Multidisciplinary Research: Our Formula for Success

Home to the largest Jewish studies faculty in the world, BIU is also pursuing cutting-edge scientific research, as seen in our Nanotechnology Institute, the Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, and our Faculty of Engineering. Leading a national initiative to stem the “brain drain” by repatriating 70 outstanding Israeli experimental scientists working abroad, Bar-Ilan was tapped by the Israeli government to launch Israel’s newest Medical School based in the northern Galilee, which opened its doors in October 2011.


Alongside this surge in the natural sciences, which has resulted in the University’s remarkable growth from two science-based faculties to four in a period of just ten years, Bar-Ilan is strategically focused on developing the human sciences as well – Jewish studies, social sciences, law, humanities and interdisciplinary graduate programs. The University is investing energy in recruiting new superstars, establishing centers of excellence and creating exciting academic programs that will attract a new breed of outstanding students who wish to concentrate on the humanistic disciplines. It is in their consonance and synergy that form the core values of Bar-Ilan University.


The Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center brings together researchers from across the sciences, all in one dedicated building, to understand the mysteries of the brain. They study the full range of brain phenomena – from adult and child behavior, to the detailed neural machinery of cognitive processes, to the analysis of the function of vital molecules within nerve cells; and they employ the full gamut of techniques – personal interviews, electrophysiology, molecular biology, abstract mathematical modeling, and many others. The Gonda Center is home to the world’s most comprehensive program of Language-Brain studies, and internationally-acclaimed leaders in the study of depression, suicide prevention, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


The instrumentation of the Gonda Center is impressive, housing cutting-edge devices for brain research which are unique in Israel, such as the MEG (Magneto Encephalograph), which provides critical data to researchers studying perception, voluntary action, memory and language, and is used for the early diagnosis of epilepsy for surgery candidates. The Center makes these diagnostic services available to hospitals around the country.


The Bar-Ilan Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), drawing a large number of its young faculty members from abroad, educates Israel’s next generation of nanoscience professionals. BINA researchers collaborate with academic and industrial experts in Israel and abroad on nano-based approaches to energy, magnetism, optics, clean tech and biomedicine.


Housed in the Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Nanotechnology Triplex, with 40 cutting-edge laboratories, as well as state-of-the art “scientific service” facilities for electron microscopy, nanofabrication, surface analysis, and fluorescence and magnetic measurement, BINA’s remarkable productivity – in publications, grants, patents, and in the creation of successful start-ups from basic science breakthroughs – have made it highly sought after as an R&D partner. In addition to academic collaborations with some of the world’s top research institutes, BINA currently partners with leading multi-national corporations including GM, Merck, Phillips, Siemens and IBM.


Bar-Ilan University’s Facutlyl of Engineering is a leader in high-tech research and development. The faculty seeks to strengthen the technological infrastructure of the State of Israel by producing top-quality engineers who advance cutting-edge scientific research and pioneering technologies for the benefit of humankind.


Despite the faculty’s relatively young age, BIU engineering faculty members have already been awarded close to 100 patents. School faculty have pathblazed such innovations as a new encryption technique which impedes eavesdropping, an optical heartbeat monitor which was selected as one of “Israel’s top 45 greatest inventions of all time,” and a bionic eye which may one day enable people blind from birth to see. From medicinal leeches which show us the mechanisms of neuronal growth in the nervous system to “hacker-proof” robust codes for reliable and secure communication channels, the engineering team members have demonstrated creativity, originality, and vision in the research agendas they have pursued.