on the brain banner.

Learn about faculty research

Bruce Palmer Bean, PhD
Medicinal benefits of cannabis use have been widely described, but a fundamental understanding of the basic neurobiology of how compounds in cannabis affect brain cells has remained largely elusive. Read more about Bruce Bean, PhD »

Rick Born, MD ’88
From smelling coffee in the morning to seeing and recognizing a colleague at work, our senses are the primary means by which we gather information about the external world. The Born Lab studies how different regions of the cerebral cortex endow us with the ability to see. Read more about Rick Born, MD »

Isaac Chiu, AB ’02, PhD ’09
My lab studies the interplay between the immune system, nervous system, and microbiome. Our goal is to better understand how these three systems interact following injury, during the pain response, and in disease states. Read more about Isaac Chiu, AB, PhD »

David Corey, PhD
My interest in understanding hereditary deafness comes from my study of the sensory cells of the inner ear, called hair cells, and how these cells convert sound waves into neural signals that can be understood by our brain. Read more about David Corey, PhD »

Bob Datta, MD ’04, PhD ’04
The work in my lab focuses on a core question in neuroscience: How is the brain wired to extract information from the environment and convert that information into action? Read more about Bob Datta, MD, PhD »

David Ginty, PhD
The sense of touch endows us with a remarkable capacity to perceive and respond to the physical world. My research will illuminate the mechanisms by which tactile information originating from the skin is received in the spinal cord and processed for output to the brain to facilitate perception of the physical world. Read more about David Ginty, PhD »

Lisa Goodrich, AB ’91, PhD
My lab has recently made progress toward generating tools to identify different types of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) by cataloging their gene activity. This work is a great example of how fundamental insights into the development and biology of neurons can inform therapeutic treatments for age-related hearing loss. Read more about Lisa Goodrich, AB, PhD »

Chenghua Gu, PhD
A major obstacle in treating neurological diseases and brain tumors is delivering drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which acts as a gatekeeper for the brain. My research opens up a new way of thinking about drug delivery. Read more about Chenghua Gu, PhD »

Christopher Harvey, PhD
How does your brain use information like street signs, landmarks, and your knowledge about the world to make a decision to turn left or right at an upcoming intersection in order to reach your destination? My lab focuses on how decision-making is implemented by neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex. We study the neural substrate of basic navigation decisions. Read more about Chris Harvey, PhD »

Corey Harwell, PhD
My laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the production and diversity of cells in the cerebral cortex. Read more about Corey Harwell, PhD »

Edward Kravitz, PhD
My lab studies the fruit fly model of aggression. Male and female fruit flies fight for the same reasons other animals and people do: for territory, for food, and for mates. Our work has relevance to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, where aggression is very common. Read more about Edward Kravitz, PhD »

Stephen Liberles, AB ’94, AM ’96, PhD ’00
My lab studies the vagus nerve, the principal information highway connecting the brain with many peripheral organs, such as the lungs, heart, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Read more about Stephen Liberles, AB, AM, PhD »

Margaret Livingstone, PhD ’81
I study how nature and nurture cooperate to instruct the formation of domains in the brain, areas that specialize in processing particular kinds of information. Read more about Margaret Livingstone, PhD »

Lauren Orefice, PhD
My lab focuses on understanding the development and function of somatosensory circuits, which are responsible for encoding the sense of touch. Read more about Lauren Orefice, PhD »

Matthew Pecot, PhD
My laboratory is interested in learning the molecular rules that govern how neurons choose the correct synaptic partners and organize into circuits during development. Read more about Matthew Pecot, PhD »

Dragana Rogulja, PhD
What happens to your body and brain as you sleep? Why would you transition from the wakeful state of consciousness, cognition, and vigor to a state that makes you vulnerable and seemingly unproductive? But what exactly is happening during sleep that provides benefit to us? And how does the brain quickly and reversibly switch between wakefulness and sleep? These are some of the questions my lab is working to answer. Read more about Dragana Rogulja, PhD »

Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD, and Bruce Palmer Bean, PhD
We are designing a novel class of compounds that targets pain neurons by exploiting large-pore ion channels activated by painful stimuli. Currently, we are testing compounds designed in our laboratories to find those that are able to block pain signaling most specifically and effectively. Read more about Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD and Bruce Palmer Bean, PhD »

Gary Yellen, AB ’79, PhD
My research focuses on a remarkably effective, but poorly understood, therapy for epilepsy called the ketogenic diet. It was developed in the 1920s by clinicians at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic and is basically a high-fat, practically-no-carbohydrate diet, similar to the Atkins diet. Most of the people who use this diet—and for whom none of the medical treatments for epilepsy work—have many fewer seizures. Read more about Gary Yellen, AB, PhD »