Dr. Alex Binshtok

Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada and Center for Research on Pain, Faculty of Medicine , Medical Neurobiology, IMRIC
IMRIC Researcher

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Why I became a researcher: 

My interest in pain mechanisms started during my B.Sc. studies and was reinforced during my subsequently clinical work as a physical therapist. I worked as a physical therapist for 10 years concentrating primarily on treatment of pain. While treating hundreds of patients, I came face to face with all forms of pain. With time I realized that, although most patients recover well after acute trauma, those that develop chronic inflammatory or neuropathic pain usually do not respond well to the current available treatments.

I realized that in order to develop novel and more effective treatment approaches, I needed a much more detailed understanding of the mechanisms of pain. Therefore, I decided to change direction and find a way to combine my clinical goal of helping people recover from pain with research in basic science.

Currently I am studying the complex mechanisms that underlie the experience of pain with the hope that a better understanding can lead to more successful methods of control and treatment.

My research into the diversity of pain phenomena adopts a multidisciplinary approach; it incorporates novel imaging techniques and electrophysiological, histological and behavioral experiments to study pain-related mechanisms at the molecular and cellular level, as well as the level of neuronal networks and behavior. It is anticipated that this integrative approach will yield a fundamental understanding of the multidimensional mechanisms involved in the unremitting suffering of pain experienced by so many people. New targets for the treatment of pain will be able to be identified and lead to the development of new pain-specific anesthetic drugs that could eliminate the sensation of pain much more effectively than the current available painkillers.


2006-2007: Post-Doctoral training: Harvard University & Mass General Hospital Boston, MA

2006: PhD in Neurobiology, The Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel

1988: BA in Physical Therapy, Ben Gurion University, Israel

Selected Awards and Honors: 
2012: The Prusiner-Abramsky Research Award in Clinical and Basic Neuroscience, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2011: Allon Fellowship for Outstanding Young Researchers Council for Higher Education, Israel
2010: Edward and Millicent Carew-Shaw Distinguished Faculty Award, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2010: Gold Meir Fellowship Fund Award, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2008: Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, Finalist, Rita Allen Foundation, Princeton, NJ
2007: MGH Executive Committee for Research-Award, Massachusetts General Hospital
2006: The Schlomiuk Prize for Excellence in PhD Research, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2002: Travel Award, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
2001-2004, 2006: Best Lecturer Award, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
alexanderb [at] ekmd [dot] huji [dot] ac [dot] il
Researcher in the News

The Prestigious 2013 DIP Grant Received By Dr. Binshtok And Co-Investigators

December 20, 2012 - Dr. Alexander Binshtok and Co-Investigators Prof. Baruch Minke and Prof. Yoel Yaari of the Department of Medical Neurobiology, IMRIC, The Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine have received the prestigious 2013 DIP Grant for their multidisciplinary research project titled "Programmable Molecular Nanorobots for Treatment of Chronic Pain and Epilepsy".

Binshtok - Minke - Yaari

About DIP:

Established in 1997 by the German Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF), the DIP (Deutsch-Israelische Projektkooperation) Program promotes German-Israeli scientific cooperation in highly competitive areas of academic research demonstrating state-of-the-art quality. Projects are funded for a five-year period and can come from all fields, including the humanities and the social sciences.

IMRIC Scientists Are ‘Itching’ To Help You Stop Scratching

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in Boston have come up with new findings that can stop the itching through silencing the neurons that transmit itch-generating stimuli.

A ‘GPS’ To Navigate The Brain’s Neuronal Networks From IMRIC

New brain mapping technique developed at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University