WPI is launching a multidisciplinary initiative to develop a robust, externally funded research program in neuroscience that complements and intersects areas such as systems biology, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimmunology, connectomics, imaging, bioinformatics, computational biology, and biomedical engineering. This initiative involves several departments across WPI including Biology & Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics. 

Neuroscience & Society Spring Seminar: Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain

Did You Know?

WPI was recently ranked #1 in the nation for “faculty who best combine research and teaching” (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Ed, 2016).

Open Positions

WPI invites applications for faculty positions in Neuroscience to begin in the fall of 2018:

WPI Faculty Affiliated with Neuroscience Initiative

Dirk Albrecht

Dirk Albrecht

Assistant Professor

Biomedical Engineering

Office: Gateway Park 3017

Phone: 508-831-4859

My research is in the area of microtechnology and neuroscience, with a focus on developing quantitative tools to study how neural signals govern behavior. My laboratory aims to investigate the molecular and genetic basis of neural circuit function and dynamics, to develop bioinformatic tools for analysis of high-content neural data, and to design rapid cellular and whole-organism screens for therapeutic drugs and genetic modulators affecting neural disease. ... View Profile
Andrea N. Arnold

Andrea N. Arnold

Assistant Professor

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall 104A

Marja Bakermans

Marja Bakermans

Assistant Teaching Professor

Undergraduate Studies

Office: 005 Goddard Hall

I possess a strong commitment to student education, and a goal of mine is to stimulate students' critical thinking and problem solving abilities. I have a well-grounded research background, which informs my teaching of interdisciplinary topics with an expertise in environmental science and conservation biology in both North and Latin America. I take an experiential approach to teaching where students receive a solid foundation of knowledge but then apply this to real-life situations. Field projects and service learning are essential components of my classroom instruction. ... View Profile
Shawn C Burdette

Shawn C Burdette

Associate Professor

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: Gateway Park 3023

Phone: 508-831-5224

Chemistry research in the Burdette group occurs at the interface of synthesis, metal ion homeostasis & signaling, cell biology and photochemistry. The group is developing molecular tools that will facilitate efforts to map cellular metal ion signaling pathways, and understand the pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases. Of particular interest is the development of photocaged complexes that are capable of releasing zinc in a light-dependent manner in biological systems. These tools are designed and synthesized to optimize the temporal and spatial control of zinc release. ... View Profile
Robert E. Dempski

Robert E. Dempski

Associate Professor

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: Gateway Park 3005

Phone: 508-831-4193

Our research focus is to combine biochemical and biophysical techniques to investigate the structure and function of two classes of membrane proteins. In the first instance, we are investigating the mechanism of a zinc transporter, hZIP4. This protein has been implicated in the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer. Despite the central role of this protein in cellular homeostasis, the mechanism of cation transport is not well understood. Secondly, we have been investigating the molecular determinants that help to define the functionality of opsin proteins. View Profile
Tanja Dominko

Tanja Dominko

Associate Professor

Biology & Biotechnology

Office: Life Science and Bioengineering Center 4020

Phone: 508-831-4108, 508-831-2884

Our lab investigates the molecular basis of phenotype switching in human fibroblasts that can be modulated using defined extracellular stimuli. We evaluate the role of oxygen and growth factor FGF2 isoforms independently and in combination in order to identify key molecular mechanisms and pathways, some of which closely mimic mechanisms described in human embryonic stem cells. Extended lifespan of these cells in culture also offers us a model for investigation of molecular mechanism that are regulating cell cycle in the context of both aging and cancer. ... View Profile
Joseph B. Duffy

Joseph B. Duffy

Department Head, Associate Professor

Biology & Biotechnology

Office: Life Science and Bioengineering Center 4015

Phone: 508-831-5579, 508-831-5739

Defining signaling pathways that program cellular diversity is one of the foremost problems in biology and is central to my research interests.  In the lab we use molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to characterize the function of these pathways and to gain insight into their role in disease.  To date, the lab has focused on the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor network, a principal therapeutic target for a variety of human cancers. ... View Profile
Natalie Farny

Natalie Farny

Assistant Teaching Professor

Biology & Biotechnology

Office: Goddard Hall 203C

Phone: 508-831-6511

I am delighted to be part of the WPI community! One of the best things about teaching at WPI is the emphasis on practice, experience, and action. Through project work, students get the opportunity to put their classroom learning into action for the benefit of society. The students of WPI are here to change the world, and I feel privileged to be able to help give them the analytical tools they need to accomplish their goals. ... View Profile
Arne Gericke

Arne Gericke

Department Head & Professor

Department Head

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: Life Sci. & BioEng Room 3024

