Ilan Dinstein (PhD) - Director

Ilan Dinstein is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Cognitive & Brain Sciences at BGU. Ilan and his students use neuroimaging techniques including MRI and EEG to better understand brain function and structure during early autism development, with a strong focus on 1-4 years old toddlers. Projects include the acquisition of overnight EEG recordings and MRI scans from toddlers during natural sleep. For additional information see Ilan's personal page.

Gal Meiri (MD) - Steering Committee

Gal Meiri is the head of the Preschool Psychiatry Unit at Soroka Medical Center and a faculty member of the BGU Medical School. Together with his staff, Gal diagnoses approximately 150 new autism cases annually and performs follow-up assessments of the children until the age of 8. Gal studies the prevalence of autism in the Bedouin community with a focus on understanding cross-cultural social, genetic, and environmental risk factors. In addition Gal has initiated a new program to implement MCHAT screening tools in the Negev.

Hava Golan (PhD) - Steering Committee

Hava Golan is a faculty member in the Physiology and Cell Biology department at BGU. Hava and her students study how in-utero hypoxia-ischemia, inflammation, and antiepileptic medications affect brain development in animal models. A current research focus is on the potential role of maternal/fetal one-carbon metabolism in autism. Hava studies both genetically deficient animal models and human mothers with genetic polymorphisms that confer susceptibility. For additional information see Hava's personal website.

Idan Menashe (PhD) - Steering Committee

Idan Menashe is a faculty member in the Public Health Department at BGU. Idan and his students use integrated epidemiological, statistical, and bioinformatics approaches to study the effects of genetic and non-genetic risk factors contributing to ASD etiology. Projects include a focus on revealing  ASD prevalence, exposure to risk factors, and genetic variations in the Bedouin population and assessment of the effect of prenatal air pollution on the risk of ASD in Israel. For more information see Idan's personal website.

Yaniv Zigel (PhD)

Yaniv Zigel is a faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering department at BGU. Yaniv and his students develop speech processing algorithms that can identify specific individuals and speech patterns from audio recordings. They are currently developing an automated speech processing system that can identify and quantify speech abnormalities such as Echolalia in recordings of toddlers with autism at the Negev Autism Center. For more information visit Yaniv's personal page.

Hagit Fluser (MD)

Hagit Fluser is the head of the child development center at Soroka Medical Center and a faculty member of the BGU medical school. Hagit and her staff diagnose approximately 100 new cases of autism annually and provide a wide variety of clinical services to the families including physical therapy, speech therapy, and psychological counseling. 

Reli Hershkovitz (MD)

Reli Hershkovitch directs the Ultrasound Unit at Soroka Medical Center. Reli and her staff perform over 5000 ultrasound examinations annually and oversee all high risk pregnancies in the Negev. She is interested in identifying prenatal abnormalities that increase the risk of autism. 

Opher Donchin (PhD)

Opher Donchin is a faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering department at BGU. Opher and his students study motor control in humans by tracking their body movements using state-of-the-art motion tracking techniques and robotics. Opher is currently utilizing a Kinect based motion tracking system implemented at the Negev Autism Center to develop an automated system for quantification of repetitive behaviors in autism. For further details visit Opher's personal page.

Shosh Arbel (MD)

Shosh Arbel is the director of the Child and Adolescence Psychiatry Unit at Soroka Medical Center. Shosh is interested in understanding the overlap between autism and other psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety in adolescents with autism.

Ruti Parvari (PhD)

Ruti Parvari is a faculty member in the School of Pharmacy at Ben Gurion University. Ruti studies the genetics of developmental disorders and has a proven track record of identifying monogenic diseases that are prevalent in the local communities of the Negev. Ruti is interested in studying autism genetics in the local Bedouin population. For more information visit Ruti's personal page.

