Dr. Edi Barkai

e-mail: ebarkai@research.haifa.ac.il

tel. 972-4-8288419

fax. 972-4-8288108



1981-84     BSc Ben-Gurion University

1984-91     PhD Ben-Gurion University

1992-94     post-doc Harvard University

Academic positions:

1995-97              Adjunct Lecturer Ben-Gurion University

1997-02              Lecturer  Ben-Gurion University

2002-03              Sen. Lecturer  Ben-Gurion University

2003-present      Sen. Lecturer University of Haifa


Research interests:

My primary interest is the biological bases of learning and memory in the mammalian brain.

We are using an olfactory conditioning paradigm, in which rats are trained to memorize odors. Subsequently, we study the single cell mechanisms that mediate olfactory learning.

Our research is performed in collaboration with other labs in Israel and abroad, and combines cellular neurophysiology with biochemistry and morphology with behavioral neuroscience.

Our data show that odor training results with a series of cellular modifications in intrinsic and synaptic properties of piriform (olfactory) cortex pyramidal neurons. We are currently studying the sub-cellular mechanisms the enable the induction and maintenance of such learning-relevant changes, and their significance to the neuronal networks' ability to store memories.


Ongoing projects:


  1. Mechanisms underlying learning-induced modifications in synaptic strengthening.
  2. Mechanisms underlying learning-induced enhancement in neuronal excitability.
  3. The significance of cellular modifications in hippocampal neurons to olfactory-learning.
  4. Role of second messenger systems in maintaining learning-induced modifications.


Selected publications:


Quinlan E., Lebel, D., Brosh, I. and Barkai, E. (2004) A molecular mechanism for stabilization of learning-induced synaptic modifications. Neuron, 41:185-192.


Saar, D. and Barkai, E. (2003) Long-term modifications in intrinsic neuronal properties and rule learning 
in rats. European journal of Neuroscience, 17(12):2727-34.

Saar, D., Grossman, Y. and Barkai, E. (2002) Learning-induced enhancement of post-synaptic potentials in pyramidal neurons. The Journal of Neurophysiology, 87: 2358-2363.

Lebel, D., Grossman, Y. and Barkai, E. (2001) Predisposition for LTP and LTD is modified in the piriform cortex after odor learning. Cerebral cortex, 11(6):485-489.


Saar, D., Grossman, Y. and Barkai, E. (2001) Long lasting Cholinergic modulation underlies rule learning in rats. The Journal of Neuroscience, 21(4):1385-1392.



Graduate students:


PhD Students:

David Lebel

Shira Knafo (joint with Fred Liberst, BGU)

Inbar Brosh (joint with David Golomb, BG)

Itai Zlecer (joint with Yoram Grossman, BGU)

Alexander Trachnisvili (joint with Gal Richter-Levin)


MSc students:

Sivan Cohen

Ari Naimark (joint with Hagit Cohen, BGU)

Ori Liraz