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Thirteen Israeli researchers who studied at elite American universities will be staffing a new 39-laboratory nanotechnology research center.

Bar-Ilan University will be holding a dedication ceremony for the $150 million institute on its campus today.

Bar-Ilan president Moshe Kaveh said the negative effects of the global financial crisis on American universities, combined with the advanced lab equipment purchased with donations from American Jews, have helped the Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials become a magnet for top researchers.

"We are opening one of the most important centers in the world," Kaveh said.

There will be 340 researchers, technicians, and graduate and doctoral students taking part in 38 multidisciplinary working groups at the nanotechnology center.

The center is headed by Bar-Ilan University chemistry professor Arie Zaban.

Those working at the center come from various fields in the sciences, including physics, chemistry and life sciences.