Dr. Balberg, senior lecturer at the Faculty of engineering at HIT , has received a 144,000 $ (4 years) grant from the bi-national Israel-USA fund- BSF- with Prof. Sergio Fantini, from Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Dr. Balberg developed an acousto-optic technology which enables non-invasive measurement of blood flow in the brain. It can sense changes in blood flow and in oxygen saturation levels in the brain vasculature by combining light and sound. Dr. Balberg founded a company that utilizes this technology in a non-invasive brain monitor.
The research proposal is aimed at expanding this technology for use in situations where the brain needs to communicate with prosthetic limbs, as well as for better understanding the functioning of the brain during illnesses, in a simpler and cost effective manner.
The grant allows the researchers to further develop the technology in order to enable reliable functional brain imaging, which doesn't exist today.
Dr. Balberg believes women can play a significant role in science and engineering. Her company was founded by three women and she attributes part of its success to this fact. As a new faculty member at HIT Dr. Balberg aims to advance women in electrical engineering.
"I think that the number of women in the Science and Engineering faculties has to rise. These are indeed challenging fields, but women can definitely succeed in them”.
Her future professional plans include continuing her research and conducting clinical test with the technology, as well as teaching and mentoring motivated students to become leaders in their field, especially female students.