Phone: 508-831-5263

received my undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Hamburg (Germany). My doctoral thesis was concerned with the development of infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy for monolayers at the air/water interface. I came to the United States in 1994 as a postdoctoral student to join the research group of Professor Richard Mendelsohn at Rutgers University. During that time I conducted biomedical research directed at the biophysical characterization of lung surfactant proteins, bone tissue, and lipid/protein interactions. ... View Profile
Lane T Harrison

Lane T Harrison

Assistant Professor

Computer Science

Office: Fuller 136

Phone: 980-200-8363

Information visualization is a powerful means for understanding data and informing human minds. As people begin to rely on visualizations to make high-impact and even life-critical decisions, there is a growing need to ensure that information can be perceived accurately and precisely. My research addresses these challenges by leveraging cognitive and perceptual principles to quantify and model user performance with visualizations. ... View Profile
Mayer Humi

Mayer Humi

Professor

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall 303

Phone: 781-377-5955, 508-831-5241, 508-831-5213

I am a mathematical physicist working on the development and application of mathematical methods to atmospheric research and satellites orbits. As part of this research, I am also developing new methods for the use of symmetry principles to solve differential equations. I have taught a broad spectrum of applied math courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels. View Profile
Songbai Ji

Songbai Ji

Associate Professor

Biomedical Engineering

Office: Gateway Park 3002

The biomechanical mechanisms behind traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been an active research focus for more than 70 years. However, the field is still largely focused on impact kinematics or estimated brain responses in generic regions from single head impact to predict a binary brain injury status on a population basis. An important research focus in my lab is to integrate advanced neuroimaging into TBI biomechanics research to understand injuries to functionally important neural pathways. At the same time, we develop techniques to achieve near real-time response feedbacks. ... View Profile
Jean King

Jean King

Peterson Family Dean of Arts & Sciences

Professor

Arts and Sciences

Office: Salisbury Labs, 121

A widely respected neuroscientist, Jean King joined the WPI community as the Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences in 2017. In addition to her duties as dean, she is a professor in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology. Dr. King’s research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify and monitor neuronal plasticity associated with addiction, ADHD, depression, fearfulness, anxiety, autism and neurological disorders (PD and TBI) in animal models with the hope of finding clues to help us understand these conditions in humans. ... View Profile
Xiangnan Kong

Xiangnan Kong

Assistant Professor

Computer Science

Office: Atwater Kent Laboratories, 125

Professor Kong’s research interests focus on data mining and big data analysis, with emphasis on addressing the data variety issues in biomedical research and social computing. Data today involves an increasing number of data types that need to be handled differently from conventional data records, and an increasing number of data sources that need to be fused together. Dr. Kong is particularly interested in designing algorithms to tame data variety issues in various research fields, such as biomedical research, social computing, neuroscience, and business intelligence. ... View Profile
Dmitry Korkin

Dmitry Korkin

Associate Professor

Director, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program

Computer Science

Office: Fuller Laboratories, BL22

My research is interdisciplinary and spans the fields of bioinformatics of complex disease, computational genomics, systems biology, and biomedical data analytics. We bring expertise in machine learning, data mining and massive data analytics to study molecular mechanisms underlying genetic disorders, such as cancer, diabetes, and autism, and deadly infections, such as pandemic flu. Our approaches benefit from integrating Next Generation Sequencing, high-throughput interactomics, and structural biology data. ... View Profile
Kwonmoo Lee

Kwonmoo Lee

Assistant Professor

Biomedical Engineering

Office: Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center, 4036

My research interest focuses on developing quantitative live cell imaging methodologies to characterize dynamics and coordination of molecular/cellular events related with cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. Using these methods, my lab studies how cells sense, react, and harness mechanic forces in physiological/pathophysiological processes such as brain development and cancer metastasis. Ultimately, I want to develop novel therapeutics based on our mechanobiological understanding of cellular processes. I enjoy working together with students in both classroom and laboratory settings. ... View Profile
Sarah D Olson

Sarah D Olson

Associate Professor

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall 302

Phone: 508-831-4940

At WPI, I enjoy teaching all courses fundamental to applied mathematics, scientific computing, and modeling. I am looking forward to mentoring students interested in working on areas in Mathematical Biology, Computational Biofluids, and Scientific Computing. I specialize in Mathematical Biology, understanding emergent properties of complex systems. The goals of these models are to understand the underlying biological processes and make predictions. Please visit my website to learn more about recent research projects. View Profile
Carolina Ruiz

Carolina Ruiz

Associate Professor

Computer Science

Office: Fuller Labs 232

Phone: 508-831-5640

Carolina Ruiz's research interests are in data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Together with her graduate and undergraduate students, colleagues in computer science and biology, and medical doctors, Ruiz investigates and develops data mining algorithms for genomics and for clinical medicine. In addition to being a faculty member in computer science, she is a founder and active member of the bioinformatics and computational biology program at WPI. She enjoys teaching courses, and advising undergraduate and graduate research projects in data mining and machine learning. View Profile
Elizabeth F. Ryder

