Researchers

No one is immune to the effects of the world’s most pressing medical challenges. And none of these challenges are immune to the brilliance and dedication of IMRIC’s researchers. Get to know them a little better by checking out their bios.

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Prof. Asher Ornoy

My parents immigrated to Israel in 1950 after surviving the concentration camps of World War II. Once in Israel, they moved to a small village near Petah Tikvah where they continued their family tradition of farming. As a child I helped farm the land, milk the cows and worked in the chicken coop. By the time I was in High School I realized that I did not want to be a farmer.

I excelled in my studies in High School and with the support of my parents I decided to focus on medicine as a career. My dream was to not only be a doctor but to become a researcher as well. I wanted to help people in the best way that I believed I knew how. After my first year in the army I became a student at The Hebrew University's Medical School and remained a part of the faculty to this day.

My main field from the beginning was prenatal and postnatal development of children. I focused on the causes of abnormal development.  By the time I was in my third year of Medical School, I began studying bone and skeleton development which I continued for a number of years. LaterI focused on the development of the brain, with special emphasis on normal and abnormal development of children. After finishing my degree in medicine, I began my training in Pediatrics in Hadassah Hospital. In the US I trained in clinical Teratology and Developmental Pediatrics, which have been the main areas of my research and clinical work for the last twenty years.

Serving as the Head of the Department of Child Development and Rehabilitation in Israel's Ministry of Health, I continue to be heavily involved in the development of policies for diagnosis and treatment of children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). My research in this area focuses on possible prenatal causes of autism: maternal treatment during pregnancy with valproic acid and/or SSRIs or other causes. I also plan to develop experimental models to investigate possible etiologies (causes) of ASD.