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Tel Aviv University
Country: Israel
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481 Projects, page 1 of 97
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 614352
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101115639
    Overall Budget: 1,497,670 EURFunder Contribution: 1,497,670 EUR

    Despite vast drug development efforts, brain tumors remain the leading cause of pediatric cancer deaths. Noninvasive monitoring of treatment response is crucial to reveal the mechanisms behind tumor-drug interactions and optimize patient care. However, standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods involve injecting metals, have severe difficulties in differentiating treatment response from tumor progression, are qualitative, and mandate prolonged anesthesia due to the lengthy acquisition. I propose to develop a transformative molecular MRI technology, based on the chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) contrast mechanism that will enable specific, quantitative, rapid, contrast-material free, treatment monitoring of pediatric brain cancer. Recently I revealed that a combination of mathematical CEST models and AI can generate quantitative biomarker maps of pH and protein concentration changes across the brain, two known hallmarks of cancer. Inspired by these results, I now propose to adopt a previously unconsidered perspective and to represent the underlying physics of CEST MRI as a computational graph, enabling an automatic AI-based optimization of molecular imaging. I hypothesize that the combination of biophysical models with a new AI framework, and their synergetic integration throughout the entire imaging pipeline will provide accurate noninvasive treatment monitoring. First, I will establish a method for automated optimization of MRI protocols for early determination of the tumor response to mainstream chemotherapy. Next, I will shorten the 3D scan time by an order of magnitude and quantify the response to next generation immunotherapy. Third, I will translate the method to clinical scanners and validate it in a human pediatric pilot study. This research will yield a fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying treatment response and establish an innovative precision medicine methodology that will transform pediatric cancer imaging.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 271739
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101054741
    Overall Budget: 2,446,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,446,000 EUR

    The ultimate goal of this project is to free science and society from the unfounded dogma of sex categories as all-encompassing dichotomies, and to promote a world in which the male-female categories are restricted to the domains in which they have been shown to play a central role (e.g., reproductive medicine), rather than a-priori assumed to do so (e.g., mind and brain). According to the modern normative view of sex and gender (the ‘gender binary’), each of two biological sexes (male/female) is associated with a typical, coherent gender identity (man/woman), sexual attraction towards the ‘other’ sex, a set of psychological and behavioral characteristics (masculinity/femininity), and the neural substrates on which these rely (‘male’/‘female’ brains). In the past decade I led a scientific research project challenging the binary view of human brains. Using diverse analytical tools, we discovered that brains are not ‘female’ or ‘male’ but rather comprised of unique ‘mosaics’ of female-typical and male-typical features. On the basis of the mosaic framework, the multi-level analysis tools we developed, and my expertise in psychology, the proposed research project will use self-reports and indirect measures to collect rich data from large and diverse samples on the four psychological components of the gender binary (psychological characteristics, gender identity, attitudes towards the sexed body, and sexuality) and their interrelations to discover how they are best described when freed from the dogmatic binary framework. Focusing also on the experiences of presumably ‘typical’ populations (i.e., cisgender, heterosexual individuals) we will map variability in domains assumed to be homogenous and advance thinking about nonconformity as a matter of diversity rather than pathology. More broadly, the proposed research project will undermine the ancient categorization of humans into men and women and the unjust gendered social order this categorization helps maintain.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 852953
    Overall Budget: 1,474,380 EURFunder Contribution: 1,474,380 EUR

    Motivated by applications to information networks such as wireless and ad-hoc, this research will explore fundamental informational properties of networks under communication constraints. In the standard approach, the network is assumed to be fully connected and/or the information it carries is treated as a commodity. Here, we will investigate a markedly different paradigm where limitations on the nodes’ connectivity in the network are imposed and pieces of information can be combined. Examples include storage systems in which the links are established by physical proximity or system architecture, as well as low-power wide-area networks for Internet-of-Things applications. We will consider a broad spectrum of models and topics ranging from efficient information encoding and network resiliency to information loss under corrupt nodes to cooperative models and network information accessibility. We will study these topics under specific network families and random networks. While prominently theoretic, the proposed investigation is expected to yield insights and design rules for the construction of information networks, e.g., via new data placement techniques and communication protocols. Moreover, we plan to devote part of our study to practical aspects by implementing and testing the theory developed in real-world networks. Such developments may well lead to a paradigm shift in the design of resource-limited wireless communication systems, and potentially reduce energy consumption, delays, and increase the overall information reliability. Lastly, our motivation stems from the perception that naturally occurring phenomena in general networks are dependent on the information carried by them; this perception is what drives both the research questions we pose and the mathematical model we define. Consequently, the theoretical results are expected to be practical and influential across different disciplines and research areas.

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