Ben-Gurion University researcher awarded Joy Neuro-Wellness Grant for Stress Management Tools

BEER-SHEVA, Israel…November 29 – A researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has been awarded a 2017 Joy Academic Grant from Joy Ventures to research and develop an empathy-based emotion-regulation mechanism for stress relief. BGN Technologies, the technology-transfer company of BGU, and Joy Ventures will collaborate to market these neuro-wellness research findings.

According to Dr. Michael Gilead, head of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at BGU, "We found that the brain's response to negative affect-inducing stimuli may be modulated by neural mechanisms that subserve the ability to process the mental states of other individuals. In other words, triggering empathy can help overcome stress in the empathizing person. We will now harness this discovery in order to develop future relief for stress."

The team will attempt to identify the most effective techniques to trigger empathy, such as imagining the mindset of someone known personally or indirectly. A future next step may be to commercialize a mentalizing-based emotion-regulation mechanism for stress relief in laboratory and ecological settings, as well as consumer products such as an app to help people cope with stress and increase their mental resiliency.

"We look forward to partnering with Joy Ventures," said Dana Gavish-Friedman, BGN Technologies vice president for entrepreneurship. "Stress is one of the most common ailments afflicting the modern world and adversely impacts mental and physical health. It is therefore important that we discover ways to deal with stress that are applicable to the general population."

"Our mission is to support science-based consumer products in the neuro-wellness field that are accessible, easy-to-use and can improve personal well-being," says Idan Katz, Joy Ventures chief operating officer. Joy Ventures funds outstanding academic research in the field and does not claim intellectual property ownership, a successful model implemented in pharma and academic partnerships.


About Joy Ventures

Joy Ventures is a privately funded investment company, founded by Corundum Open Innovation, and dedicated to spearheading the neuro-wellness arena. Joy Ventures is active in two areas: supporting breakthrough scientific research through grants to academia to expand the knowledge base, research and understanding of neuro-wellness mechanisms; and cultivating and investing in startups and entrepreneurs that bring innovative neuro-wellness products to consumers in ways that are fun and easy to use. Joy Ventures is a long-term partner that supports teams from the very first stages through product development, market penetration and beyond. For more information, visit Joy Ventures website.

About BGN Technologies

BGN Technologies is the technology-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, Israel. BGN Technologies brings technological innovations from the lab to the market and fosters research collaborations and entrepreneurship among researchers and students. To date, BGN Technologies has established over 100 startup companies in the fields of biotech, high-tech and cleantech, and initiated leading technology hubs, incubators and accelerators. Over the past decade, BGN Technologies has focused on creating long-term partnerships with multinational corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, Dell-EMC and Lockheed Martin, securing value and growth for Ben-Gurion University as well as the Negev region. For more information, visit the BGN Technologies website.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit to learn more.

AABGU, which is headquartered in Manhattan, has nine regional offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Andrew Lavin
[email protected]