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May 7, 2015 10:44 am

University of Haifa to Share $1.3 Million Grant for Pioneering Brain Research

avatar by Zack Pyzer / Tazpit News Agency

Haifa University, which, with other Israeli institutes of higher education, would be boycotted by the ASA vote. Photo: Wikipedia

University of Haifa. Photo: Wikipedia

The University of Haifa revealed Wednesday that it has been jointly-allocated a highly prestigious $1.3 million grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).

The funded research seeks to uncover how the brain reacts chemically in a variety of social situations, focusing on the hormone oxytocin. The study is expected to be completed in three years.

Oxytocin has been linked to how we initiate “positive” behaviors, such as attachment and social recognition, as well as aggression. Past research has highlighted the oxytocin hormone as potentially key to understanding autism, borderline personality disorder, and other social-related conditions.

Dr. Shlomo Wagner, head of the Neurobiology of Social Behavior lab at the University of Haifa, will cooperate with the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris.

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All four institutions will split the funding on a needs basis during the course of the research project.

HFSP is an international project, dating back to 1987, which was set up to promote scientific research across the world. Financial backers include the EU, US, Japan, India, and South Korea.

Despite Israel not being listed as one of HFSP’s “Management Supporting Parties,” the program has often distributed funding to Israeli research institutions, including the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University.

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