Blavatnik Postdoctoral Research Associates

We have offered the first Blavatnik Fellows membership at Queens' College. The Blavatnik Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) are members of the SCR, given rights to dine at High Table and join our academic community. This programme not only diversifies the College's intellectual society, but gives the PDRAs an opportunity to meet other academics in a wide range of fields at the College.

Our current Blavatnik PDRAs are:

Name Research interests
Dr David Benisty Dr David Benisty

Einstein's General theory of Relativity (GR) is the best theory to describe our universe. However, to explain the expansion of the universe on very large scales we must modify GR with the presence of mysterious cosmological constant. My research tests alternative theories of gravity with different astrophysical systems, to determine whenever the cosmological constant is the only modification, or this is a small part from bigger theory.

As a Research Associate at Queens' College, and a Blavatnik and Rothschild Fellow, I would like to combine research from different fields, mainly from Maths and Data Science, that would promote possible modifications to GR from different perspectives. From my teaching experience, I would also like to promote students from different fields.

Dr Michal Eisenberg-Bord Dr Michal Eisenberg-Bord

As part of my postdoctoral research, I am studying tuberculosis (TB), a disease that has affected mankind since ancient times and continues to be a major killer today with nearly 2 million deaths worldwide. It is caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), which has evolved and adapted to interact with our cells in order to maintain its survival and spread. Once they enter our body, Mtb are engulfed by our immune cells, especially macrophages, where they reside for most of their lifecycle. Once hidden from the immune system, inside the very cells that were sent to get rid of them, they begin to multiply, and for that purpose they require more and more energy and ‘building material’. My research aims to shed light on the interaction between the bacteria and host cell. How do these bacteria manage to get what they need from the host cell? How do they do it without triggering the macrophage’s defense mechanisms, or alerting other parts of the immune system? By broadening and deepening our understanding of the way intracellular bacteria exploit macrophages’ metabolism for their own ends, we will gain important insights which can later help us in our fight against tuberculosis.

During my Fellowship, I intend to combine the skills and knowledge I acquired during my PhD with the cutting-edge research done at Ramakrishnan lab, in order to further our understanding of not only the disease of tuberculosis, but also the inner workings of our cells, in sickness and in health. It is my ultimate goal that the work I’m doing here will serve as a stepping stone to starting my own research group that will focus on studying diseases through the lens of intracellular interaction.