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  • Prof. Eitan Okun, of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Sciences and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, whose work was named as one of the most inspiring of 2018

    Prof. Eitan Okun, of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Sciences and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, whose work was named as one of the most inspiring of 2018

    Bar-Ilan Research and Innovation Named among 35 Ways in which Israel Inspired the World in 2018

    Date: 2018-12-30 Hour: 13:58

    Three of the 35 ways Israel inspired the world in 2018 were developed at Bar-Ilan University!  That's according to an article on "The Best of 2018" just published by the online news magazine Israel 21c.  "Israel may be a tiny country, but its impact worldwide has been phenomenal. We take a look back at some of the country's biggest achievements in 2018," the editors wrote.

    The three include the development of an Alzheimer's vaccine, a technology which could eliminate the need for eyeglasses, and a groundbreaking new theory about how the brain learns.

    In the Paul E. Feder Alzheimer's Research Lab which he directs, Prof. Eitan Okun, of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Science and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, is developing a vaccine against Alzheimer's, which affects some 47 million people around the world.  Prof. Okun’s vaccine primes the body to attack amyloid beta protein accumulations in the brain, one of the signature signs of Alzheimer’s disease.  Furthermore, he is searching for new ways to diagnose the disease earlier and more accurately using advanced MRI technologies. 

    Nano-Drops, a cutting-edge technology developed by researchers at the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), has the potential to provide a new alternative to eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser correction for refractive errors. The technology was developed by Dr. David Smadja (Ophthalmologist from Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Research Associate at BINA), Prof. Zeev Zalevsky, of the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering, and Prof. Jean-Paul Moshe Lellouche, of BINA. Nano-Drops achieve their optical effect and correction by locally modifying the corneal refractive index. The magnitude and nature of the optical correction is adjusted by an optical pattern that is stamped onto the superficial layer of the corneal epithelium with a laser source. The shape of the optical pattern can be adjusted for correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness or loss of accommodation ability.

    Israel 21c further noted that earlier this month the web-based health and medical news service Medical Xpress named a Bar-Ilan University research study on how the brain learns as one of the 25 Best Articles of 2018.  The Medical Xpress editors wrote, "A team led by Ido Kanter from Bar-Ilan University reports evidence that the brain learns completely differently than we've assume since the 20th century.  Since the 1940s, medical scientists have believed that the brain learns by modifying the strength of the synapse. In this new effort, the researchers found evidence of changes to the brain during learning in dendrites – the long arms of neurons. This finding suggests learning is more complicated in the brain than has been thought." Prof. Kanter, of the Department of Physics and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, and his team published their research in the journal Scientific Reports.