Call 2017

Selected projects

Globalisation, Migration, and Policy: Europe and Israel

Migration Studies
Political Science
International Relations

This collaboration aims at setting up a joint research course for advanced MA and doctoral students of our two universities. The course addresses the process of globalisation through the prism of international immigration. In a nation-based state characterised both politically and ideologically by immigration such as Israel, understanding migration and associated social, cultural, and economic struggles is of particular importance. By contrast, Western European countries have needed to adapt to a multiple waves of migration due to ageing populations, a need for labour, post-colonial connections, and generous asylum policies since the end of the Second World War, despite the fact that their constitutions and cultures are not entrenched in immigration. The waves of migration have brought with them increased diversity amongst minorities in Western Europe and have contributed to a qualitative shift known as the third demographic transition. Western European countries and Israel are currently undergoing this transition. As such, this research and teaching project addresses the effects of the third demographic transition on society, and in doing so discusses the types of policies associated with migration and minorities in an age of globalisation, including particular attention to the role of international cooperation and international organizations. In addition, this collaborative project is an excellent catalyst for cooperation between the Hebrew University and Geneva’s researchers. Today, meaningful research projects in the field of globalisation and migration are based on cooperation between various researchers from a plurality of institutions. Such international cooperation is requested and frequently required by research funding bodies, particularly in light of Israel’s accession to the grants programme of the EU. Furthermore, in particular with globalisation and migration, it is not possible to carry out meaningful research at the local or national level alone. To that end, the subject of research is connected to developments internationally, and it is fit that researchers in Israel and Geneva should adjust their research perspective to the global level. The joint project would run over the academic year 2017/18. Elyakim Kislev and Sandra Lavenex will teach in parallel a course for Master's and PhD students in their respective programmes in which the following joint sessions will be integrated: 1. During December students from University of Geneva will come to Jerusalem for the Annual Graduate Conference in Political Science, International Relations and Public Policy at the Hebrew University: https://gradcon.huji.ac.il/ 2. In the Annual Graduate Conference, half a day of a joint workshop will be devoted to the students registered on the courses in participating universities. The workshops will be delivered by professors from both institutions. This will be an opportunity for initial introductions and the attribution of research topics to the participating students. 3. In the following months the students will work at their home universities on the research topics and prepare research papers. 4. In the summer of 2018, the students from both institutions will meet for a week-long workshop in Geneva that will be taught by research staff from both institutions, as well as guest researchers. This workshop will include visits to pertinent international organizations and NGOs in Geneva. These visits will be merged with the programme of the Summer School on Global and Regional Migration Governance at Unige. 5. Students will present their research results in the workshop. 6. Participation in all aspects of the course (workshops in the Annual Graduate Conference, course lectures, summer workshop) will be mandatory and together will form a research course worth four (for HUJI students) or six (for Geneva students) academic credits.

projects
Participants
Prof. Sandra Lavenex
University of Geneva
Prof. Elyakim Kislev
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Impact of the circadian clock on α- and β-pancreatic islet cell gene transcription and function upon β-cell failure and regeneration

Medicine

Circadian oscillation of biological processes has been described in light-sensitive organisms from bacteria to human beings, reflecting the existence of underlying intrinsic clocks. Our recent work suggests that α- and β-cellular clocks are oscillating with distinct phases in vivo and in vitro. These cellular oscillators impact critically on the temporal profiles of insulin and glucagon secretion, and on the transcriptional patterns of key functional genes in the islet cells. Parallel analysis of the molecular properties of α- and β-cell oscillators was conducted by establishing a mouse model expressing three reporters: one diagnostic for α-cells, one specific for β-cells, and third monitoring circadian gene expression. Rodent β-cells have a significant potential for regeneration, suggesting that regenerative therapy for diabetes is feasible. A model for studying β-cell regeneration following 70-80% ablation, proposed and characterized by the Dor’s lab, in combination with the triple reporter mouse strain developed by the Dibner’s lab, represents a unique and powerful tool for characterizing circadian oscillator upon hyperglycemic conditions, and during β-cell regeneration. Crossing these mice to genetic clock-deficient mouse strain will allow unraveling the impact of functional circadian clock on the regenerative capacity of β-cells. In vivo studies in genetic rodent models will be translated to the human model, employing human islet isolated from type 2 diabetic donors, synchronized in vitro. Molecular and functional analysis of the islet cellular clockwork upon type 2 diabetes conditions and during β-cell regeneration will be of high scientific importance and clinical relevance.

projects
Participants
Dr. Charna Dibner
University of Geneva
Dr. Volodymyr Petrenko
University of Geneva
Prof. Yuval Dor
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Miri Stolovich-Rain
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Living and Fossil stromatolites in the Dead Sea Basin

Earth and Environment

Stromatolites represent the oldest forms of life and are commonly defined as laminated organo-sedimentary structures built by the trapping, binding and/or precipitation of minerals via microbial processes. Dead-Sea stromatolites have attracted considerable attention and recently have been used to constrain the late Quaternary lake level curve. This closed-basin contains living and fossil stromatolites at a wide range of water salinity, temperature, oxidation state, and lighting. The basin thus offers a unique opportunity to understand the environmental factors controlling their formation as well as to develop a better chronology for the last glaciation, respectively. We propose to study recent microbial mats (stromatolites) around the Dead-Sea and identify relationships between the environment and observable characteristics that might be recorded in rocks. Based on stromatolites we have mapped around the Dead-Sea, we will combine a geomorphological and geomicrobiological approach to: - Better resolve lake level changes by quantifying the variation of water volumes in the Dead-Sea from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene - Determine the natural environmental conditions where modern stromatolite types are growing around the Dead-Sea. - Carry out experimental investigations in the laboratory under controlled conditions, from a nanometric- to a mm-scale. By dating these microbialites we will provide a more robust chronology of lake level changes as well as their tempo and magnitude. This is critical for developing predictive patterns of the present day Dead-Sea level changes that are of major societal interest. This is also crucial for unraveling conditions at the "agricultural revolution" incurring around the lake during its last recess.

projects
Participants
Prof. Daniel Ariztegui
University of Geneva
Dr. Ina Neugebauer
University of Geneva
Dr. Camille Thomas
University of Geneva
Prof. Amotz Agnon
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Adi Torfstein
Hebrew University of Jerusalem