Arvid Carlsson

Wolf Prize Laureate in Medicine 1979

The Wolf Foundation Prize Committee in Medicine has decided that the Prize in Medicine for 1979 shall be equally shared by Roger W. Sperry, Oleh Hornykiewicz and Arvid Carlsson.

Arvid Carlsson
Gothenburg University
Gothenburg, Sweden

“for his work which established the role of dopamine as a neurotransmitter.”

These scientists had made outstanding contributions in brain physiology and physio-pathology.

Professor Arvid Carlsson is honored for his work, which established the role of dopamine as a neurotransmitter. Professor at the University of Lund, Sweden until 1959, he is since then Professor of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Gothenburg; he is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and others. Dr. Carlsson received various Prizes and awards, among them the ‘Jahre’s Medical Prize in 1974. He has published almost 300 articles a considerable part of them dealing with the occurrence and functions of dopamine in brain. Dr. Carlsson’s work has had an impact on basic as well as clinical brain research.

Schraga Schwartz

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Schraga Schwartz

Weizmann Institute of Science

Cracking the Epitranscriptome

My research focuses on elucidating the fundamental building blocks of which our genetic code, the DNA, is comprised. The DNA is composed of only four building blocks. In order to translate the information stored in the DNA, it is at first ‘copied’ to a very similar, yet slightly different, molecule called RNA. For years, RNA was also thought to consist primarily of the same four building blocks as DNA. However, our research over the last decade is exposing a more complex landscape: We are finding that RNA is subjected to diverse chemical modifications, that can modulate the genetic message encoded by the RNA. Such modifications can regulate cellular decision making and  impact the ability of cells to develop and to differentiate, and their propensity to undergo tumorigenic transformation. To summarize, we are uncovering and characterizing an important regulatory layer impacting the manner through which our genetic code is organized, expressed and regulated.

Kfir Blum

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Kfir Blum

Weizmann Institute of Science

Research title: Outstanding questions in particle physics and particle-astrophysics

The identity of dark matter is an outstanding question in modern physics. We have evidence for the existence of dark matter via its gravitational pull in galaxies and cosmological large-scale structure. However, we do not know the fundamental nature of dark matter. I work on theoretical aspects of the search for dark matter. In particular, I use observable phenomena in the dynamics of galaxies as a probe of the wave mechanics signatures of ultra-light dark matter. Apart from dark matter I also study topics in astrophysics, such as the problem of the origin of cosmic ray particles; and in particle physics, such as the quest for fundamental understanding of the Higgs boson, and the nature of the state produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Tomer Michaeli

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Tomer Michaeli

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Advanced Image Processing Algorithms.

Visual data plays key roles in numerous domains, ranging from medical imaging, microscopy, astronomy, security and autonomous vehicles, to personal photography and social media. Dr. Michaeli’s research addresses theoretical and algorithmic challenges relating to the acquisition, restoration, enhancement, manipulation, and editing of visual data. The last decade has seen tremendous progress in image processing methods, particularly with the surge of deep learning techniques. However, their widespread adoption, for example in scientific domains, is still hindered by fundamental limitations, like small training datasets, inherent ambiguities in the imaging processes, and lack of proper ways to incorporate physical knowledge into deep learning based methods. Dr. Michaeli strives to provide theoretical analyses of the inherent limits and tradeoffs that govern imaging problems, and to develop new algorithms that will lay the basis for the next generation of imaging systems.

Yuval Filmus

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Yuval Filmus

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Title of the research: Boolean function analysis

Description: The research of Filmus is at the intersection of theoretical computer science, specifically computational complexity theory, and mathematics. Computational complexity theory aims to show that some problems are hard to compute. For example, cryptography relies on the fact that decryption is difficult without knowing the secret key. Boolean function analysis is a key tool underlying much recent work in computational complexity theory. It is a discrete analog of classical Fourier analysis, familiar to scientists and engineers. The work of Filmus has focused on extending the reach of Boolean function analysis beyond its classical domain of applicability. While his research is purely theoretical, he hopes that one day his work might yield “better” hard problems with real-world applications.

Meirav Zehavi

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Meirav Zehavi

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Parameterized Analysis: Algorithms, Complexity and Kernelization

Design and analysis of algorithms lie at the heart of computer science. Unfortunately, today we know of numerous problems that are NP-hard, believed not to admit worst-case efficient (polynomial-time) exact algorithms. However, if we take a deeper look, we will observe that the nutshell of hardness often lies in either a particular property of the instance, or even just a small part of it. Parameterized Anaylsis leads to both deeper understanding of intractability results and practical solutions for many NP-hard problems. Informally speaking, Parameterized Analysis is a deep mathematical paradigm to answer the following fundamental question: What makes an NP-hard problem hard? Specifically, how do different parameters (being formal quantifications of structure) of the problem relate to its inherent difficulty? Can we exploit these relations algorithmically, and to which extent?

Idan Hod

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Idan Hod

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), a class of porous, high surface area materials, have attracted a great deal of attention due to their exceptional chemical, structural, and functional variety. Their traditional uses have ranged from gas storage and separation, to chemical catalysis and sensing. Until very recently, the fact that the vast majority of known MOFs are considered to be insulators with limited charge carrier nobilities has impeded scientific efforts to use MOFs in electrochemical applications. The lack of conductivity in most MOFs can be attributed to the coordinative nature of their assembly, in which metal ions or nodes are connected to one another by multi-topic, organic linkers acting as non-electroactive spacers. As a consequence, creating a low-energy path for the transport of charges in these materials is very challenging.

however, the development of new approaches for engendering conductivity in MOFs has led to the formation of a new sub-field in MOF chemistry, targeted at the preparation of electrode-supported MOF thin films and their exploitation in electrochemical devices, such as fuel cells (and electrocatalysis in general), batteries, and supercapacitors. In general, MOF thin films offer several important advantages over existing porous electrodes. First, it is possible to obtain an exceptionally high surface concentration of catalytically active sites.

Second, MOFs possess a well-ordered crystalline structure, which gives them great flexibility with respect to pore size, structure, and chemical functionality and permits precise monitoring of electrochemical processes occurring in a variety of confined chemical environments. Nevertheless, highly conductive MOFs are still rare, and thus, charge transport in MOFs remains a bottleneck in the development of this exciting new field of research.

In light of these issues, the aims of our lab research are as follows:

  1. Design and synthesis of MOF-based electrochemically-active thin films
  2. To study their structural, chemical and electrical properties.
  3. To study and evaluate the activity of the obtained MOF-based systems toward electrocatalytic solar fuel-based reactions.

Achieving our research objectives will provide a better understanding of charge transport mechanisms in MOF-based thin films, and will pave the way toward the design of new methods for manipulating and improving their electrical properties. Additionally, studying the chemical, physical, and electronic properties of the MOF-based electrocatalytic systems could lead to ground-breaking developments in this field of research, and will also open up opportunities in other fields such as photovoltaics, electrochemical sensors, batteries and supercapacitors.

Adam Teman

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Adam Teman

Bar-Ilan University

Title: Efficient Circuits and Systems Design for Electronic Chips

My research deals with the design of circuits and systems that are integrated on the silicon chips that can be found in virtually any electronic system today. In the framework of my research, I search for novel methods to improve these chips in order to enable smarter, faster, cheaper and more energy-efficient products. My research team, which operates from within the EnICS Labs center at Bar-Ilan University, focuses on a wide range of research domains, including embedded memory design, hardware for artificial intelligence applications, open hardware design for efficient digital computation and more. Our research work starts at the algorithm and computer architecture levels, crossing all levels of abstraction down to the circuit and transistor level, and includes the demonstration of our novelty upon components fabricated in state-of-the-art nanometer process technologies. The outcomes of our research are integrated in digital systems of all types, from the datacenter to the mobile unit and autonomous car.

Yasmine Meroz

Winner of Krill Prize 2020

Yasmine Meroz

Tel Aviv University

Physics of Growing Systems and Plant Behaviour

Though plants are literally rooted to the ground and cannot flee from predators or forage for nutrients, they thrive in a harsh and fluctuating environment thanks to their ability to sense stimuli and plan complex growth strategies. However, as opposed to animals, in plants sensory and computational systems are distributed at the tissue level, calling for a new conceptual framework. In the lab we study fundamental behavioral processes in plants, such as memory phenomena, decision-making, and collective behavior. We combine theory with experiment, inferring underlying computational rules underlying behavioural processes. This understanding is particularly important in the development of a novel autonomous robot inspired by the moving-by-growing capabilities of plants. The ultimate goal is to provide a multi-scale understanding of plant behavioral processes, relating its biological, physical and computational aspects.