Victor Novack (MD, PhD)

Victor Novack is the director of the Soroka Clinical Research Center. Victor and his team design and carry out a variety of clinical trials with a specialty in adaptive trial designs, which help in reducing the overall cost of studies. He has successfully negotiated numerous trial designs with the FDA and oversees all clinical trials conducted in Soroka. Victor and his team are currently managing a clinical trial with medicinal cannabis in children with autism at the center. 

Chen Schtiermann (MD) 

Hen Schtaerman is the head of the Maccabi child development center at Beer Sheva. Hen and her staff diagnose approximately 100 new cases of autism annually. The center also oversees all treatment and followup services as well as placement in special education programs in the Beer Sheva area.

Ariel Tarasiuk (PhD)

Ariel Tarasiuk is a faculty member in the Physiology and Cell Biology department at BGU. Ariel is also the director of the sleep disturbances lab at Soroka Medical Center where over 1000 individuals undergo polysomnography exams annually. Ariel is a sleep expert who has studied the effects of sleep problems on the development of both rat models and humans. He is an active collaborator in the current sleep research project conducted at the center where we are trying to identify sleep abnormalities that are specific to autism.

Ortal Slobodin (PhD)

Ortal Slobodin is a faculty member in the Education department at BGU. Ortal studies social, emotional, and cultural factors such as shame, guilt, and social stigmas that influence the family's decision to utilize autism diagnosis and treatment services.

Alon Friedman (MD, PhD)

Alon Friedman is a faculty member in the Physiology and Cell Biology Department at BGU. His research focuses on the integrity of the brain blood barrier (BBB) in different diseases including Epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Alon is interested in understanding the potential role of early pre and post natal BBB abnormalities as risk factors for the development of autism.

Analia Michaelovsky (MD)

Analia Michaelovsky is a senior doctor at the Child Development Institute at Soroka Medical Center and a faculty member of the BGU medical school. Analia is a part of the multidisciplinary clinical staff that diagnose and follow the progression of children who were diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. 

Rachel Golan (PhD)

Rachel Golan is a faculty member in the Public Health department at BGU. Rachel studies environmental epidemiology and is interested in understanding environmental factors that contribute to autism risk.

Yair Sadaka (MD, PhD)

Yair Sadak is a Pediatric Neurologist and the director of the Health Ministry's Child Development Center in Beer Sheva. Yair and his staff diagnose approximately 60 new cases of autism annually and provide a wide variety of clinical services to the families including physical therapy, speech therapy, and psychological counseling.

Florina Uzefovsky (PhD)


Florina Uzefovsky is a faculty member in the psychology department at BGU.

Florina's research focuses on characterizing cognitive and emotional facets of empathy and empathy development in children diagnosed with autism, and the underlying biological processes – from genes, to hormones, to brain. 

Ilan Shelef (MD)

Ilan Shelef is the chief of Radiology at Soroka Medical Center, which includes responsibility for all prenatal MRI scans performed in the Negev. Ilan is interested in studying prenatal anatomical brain abnormalities that are associated with increased risk for developing autism.

Nadav Davidovitch (MD, MPH, PhD)

Nadav Davidovitch, MD, MPH, PhD is an epidemiologist and public health physician. He is a Full Professor and Chair, Department of Health Systems Management at the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Guilford-Glaser Faculty of Business and Management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His current research deals with health policy; health inequities; health and immigration; vaccination policy; environmental health and public health history and ethics. 

Iris Noyman (MD)

Iris Noyman is the director of the Pediatric Neurology unit at Soroka Medical Center. Iris diagnoses and treats children with a wide variety of neurological disorders including epilepsy. Iris is studying the existence and clinical relevance of epileptiform activity in autism.

Eliahu Levitas (MD)

Eliyahu Levitas is the director of the fertility and IVF clinic at Soroka Medical Center. He is interested in understanding how different types of fertility treatments are associated with increased risk of developing autism.

Please reload

Call Us: +972 86479527   /   autism@post.bgu.ac.il   / Pre-School Psychiatry Unit, Soroka Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel