At the age of 16, while Amir Goldenthal’s friends were busy with matriculation exams, he was at the end of the first year of undergraduate physics - and starting his doctorate.
The unprecedented decision by the heads of the Department of Physics and the Center for Neuroscience Studies at Bar-Ilan University - to allow the young teenager to begin his doctoral studies - proved very quickly to be successful, when Goldenthal completed his bachelor's and master's degrees with honors, published articles in international scientific journals, and was selected to attend a convention of Nobel Prize winners in Japan, which was set to bring together past and future world influencers.
Recently, the nearly-20-year-old Goldenthal has been coming to the university every day by taking two buses from Ashdod. His doctoral dissertation work involved breakthroughs in understanding neurological diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In the coming days Goldenthal will travel to a medical research center in Germany alongside his supervisor, Prof. Ido Kanter, Director of the Department of Physics and the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center. They were invited by a senior researcher in neuroscience to apply their findings with patients who suffer from brain injuries.
"I was always interested in physics and biology, but I never imagined I could engage in research that may help in treating sick people," says Goldenthal. "We are beginning to understand things that happen in the brain, such as an epileptic seizure, but we have a long way to go."
Prof. Kanter, a world-renowned physicist who was awarded a professorship at the age of 33, takes care to drive Goldenthal to the bus station every evening after they finish another day of research. "Amir's talent is extraordinary by any measure. He won a prize at the Nobel Laureates Conference in Japan for best research paper, he gives lectures to first-class scientists and has received high praise. I predict he will gain a high status in the community, in Israel and around the world."