Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative (PNI)


Since its inception in 2009, the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative at Al-Quds University aimed to establish infrastructure for neuroscience research in Palestine while training the next generation of scientists and conduct locally relevant and internationally significant research in neuroscience, neuropharmacology, neuropsychiatry, and neurogenetics. Over the past nine years, the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative has trained more than 150 Palestinian students and researchers at Al-Quds University, sent 40 researchers for advanced research training in Europe and the U.S., helped secure Ph.D. and clinical specialties in the U.S. and Europe for 15 researchers, helped more than 5000 Palestinian patients with psychiatric disorders, secured more than $2 million of funding for research in Palestine, and published 20 research papers in international journals.  Currently, there are six different research units under the umbrella of the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative, including:

(1) the cognitive neuroscience unit,

(2) the behavioral neurogenetics unit,

(3) the developmental neuroscience unit,

(4) the molecular neuroscience unit,

(5) neurophysiology unit, and

(6) the computational neuroscience unit. There are 38 active researchers at the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative, including, 1 faculty member, 2 post-Ph.D. researchers, 3 Ph.D. researchers, 4 post-M.Sc. researchers, 4 M.Sc. students, 5 post-M.D. researchers, 3 post-B.Sc. researchers, and 16 medical students.

The Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative has ongoing partnerships with scientists at Rutgers, Harvard, NYU, Rockefeller, Northwell Health System and NIH in the U.S., and EPFL, SISSA, NTNU, Oxford, forschungszentrum Jülich, and TU-Berlin in Europe.  The main sponsors of the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative are, in chronological order: Mr. Saad Mouasher, Dr. Samih Darwazah and Hikma Pharmaceuticals LLC., the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and Mr. Fadi Ghandour.  The Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative aims to create a powerhouse of neuroscience research in Palestine, train the next generation of Palestinian researchers and healthcare professionals, and create a viable research institution in Palestine to host Palestinian and other neuroscientists to pursue research careers in Palestine. 

 For more details about the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative, please visit our website at

Our Team

  • Mohammad Herzallah


  • Anfal AbuHilal


    Ashar Natsheh


    Aya Mousa


    Ayman Salman


    Hussein Khdour


    Juman Natsheh


    Nibal Khudeish