Broad Institute–Israel Partnership for Cell Circuit Research

The Broad Institute–Israel Partnership for Circuit Research, centered at the Observatory, brings together Broad and Israeli scientists to tackle major challenges in cell circuitry. This program harnesses the expertise of Israeli scientists in computational and systems biology research to enhance and complement the Observatory effort. The program is managed in close partnership with the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF).

The program consists of three components:

Collaborative projects (up to 3/year)

The Observatory provides direct funding for collaborative projects involving Israeli and Broad scientists. Collaborative projects will leverage experimental and/or computational expertise in circuitry research, empowering researchers to pursue joint projects in mammalian cells.

Project selection. Projects are proposed jointly by a Broad lab and an Israeli lab to ensure tight collaboration. Selection criteria include combination of scientific excellence, relevance of the research plan to the Observatory mission of circuit research, and appropriate research environment in the Israeli and Observatory labs. A selection committee that includes representatives from the Broad and the Israeli academic community will choose the collaborative projects. Most applications are expected to be for a one-year project, with the limited possibility of a one-year competitive renewal under appropriate circumstances.

Funding. The available funding will be used to cover costs at the Broad lab and in the Israeli lab, with approximately 50% going to each. Funds will also budget for travel expenses and accommodations for visiting scientists.

At the first annual Broad-Israel Cell Circuits Symposium, the Broad-Israel Partnership announced the award of collaborative project funding to a proposal from Yaqub Hanna (Weizmann Institute) and Alexander Meissner (Broad Institute), and a proposal from Nir Friedman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Rahul Satija (Broad Institute), and Alex Shalek (Harvard University).

Postdoctoral training program

This program for outstanding Ph.D. students from Israeli academic institutions will support postdoctoral training at the Broad Institute, with financial incentives to return to Israel as principal investigators. Each fellowship will last for a period of three years on average.

Postdoctoral support. The fellowship provides full salary support, along with full benefits and some research expenses, as well as additional salary support for fellows with children.

Selection. All graduating Ph.D. students from Israeli academic institutions of higher education are eligible to apply but will need to secure an eligible sponsor from the Broad Institute supporting their application prior to nomination. A committee with representatives from the Broad and the Israeli academic community will select candidates.

At the first annual Broad-Israel Cell Circuits Symposium, the Broad-Israel Partnership announced the award of two postdoctoral fellowships. Ophir Shalem has received a postdoctoral fellowship to work with Broad core member Feng Zhang at the Broad, and Moran Yassour has received a fellowship to work with Broad senior associate member Ramnik Xavier.

Annual symposium

An annual Cell Circuits Symposium is held each year for five years, beginning in 2013. The location alternates between Israel and Cambridge, MA. Observatory staff and lab members, collaborating labs, and postdocs from the program all participate, as well as additional scientists invited from both the Broad and Israeli communities.

The first symposium was held in Jerusalem, Israel from June 10-12, 2013.

Photos from the symposium could be viewed here.

For more information, please visit the symposium site.