Investigators


One goal of the Simons Center for the Social Brain is to build and strengthen the community of scientists and clinicians in the Boston area who contribute to advancing research on autism and the social brain. Our funding mechanisms are designed to encourage cooperation between investigators and across institutions and disciplines. Our public events feature a diverse range of speakers. The Simons Center itself is made up of Investigators, Fellows, and a small and dedicated Staff.

P. Anikeeva Polina Anikeeva, Ph.D., Class of 1942 Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Research Keywords: Biophysics, Medical, Nanotechnology
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: anikeeva@mit.edu
mbear Mark Bear, Ph.D., Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Research Keywords: brain plasticity, experience-dependent plasticity, neurological disease
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: mbear@mit.edu
Berger Bonnie Berger, S.M., Ph.D., Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at MIT; Head, Computation and Biology group at MIT’s Computer Science and AI Lab
Research Keywords: network inference, genomics, protein folding, medical informatics
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: bab@mit.edu
Blainey Paul Blainey, Ph.D., Core Member, Broad Institute; Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Engineering
Research Keywords: Microfluidics, single-cell analysis, single-molecule analysis, genomics, high-throughput screening, facilitated diffusion, sample preparation
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: pblainey@broadinstitute.org
Boyden Ed Boyden, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering,Co-Director, MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering, Associate Professor, Media Lab and McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Departments of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: neuroengineering, psychiatry, neural circuits
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: esb@media.mit.edu
20110921141306-1_0 Emery Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Department Head IMES; Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: computational neuroscience, statistical methods, signal-processing algorithms
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: enb@neurostat.mit.edu
Burge Chris Burge, Ph.D., Whitehead Career Development Associate Professor, Whitehead Institute
Research Keywords: computational biology, gene expression
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: cburge@mit.edu
Carr Steven Carr, Ph.D., Director of Proteomics, Broad Institute
Research Keywords: proteomics, mass spectrometry, disease biomarkers
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: scarr@broadinstitute.org
Choi Gloria Choi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,  McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: olfactory system, piriform cortex, social behaviors, oxytocin, vasopressin
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: gbchoi@mit.edu
kwanghun-chung-profile Kwanghun Chung, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Department of Chemical Engineering, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Research Keywords: develop and apply novel technologies, CLARITY
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: khchung@mit.edu
download Martha Constantine-Paton, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: synaptogenesis, development, disease
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: mcopaton@mit.edu
Daly Mark Daly, Ph.D., Co-Director, Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital
Research Keywords: visual attention, neural synchrony, attention deficit disorder, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia
Role: Targeted Project PI
email: mjdaly@atgu.mgh.harvard.edu
Edelman Alan Edelman, Ph.D., Professor of Applied Mathematics, Mathematics/CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab)
Research Keywords: applied mathematics, high performance computing, networks, software, algorithms, Random Matrix Theory
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: edelman@mit.edu
Fedorenko Evelina Fedorenko, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Research Keywords: linguistic processing, language comprehension
Role: Targeted Project PI
email: evelina.fedorenko@mgh.harvard.edu
Fee Michale Fee, Ph.D., Professor of Computational and Systems Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Research Keywords: systems neuroscience, neural mechanisms underlying sequence generation and learning
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: fee@mit.edu
 Feng Guoping Feng, Ph.D., Investigator, McGovern Institute and Poitras Professor of Neuroscience
Research Keywords: synapse, circuit, optogenetics, OCD, autism, bipolar disorder
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: fengg@mit.edu
 Gabrieli John Gabrieli, Ph.D., Grover Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Research Keywords: memory, brain imaging, cognition
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor; Targeted Project PI
email: gabrieli@mit.edu
 Gertler Frank Gertler, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Department of Biology
Research Keywords: cell movement, cell motility, axon guidance, cytoskeletal remodeling
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: fgertler@mit.edu
Edward Gibson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: language processing, culture and cognition
Role: Targeted Project PI
email: egibson@mit.edu
Goodwin_Headshot-2015 Matthew Goodwin, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University
Research Keywords: interpersonal biobehavioral synchrony, social reciprocity, emotion regulation
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: m.goodwin@neu.edu
 Graybiel Ann Graybiel, Ph.D., Institute Professor, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Research Keywords: basal ganglia, habit learning, multielectrode recording
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI
email: graybiel@mit.edu
  Michael Halassa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: Cognition; Attention; Executive function; Working memory; Thalamus; Neural Circuits
Role: Targeted Project PI
email: mhalassa@mit.edu
 Horvitz Robert Horvitz, Ph.D., David H. Koch Professor, Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Research Keywords: cell lineage and cell fate, programmed cell death, signal transduction, morphogenesis, neural development, behavior, micro RNAs, human disease
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: horvitz@mit.edu
 Housman David Housman, Ph.D., Virginia & D K Ludwig Professor Cancer Research, Department of Biology
Research Keywords: genetics, development, disease onset
email: dhousman@mit.edu
jun-photo-2 Jun Huh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts of Medical School
Research Keywords: epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, pro-inflammatory immune cells, neural development
Role:
Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: 
jun.huh@umassmed.edu
 Jaenisch Rudolf Jaenisch, M.D., Professor of Biology, Whitehead Institute
Research Keywords: transgenics, model organisms
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: jaenisch@wi.mit.edu
 Jasanoff Alan Jasanoff, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Engineering
Research Keywords: functional MRI, neural systems, reward learning
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: jasanoff@mit.edu
 Joshi Gagan Joshi, M.D., Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director, Autism Spectrum Disorders Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Research Keywords: obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, child and adolescent psychiatry
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: gjoshi1@partners.org
 Kaldy  Zsuzsanna Kaldy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Research Keywords: cognitive development in infants, visual attention, salience, eye-tracking
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: Zsuzsa.kaldy@umb.edu
 Kanwisher  Nancy Kanwisher, Ph.D., Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Research Keywords: human cognitive neuroscience, fMRI, vision and perception
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI
email: ngk@mit.edu
 Kaufmann  Walter Kaufmann, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Children’s Hospital Boston
Research Keywords: Autism, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Down Syndrome,SHANK3, genetics, phenotyping, DSM-5
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: walter.kaufmann@childrens.harvard.edu
 Kjelgaard Margaret Kjelgaard, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Comm. Sci. & Disorders, Massachusetts General Hospital
Research Keywords: prosody, spoken language, specific language impairment
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: mkjelgaard@mghihp.edu
 Kohane Isaac S Kohane, M.D., Ph.D., Lawerence J. Henderson Professor of Pediatrics and Health Sciences and Technology, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Informatics Program
Research Keywords: bioinformatics, development, macrobiological perspective
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: isaac_kohane@harvard.edu
 Lieberman Henry Lieberman, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, MIT Media Laboratory
Research Keywords: artificial intelligence, Programming by Example, user interface, visual programming
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: lieber@media.mit.edu
 Lin Yingxi Lin, Ph.D., Fred & Carole Middleton Career Development Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Research Keywords: GABAergic synapses, neuronal activity, circuit homeostasis
email: yingxi@mit.edu
 Lippard Stephen Lippard, Ph.D., Arthur Amos Noyes Professor, Department of Chemistry
Research Keywords: neurochemistry, inorganic neurotransmitters, signal transducers
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: lippard@mit.edu
 Littleton  J. Troy Littleton, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Biology, MIT
Research Keywords: molecular neuroscience, neurotransmitter release, synaptic plasticity
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: troy@mit.edu
 E. Maneta Eleni Maneta, M.D., Assistant in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital; Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Research Keywords: child Psychiatry, learning algorithms, qualitatively different complexity, human emotions, learning style
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: Eleni.Maneta@childrens.harvard.edu
 Manoach Dara Manoach, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Research Keywords: autism, schizophrenia, multimodal neuroimaging, cognition, sleep, memory
Role: Targeted Project PI; Seed Grant PI
email: dara.manoach@mgh.harvard.edu
 McCarroll Steven McCarroll, Ph.D., Director, Stanley Center Genetics Program, Broad Institute; Professor, HMS Genetics
