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About Me

Galit Shohat-Ophir is a researcher at the Faculty of Life Science and The Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar Ilan University. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science and continued for postdoctoral studies at University of California San-Francisco and HHMI Janelia Research Center. Her postdoctoral study was published in Science and received large public coverage including being on the front page of the New-York Times. She joined the Faculty of Life Science at Bar Ilan in 2013 and continued her research on the Molecular Basis of Social Interaction. Her research aims to uncover the molecular and neural mechanisms by which rewarding and stress related experiences are perceived, represented in the brain and converted into modulation of behavior, using a combination of cell specific transcriptome analysis, state of the art neurogenetic tools and novel tracking and machine vision technologies.

Animals execute many different behaviors in the course of their lives with the goal of surviving and reproducing; they find food and mates, defend themselves and in many cases care for their offspring or other relatives. When these behaviors involve the interaction with other members of the same species they are considered social interaction. Living in a social environment requires perception of a socially relevant sensory stimulus, representation of this information in the brain, and integration of the stimulus with other relevant cues. Thus, social experiences can induce long-lasting changes in neural circuit function and ultimately altered behavior.

My research interest is to define the principles by which social interactions among individuals produce specific changes in the brain that lead to modification of behavior. In particular I am interested in identifying the molecular signature of social experience within defined subset of neuronal populations. We are exploring this question using reproductive behavior, possibly the most important event in an animal’s life, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

… → Feb 2013

… → Jan 2006


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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