Dr. Ami Citri of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences has received the prestigious $100,000 Adelis Brain Research Award, for his outstanding work in the field of experience-dependent plasticity and its impact on diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The Adelis Award is aimed at recognizing and supporting research that will significantly advance the knowledge and understanding of the brain in health and pathologies. Candidates were reviewed and the winners were selected by a committee of distinguished experts in brain research together with prominent representatives of the public.

The Citri Lab develops unique multi-disciplinary approaches to studying the encoding of experiences in the brain, and has developed a special system to study the basis of selective attention, which was recognized by the Adelis Award.

In a recent interview, Dr. Citri said: “In the Citri Lab we study how addiction is formed in the brain, in the hope of finding therapies to help people get out of this addictive situation. Insights into how the brain encodes experience will help advance the treatment of psychiatric disorders. My lab at the Hebrew University is equipped like no other lab in the world. The faculty at the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences comes from a variety of disciplines, from computer scientists to physicists, and the way this builds together to produce very strong science was one of the major attractions for coming to the Hebrew University.”

The Adelis Brain Research Award is one of two major neuroscience prizes awarded during the BrainTech 2015 Conference organized by Israel Brain Technologies, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance Israel’s neurotechnology industry by accelerating neuro-innovation and fostering international collaboration. The prizes acknowledge the work of neuroscientists and mathematicians whose research advance understanding of the human brain as well as solutions, treatments, and cures for various brain-related ailments.

“Brain-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, brain trauma and others know no borders, and neither can their cures,” said Dr. Rafi Gidron, Chairman of Israel Brain Technologies. “By the same token, creativity, invention, innovation and imagination also know no borders and therefore, initiatives seeking the next big thing in brain technology should by definition be global endeavors.”

Speaking at the conference, former president Shimon Peres said: “We have in Israel right now over a hundred companies that are dealing with the brain, and we have brain faculties in every university. This is only the beginning. We are a startup in the brain.”

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