Research Keywords:
Role
: Seed Grant PI
email: mccarroll@genetics.med.harvard.edu
 Miller Earl Miller, Ph.D., Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Research Keywords: goal-directed thought, executive control, cognition, attention
email: ekmiller@mit.edu
  Thomas Nieland, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Tufts University
Research Keywords: Brain tissue engineering; 3-dimensional brain culture models; Alzheimers & Parkinson’s disease and autism research, functional genomics, stem cell biology, drug discovery
Role: Seed Grant PI
emailthomas.nieland@tufts.edu
elly-nedivi Elly Nedivi, Ph.D., Professor of Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Biology, MIT
Research Keywords: cellular mechanisms, activity-dependent plasticity, neuronal structural dynamics
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: nedivi@mit.edu
 Oliva Aude Oliva, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab)
MIT Computer Vision & Graphics Group, Investigator, Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center
Research Keywords: image statistics, computer vision, computer graphics, human perception, cognition, neuroscience
email: oliva@mit.edu
 Picard Rosalind Picard, Sc.D., Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT Media Lab
Research Keywords: multidimensional signal modeling, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, human-computer interaction, affective computing
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: picard@media.mit.edu
 Poggio Tomaso Poggio, Ph.D., Eugene McDermott Professor in the Brain Sciences and Human Behavior, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Director, Center for Brain, Minds & Machines
Research Keywords: computational neuroscience, vision, learning theory
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: tp@ai.mit.edu
 Regev Aviv Regev, M.Sc., Ph.D., Core Member, Broad Institute; Associate Professor, MIT Biology, Early Career Scientist, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Research Keywords: Computational and Systems Biology, Regulatory Circuits, Genomics
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: regev-office@broadinstitute.org
 Robertson Caroline Robertson, Ph.D., Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Harvard University
Research Keywords: vision, attention, autism, fMRI, MRS
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: cerw@mit.edu
 Sahin Mustafa Sahin, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology; Director, Translational Neuroscience Center; Director, Multi-Disciplinary Tuberous Sclerosis Program, Children’s Hospital Boston
Research Keywords: tuberous sclerosis, autism, clinical trials, vascular anomalies, spinal muscular atrophy
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: mustafa.sahin@childrens.harvard.edu
 Saxe Rebecca Saxe, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, Martinos Imaging Center, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: development, social cognition, neuroimaging
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: saxe@mit.edu
 Schulz Laura Schulz, Ph.D., Class of 1943 Career Dev Associate Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: early childhood, learning, cognition
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: lschulz@mit.edu
 Scolnick Ed Scolnick, M.D., Chief Scientist, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research
Research Keywords: genetic analysis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
email: scolnick@broad.mit.edu
Seung Sebastian Seung, Ph.D., Evnin Professor in Neuroscience, Princeton Neuroscience Institute
Research Keywords: connectomics, machine learning, imaging
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: sseung@princeton.edu
 Silbey Susan Silbey, Ph.D., Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Research Keywords: ethnography, social organizations, expert communities
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: ssilbey@mit.edu
 Sinha

Pawan Sinha,Ph.D., Professor of Vision and Computational Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: computational vision, object recognition
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor; Targeted Project PI
email: psinha@mit.edu

 Sive Hazel Sive, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Whitehead Institute
Research Keywords: vertebrate development, frog, zebrafish, genetic analysis
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: sive@wi.mit.edu
 Slocum Alexander H. Slocum, Ph.D., Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Research Keywords: MEMS, Nanotechnology, Precision Engineering, Machine Design, Product Design
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: slocum@mit.edu
Jesse Snedeker, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Research Keywords: language development, comprehension, semantics, concepts
Role: Targeted Project PI
email: snedeker@wjh.harvard.edu
Harvard Professor of Psychology Elizabeth S. Spelke is pictured in her office in William James Hall at Harvard University. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer Elizabeth Spelke, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Research Keywords: infants and children basic understanding of the physical world, how children acquire language, and social interactions
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: spelke@wjh.harvard.edu
Michael Strano Michael S. Strano, Ph.D., Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering
