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Itamar Belisha

College: City College
Awards: Goldwater Scholarship, 2007

Putting the Brain Under the Microscope

Itamar M. Belisha, a student at The City College of New York, has been selected as a 2007 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The Goldwater Scholarship, which is federally funded, is America's premier award for undergraduates majoring in math, science and engineering.

Belisha, a junior majoring in the electrical engineering, was among 317 undergraduates chosen nationwide. He was selected from a field of 1,110 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by their schools. Scholars receive stipends of up to $7,500 per year toward tuition, fees, books and room and board.

Belisha, a native of Israel who lives in Brooklyn with his wife, has been investigating the correlation between high potassium and brain seizures during deep brain stimulation. His mentor is Marom Bikson, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. He has done research at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute as well.

"My motivation for combining engineering and medicine is the great potential I find in biomedical engineering to impact the quality of treatment for various neurological disorders by innovative techniques,” he says.

Belisha plans to pursue a joint MD/PhD in biomedical engineering with the goal of conducting research on neurological disorders.