Official Bio

Ifat Levy is an Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine and a member of the Yale Wu-Tsai Institute, with appointments in the departments of Neuroscience and Psychology. Dr. Levy has undergraduate degrees in physics and law from Tel Aviv University, and a PhD in computational neuroscience from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She joined the faculty of Yale University in 2009 after completing postdoctoral training at New York University. Her research combines behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to study decision-making under uncertainty in the general population, in aging and in psychopathology, and is supported by NIH and NSF. Ifat’s Decision Neuroscience Lab trains individuals at all stages of the academic path, from high-school students to associate research scientists, and lab alumni have gone on to academic, industry and clinical positions.

Unofficial Bio

I grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. After completing my mandatory military service, I couldn’t decide what to study, and ended up with separate bachelor’s degrees in physics and law. While I loved the law, physics made me realize that science is the thing for me. I was less interested in theoretical physics though, and more in using experiments and math to understand the human brain. I therefore continued to a PhD in the interdisciplinary center for neural science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I was very fortunate to have Rafi Malach from the Weizmann Institute, a pioneer of fMRI, as my advisor. Under Rafi’s mentoring I studied the visual cortex, and learned how to do research. After graduating, I sought to extend my research from perception to active behavior – decision-making – and was also dreaming of living in New York.  I achieved both of these goals by doing my postdoc training at NYU with Paul Glimcher, one of the founding parents of neuroeconomics. Towards the end of my postdoc, I got married, and – since my husband started a faculty position at Yale – applied to a position in the department of comparative medicine. I was extremely lucky to get the job, and have been very fortunate to be working along fantastic colleagues and amazing lab members for over 12 years.

Ifat Levy (Yale School of Medicine)