Five Selected for Advanced Research Scholarship

Aviva Gubin, Ma’ayan Hachen, Mordechai Kornbluth, Alexandra Michalowski and Nasim Tishbi Selected to Participate in Henry Kressel Research Scholarship Program, Now in its Fourth Year

Five Yeshiva University students will perform advanced undergraduate-level research this year as part of the Henry Kressel Research Scholarship program. The scholarship—established in 2008 by Dr. Henry Kressel, chairman of the YU Board of Trustees, managing director of Warburg Pincus LLC and a Yeshiva College graduate—offers students the unique opportunity to craft a year-long intensive research project under the direct supervision of University faculty.

Standing: Ma'ayan Hachen, Nisim Tishbi and Aviva Gubin. Seated: Mordechai Kornbluth and Alex Michalowski.
Standing: Ma'ayan Hachen, Nisim Tishbi and Aviva Gubin. Seated: Mordechai Kornbluth and Alex Michalowski.

“Our goal is to provide the opportunity for promising students to perform creative research with our outstanding faculty,” said Dr. Kressel.

This year’s recipients are Aviva Gubin, Ma’ayan Hachen, Mordechai Kornbluth, Alexandra Michalowski and Nasim Tishbi.

“The program is modeled after the research fellowship at Harvard,” said Dr. Edward Berliner, executive director of science management and clinical professor of physics at YU. “These students will embody the commitment to intellectual rigor, creativity and pursuit of knowledge that defines the Yeshiva University of the 21st century.”

The students’ research, conducted under the guidance of University faculty members, will focus on a variety of subjects.

Gubin, will be mentored by Dr. Lea Santos, assistant professor of physics at Stern College for Women,  and will research Microscopic Origins of Irreversibility.

“Every natural process follows a time arrow,” explained Gubin, who hopes to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. “This means that it cannot be reversed. For example, glass breaks but doesn’t put itself back together… In my research, I want to study the origins of the time arrow using quantum mechanics by using numerical models developed to describe quantum systems made of many particles.”

Kornbluth will research Generalized Supersymmetric Annihilation Operators and Corresponding Coherent States under the guidance of Dr. Fredy Zypman, professor of physics at Yeshiva College.

“YU’s excellent faculty members care about the students’ success and encourage students to take advantage of opportunities in research and other interests,” said Kornbluth, who intends to pursue a doctorate in physics. “Our roshei yeshiva provide role models for us to improve our character, connect us to our Torah heritage and help us mold ourselves to be value-driven individuals. And after gaining the ability to focus on the Talmud for three hours every morning, it’s easy to sit in front of a computer for a few hours, programming my physics simulations.”

Hachen will research the Role of Histone Methylation in Aging and Cognitive Decline with Dr. Joshua Bacon, associate professor of psychology at Stern and Dr. Richard Hunter of Rockefeller University.

Ma’ayan Hachen will study environmental influences on genes with her mentor,  Dr. Joshua Bacon.
Ma’ayan Hachen will study environmental influences on genes with her mentor, Dr. Joshua Bacon.

“I’ll be investigating how age and stress affect DNA stability in rats,” said Hachen. “This past year my grandfather died from Parkinson’s disease and I hope that through a better understanding of the environmental influences on genes, science will move us a step closer to curing aging diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.”

Michalowski will be mentored by Dr. Robin Freyberg, David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in Psychology and assistant professor of psychology at Stern and will be tackling The Effects of Directed Goal Writing on Low Levels of Depression.

Nasim Tishbi, will be working in the lab of Dr. Evan Minzter, assistant professor of chemistry at Stern, and will explore Oxysterols: Can They Sink the Raft? A Study of the Effects of Trace Amounts of Oxidized Cholesterol on Membrane Domains.

The scholars will each receive a stipend of $7,500 for the year, along with travel money and appropriate research-support expenses. Following their research tenure, Kressel Scholars will present their work to the student body to stimulate a larger intellectual discussion on their topics.

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