Dr. Israely received her BSc degree in Molecular Biology at the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. After working for a short while in the field of eukaryotic gene expression, she wanted to understand how the regulation of single proteins could lead to changes in brain function. She began her graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the laboratory of Dr. Xin Liu and in collaboration with Dr. Alcino Silva, to study the role of a neural specific adhesion protein in cognitive function. After completing her PhD in 2004, Dr. Israely joined Susumu Tonegawa's lab at MIT, where, using two-photon imaging and glutamate uncaging, she examined long lasting changes at individual synapses upon activity. In 2009, she moved to Portugal to start her own group in the Champalimaud Neuroscience Program. Her laboratory, Neuronal Structure and Function, is interested in understanding how information is physically stored in the brain, and how aberrant structural changes may lead to certain forms of mental retardation.