Research Keywords: Nanotechnology, biosensors, plant nanobionics, in vivo, thermopower waves
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: strano@mit.edu
 Sur Mriganka Sur, Ph.D., FRS, Paul E. Newton Professor of Neuroscience, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: cerebral cortex, development, plasticity and dynamics, brain disorders
Role: Director Simons Center for the Social Brain
email: msur@mit.edu
 Szolovits Peter Szolovits, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, MIT Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard/MIT Div. of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Head of the Clinical Decision-Making Group, MIT Computer Science and AI Lab (CSAIL)
Research Keywords: medical decision making, natural language processing, clinical information systems
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: psz@mit.edu
 Tannenbaum Steven Tannenbaum, Ph.D., Underwood-Prescott Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemistry, and Toxicology
Research Keywords: nitric oxide, inflammation, mass spectrometry, signaling pathways, microphysiological systems, drug metabolism, toxicology
Role:  Seed Grant PI
email: srt@mit.edu
 Tenenbaum Joshua Tenenbaum, Ph.D., Professor of Cognitive Science and Computation, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: bayesian models of cognition, learning and inference, computational cognitive science
Role: Seed Grant PI; Targeted Project PI
email: jbt@dmit.edu
Sapsis_Themistoklis-20 Themistoklis Sapsis, Ph.D., American Bureau of Shipping Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Research Keywords: learning algorithms, emotional Intelligence, quantification of learning styles, variable complexity
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: sapsis@mit.edu
Ting Alice Ting, Ph.D., Ellen Swallow Richards Associate Professor of Chemistry
Research Keywords: quantum dots, molecular signaling, protein imaging, proteomic analysis
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: ating@mit.edu
 Tye Kay Tye, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: motivated behaviors, affective valence, optogenetics
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: kaytye@mit.edu
 Tsai Li-Huei Tsai, Ph.D., Picower Professor of Neuroscience; Director, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Research Keywords: epigenetic regulation of learning and memory, alzheimer’s disease, neurogenesis
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: lhtsai@mit.edu
 Vliet Krystyn J. Van Vliet, Sc.B., Ph.D,  Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Biological Engineering
Research Keywords: mechanics, chemomechanics, mechanobiology, mechanotransduction, molecular, cell, and tissue mechanics
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: krystyn@mit.edu
 Wexler Ken Wexler, Ph.D., Professor of Brain & Cognitive Science
Research Keywords: linguistic structure, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, morphology
email: wexler@mit.edu
Forest White Forest M. White, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Engineering, MIT
Research Keywords: Signaling networks, tyrosine phosphorylation, mass spectrometry
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: fwhite@mit.edu
 Whitfield-Gabrieli Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, Ph.D., Research Scientist, McGovern Institute for Brain Reserach
Research Keywords: Resting state functional connectivity, biomarkers, autism, schizophrenia
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: swg@mit.edu
 Wickersham Ian Wickersham, Ph.D., Research Scientist; Head, Genetic Neuroengineering Group
Research Keywords: viral vector engineering, synthetic biology
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: wickersham@mit.edu
 Wilson Matthew Wilson, Ph.D., Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neurobiology; Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT
Research Keywords: TRN, hippocampus, memory
Role: Targeted Project PI; Postdoc Mentor
email: mwilson@mit.edu
 Xu Weifeng Xu, Ph.D., Whitehead Career Development Assistant Professor of Neuroscience; Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Research Keywords: calcium channels, plasticity mechanisms, learning and memory, synaptic molecules
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: weifeng@mit.edu
 Yanik Mehmet Fatih Yanik, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, High-throughput Neurotechnology Group, RLE
Research Keywords: high-throughput technologies, ultrafast optics, microfluidics, neuronal regeneration, coherent photonics
Role: Postdoctoral Mentor
email: yanik@mit.edu
 Zhang Feng Zhang, Ph.D., W.M. Keck Career Development Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering; Broad Institute
Research Keywords: neuropsychiatric diseases, synthetic biology, neuroengineering
Role: Seed Grant PI; Postdoctoral Mentor
email: zhang_f@mit.edu
 Zhuang Xiaowei Zhuang, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, David B. Arnold Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University
Research Keywords: nanoscopic Optical Imaging, single-molecule biology and bioimaging, single-virus tracking
Role:
Postdoctoral Mentor
email: zhuang@chemistry.harvard.edu
 Zuckerman Ezra Zuckerman, Ph.D., Nanyang Technological University Professor and Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
Research Keywords: economic sociology, social network analysis, peer groups
Role: Seed Grant PI
email: ewzucker@mit.edu