, which was published in Nature and opened a path for a wide array of new capabilities for quantum systems.
He has also been active with small-scale quantum simulators as tools to better understand certain physical models. In particular, he was involved in an emulation of a three-site one-dimensional Bose-Hubbard lattice with attractive on-site interactions, showing that selected states can actively be stabilized – an important feat for future quantum simulators and quantum annealers. Recently, Prof. Hacohen-Gourgy has been working on using machine learning to aid in measurement and control of quantum systems.
Hacohen-Gourgy, 38, lives in Nofit with his wife and two daughters.
Assoc. Prof. Yael Yaniv
FACULTY OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
Yael Yaniv joined Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering as assistant professor in March 2014, following a postdoc and research fellowship at the National Institute on Aging–National Institutes of Health in the U.S. She received her BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from Technion.
“I joined Technion’s faculty because if you want to be the best you must join the best!”
Prof. Yaniv’s research focuses on two main objectives: understanding the molecular mechanisms that control heart rate dynamics and developing algorithms to identify changes in heartbeat dynamics in a time window that will allow prediction of future cardiac events or provide treatment in the early stages of a disease.
When using the current methods to quantify changes in heartbeat dynamics, it is too late to provide a treatment to reverse the heart condition. In the last five years, Prof. Yaniv’s lab has discovered that both Ca2+ and phosphate ions control heart rate dynamics; used computational work that led to two pharmacological approaches and one gene manipulation method to restore the beating rate of aged heart pacemaker cells to that of normal adult cells; and developed algorithms to predict fatal arrhythmias.
Yaniv, 38, is married and has a baby daughter.
Asst. Prof. Yaron Fuchs
FACULTY OF BIOLOGY
After completing his PhD at Technion and his postdoc in the U.S., Yaron Fuchs returned to Israel in 2014 as an assistant professor at Technion’s Faculty of Biology, where he heads the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
“I returned to Technion as I deeply love this institute. I think the level of science here is truly phenomenal and as Technion is solely dedicated to science and technology, it represents a unique environment that nourishes interdisciplinary collaborations.”
Fuchs has had a long-term interest in different modes of cell death and how they regulate diverse aspects of stem cell biology and stem cell-dependent processes. Fuchs and his team discovered that by manipulating the process of stem cell suicide, they can dramatically accelerate the wound repair process in both the skin and intestine. In addition, they have been able to find a potential new cure for melanoma, generate different organs in the dish, and unearth novel stem cell populations.
Fuchs, who is 40, has received more than 20 awards for his scientific excellence and his unique teaching style, including the Wolf Foundation Krill Award and the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Sartorius and Science Grand Prize for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy. He lives in Haifa with his wife and two children.
Asst. Prof. Oksana Stalnov
FACULTY OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
Oksana Stalnov was born in Minsk, Belarus, and her family immigrated to Israel when she was 11, settling in Kiryat Gat. She received her MSc and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Tel Aviv University, and in 2012 was appointed a research fellow at the University of Southampton, England. In 2017 she returned to Israel and joined Technion as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.
“The Faculty is world renowned in the field of Aerospace Engineering, and Technion offered me the opportunity to establish a state-of-the-art research group.”
At the heart of her research is the question of how noise is generated when unsteady flow interacts with a blade, where many complex phenomena take place within the boundary layer; and how this knowledge can be used to enhance performance. She is developing new diagnostic tools and modelling techniques, which will enable a step change in the understanding of noise generation mechanisms and the development of advanced flow and noise control strategies.
Stalnov, 39, lives in Haifa with her husband, 7-year-old son and 2.5-year-old daughter.