- Investigator, McGovern Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Brain
and Cognitive Sciences
- Zhang lab site
- phone: 617-714-7578
- fax: 617-452-4119
- MIT address: 46-5023B
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Controlling the brain's genetic programs
Feng Zhang is designing new molecular tools for manipulating the living brain. As a student, he played a major role in the development of optogenetics, a technology by which the brain’s electrical activity can be controlled with light-sensitive proteins. He is now working to extend this molecular engineering approach to other aspects of brain function such as gene expression, and to develop new approaches to understanding and eventually treating brain diseases.
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Feng Zhang joined the McGovern Institute in 2011. He is also a core member of the Broad Institute and an assistant professor in the MIT department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD in chemistry and bioengineering from Stanford University. Before joining the MIT faculty he was a junior fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He is a Searle Scholar, and has received both a Director’s Transformative Research Award and a Directors’ Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2012 he shared the UNC/Perl Prize for his role in the development of optogenetics.