McGovern Institute researchers are leaders in their respective fields and conduct groundbreaking research into the brain. Our faculty include one Nobel laureate, six members of the National Academy of Sciences, and one recipient of the President’s National Medal of Science. Principal research scientists and fellows collaborate closely with the faculty, and participate in all the institute’s activities.

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McGovern Institute faculty lead labs conducting groundbreaking research linked to the central mission of the institution. They also hold appointments in one or more academic departments at MIT.
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Polina Anikeeva

Polina Anikeeva works at the intersection of materials science, electronics, and neurobiology to improve our understanding of disorders of the nervous system.
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Emilio Bizzi

Emeritus Investigator

Emeritus Investigator Emilio Bizzi examined how the brain translates our general intentions into the detailed commands needed to control muscle movements.
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Ed Boyden

Ed Boyden develops novel tools that image and map the activity of the brain with the aim of repairing neural circuits.
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Martha Constantine-Paton

Emerita Investigator

Emerita Investigator Martha Constantine-Paton studied the formation and modification of synapses in order to understand how experience shapes the wiring of the brain.
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Robert Desimone

Director, McGovern Institute

Robert Desimone investigates the brain mechanisms that allow us to focus our attention on a specific task while filtering out distractions.
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James DiCarlo

Jim DiCarlo and his team aim to understand how a complex network of brain regions underlies our ability to recognize vast numbers of objects and faces rapidly.

Ev Fedorenko

Ev Fedorenko studies the computations and brain regions that underlie language processing, including how those regions emerge and adapt to various circumstances.
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Michale Fee

Michale Fee studies birdsong in order to understand how the brain learns and generates complex sequential behaviors.
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Guoping Feng

Guoping Feng studies the function of synapses and their disruption in animal models of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disease.

Ila Fiete

Ila Fiete uses theory, simulation, and analysis of neural data to uncover how dynamics and coding interact to enable computations involving memory and reasoning.
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John Gabrieli

John Gabrieli uses imaging and behavioral tests to understand how the human brain powers learning, thinking, and feeling.
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Ann Graybiel

Ann Graybiel studies the neural basis of learning and action strategies relevant to decision-making, making and breaking habits, affective state, and brain disorders.
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Mark Harnett

Mark Harnett studies how mammalian neurons process information and perform the complex computations that underlie behavior.

Hugh Herr

Hugh Herr marries human physiology with electromechanics to produce systems that emulate human biomechanics, improving mobility for those with paralysis and limb loss.
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H. Robert Horvitz

H. Robert Horvitz identifies and analyzes molecular and cellular pathways linked to the development and behavior of the nematode C. elegans.
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Alan Jasanoff

Alan Jasanoff develops and applies next generation imaging methods for studying the biology underlying behavior and cognition.
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Mehrdad Jazayeri

Mehrdad Jazayeri studies how neurons and circuits generate dynamic patterns of activity that result in flexible, goal-directed behavior.
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Nancy Kanwisher

Nancy Kanwisher studies the functional organization of the human brain as a window into the architecture of the mind.

Josh McDermott

Perceptual scientist Josh McDermott operates at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, and engineering to study how people hear and interpret sound.
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Tomaso Poggio

Tomaso Poggio develops models of brain function that illuminate human intelligence and builds intelligent machines that can mimic human performance.
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Rebecca Saxe

Rebecca Saxe studies the neural basis of abstract thought, including how we assess the mental states of other people.
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Nidhi Seethapathi

Nidhi Seethapathi builds predictive models of human movement using a combination of theory, computational modeling, and real-world experiments.

Fan Wang

Fan Wang is uncovering the neural circuit mechanisms that govern sensory perception, pain, and behavior.

Guangyu Robert Yang

Robert Yang is a computational neuroscientist developing sophisticated neural network models with the goal of defining wholistic, integrative brain functions.
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Feng Zhang

Feng Zhang discovers and develops CRISPR tools with the potential to diagnose and treat disease, including disorders affecting the nervous system.

Principal Research Scientists

Principal research scientists conduct independent research at the institute, and are selected on the basis of unique scholarly or technical contributions to research projects.
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Satrajit Ghosh

Satrajit Ghosh uses neuroimaging, speech communication, and machine learning to improve assessments and treatments for mental health.
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Dimitrios Pantazis

Dimitrios Pantazis is responsible for the general operation of the MEG lab and the development of MEG imaging technology.
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Ian Wickersham

Ian Wickersham develops genetic techniques for neuroscience, to provide more powerful and precise ways to study the organization of the brain.