Prof. Orit Shefi on the Cover of Nashim Magazine - for her Scientific Accomplishments

Prof. Orit Shefi, of Bar-Ilan’s Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering, is featured on the cover of new issue of Nashim (Women) Magazine in Israel. Prof. Shefi who is also a researcher at BIU’s Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, was chosen as Nashim’s ‘cover girl’ thanks to her trailblazing research in regenerating damaged nerve cells. Prof. Shefi and her lab team have recently developed a gel-based component to the nerve system.  Based on that, they designed collagen hydrogel as 3D scaffolds for neuronal regeneration, and developed methods to control collagen matrix structure and collagen fiber orientation.

Shefi tells the magazine that she initially didn’t even realize what she had discovered. And then, in the middle of the night, “I suddenly woke up and everything clicked. I realized our results can help rehabilitate damaged neuro cells,” she remembers. “I wasn’t sure I was going to remember it in the morning, so I scribbled it down on a piece of paper. The next morning I talked with my doctoral candidates, and we all realized this was something big. Something that can solve a series of neurological problems. It could help with many types of neurological damages.”

Prof. Shefi, a married mother of three, joined the Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan ten years ago, and today she serves as the director of the Bioengineering track, and heads the Neuroengineering and Regeneration Lab. Other research projects conducted in the lab focus on magnetic manipulation of bio-active factors and cells and controlled drug delivery.<<<

So what is it like being a female scientist at Bar-Ilan University?

“Bar-Ilan is all about scientific excellence. It is always combined with values and traditions, but still – scientific excellence is the university’s first priority. I received the warmest welcome at the Faculty of Engineering, which includes peole from all walks of life. A true representation of the tapestry of Israeli society. “