Since its establishment in 1994 as Israel’s first private, non-profit institution of higher education, Reichman University (formerly IDC Herzliya) has spearheaded a pioneering and innovative approach to interdisciplinary higher education.

In 2016, the Simms/Mann Family Foundation made a grant to establish the Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neuroscience. The inaugural chairholder is Ruth Feldman, PhD, one of the world’s leading neuroscience researchers. Her conceptual model on biobehavioral synchrony describes how lived experience within close relationships builds the brain, creates relationships, confers resilience, and promotes creativity.



Ruth Feldman, PhD presenting at the 2019 Simms/Mann Think Tank

Desired Impact

The Foundation recognizes that healthy bonds between children and caregivers build healthy brains. That is why it created the endowed chair at Reichman University to support Dr. Feldman and her groundbreaking research on:

  • Biological basis of social affiliation
  • Processes of biobehavioral synchrony
  • Longitudinal follow-up of infants at high-risk
  • Neuroscience of empathy
  • Effects of touch-based interventions

Dr. Feldman’s studies were the first to detail the role of oxytocin in the formation of human social bonds. Her research is translational, informs the development of various interventions applied internationally, and has received substantial empirical and media attention.

Endowed Chair

Ruth Feldman, PhD

Simms/Mann Chair of Developmental Social Neuroscience, Reichman University

Ruth Feldman, PhD, is the Simms/Mann Chair of developmental social neuroscience and director of the Center for Developmental, Social, and Relationship Neuroscience at Reichman University. Dr. Feldman holds degrees in music...

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