Elizabeth F. Ryder

Associate Professor

Associate Director, Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Biology & Biotechnology

Office: Life Science and Bioengineering Center 4024

Phone: 508-831-5050, 508-831-6011

Neurobiology and genetics are my two favorite scientific subjects, and my goal at WPI is to help students discover for themselves how exciting it is to work in these areas. In the classroom, I try to introduce students not only to necessary background knowledge, but also to some of the cutting-edge research going on in these rapidly changing fields.  One of the things I enjoy most about teaching is helping students learn to read the scientific literature. ... View Profile
Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Whitcomb Professor

Whitcomb Chair

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: Gateway Park 3001

Phone: 508-831-6803

We are interested in learning how small molecules in the blood stream can cause cells to react in specific ways, such as growing, dividing or migrating. While there are many agents that can stimulate or inhibit cell behavior, we are most interested in the ability of certain hormones and neurotransmitters to activate a family of proteins called "G Proteins". G proteins can simulate an enzyme called phospholipase Cbeta (PLCbeta). Activation of PLCbeta raises the level of calcium in the cell, which changes the activity of many other proteins. ... View Profile
Jagan Srinivasan

Jagan Srinivasan

Assistant Professor

Biology & Biotechnology

Office: Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center GP4006

It has been my lifelong dream to become a professor in the field of Biology. Being a faculty member provides a great opportunity to teach and interact with students. Students by nature are highly inquisitive and motivated, and as teachers, we have the responsibility to guide our students to explore and think in new ways. I believe that teaching is a two-way interaction between teachers and students. I come from India and my parents, both of whom were teachers, taught me to strive for excellence in my scholarly pursuits. ... View Profile
Dalin Tang

Dalin Tang

Professor of Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall 202E

Phone: 508-831-5332

I have been teaching and conducting research at WPI since 1988. Teaching is a lot of fun since it involves interactions with students, and we can pass our knowledge and experiences to students for their better future. I have been conducting research for cardiovascular modeling in the past 30 years and has made various contributions, especially in using image-based modeling for vulnerable plaque progression and rupture investigations. I collaborate with faculty from many universities, including Harvard, MIT, University of Washington (Seattle), Washington University (St. ... View Profile
Erkan Tüzel

Erkan Tüzel

Associate Professor of Physics, Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science

Affiliated with Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Physics

Office: Olin Hall 130

Phone: 508-831-5391

Teaching is a learning and discovering process, both for me and my students. While introductory classes motivate me to develop better ways of explaining elementary concepts and clear misconceptions, upper-level classes stimulate my thinking of the subject material and sometimes challenge me beyond my expectations. The project-based curriculum at WPI also allows me to explore new and exciting areas in computational and biological physics with my students. ... View Profile

Luis Vidali

Associate Professor

Biology & Biotechnology

Office: Life Science and Bioengineering Center 4018

Phone: 508-831-4194

I deeply enjoy teaching, in particular conveying the important roles played by plants. It is a great reward when my students realize that plants are more complex and interesting than they anticipated, and they want to learn more. I enjoy that students at WPI are open about thinking in new ways; this critical thinking is the result of intense project-based learning. My research aims at understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying plant cell organization and growth, with the long-term goal of increasing plant productivity. ... View Profile
Craig E Wills

Craig E Wills

Department Head & Professor

Department Head

Computer Science

Office: Fuller Labs 234

Phone: 508-831-5357, 508-831-5622

My research has primarily focused on Internet application performance and measurement with more recent work examining issues related to Internet privacy. This work has led to a number of research publications and presentations as well as visibility in venues such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR Science Friday. WPI is a great place for me to be a faculty member as I have the opportunity to teach and advise top-quality students as well as pursue interesting directions of research. ... View Profile
Wilson Wong

Wilson Wong

Assistant Teaching Professor

Computer Science

Office: Fuller Laboratories, B19

Phone: 508-831-5706

Prior to entering academia, I worked as Chief Technologist, Director of Information Systems, and Director of Technical Operations at various corporations in the information systems and software field. For the past 16 years teaching in university courses, I have aimed to impart this industry experience in my software engineering and databases courses by incorporating real life projects, examples, and whenever possible, collaborations with business organizations such as Brigham & Women's Hospital, the US Treasury, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. ... View Profile
Zheyang Wu

Zheyang Wu

Associate Professor

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall, 101

Phone: 508-831-5031

Professor Wu's research interest lies in applying the power of statistical science to promote biomedical researches. In statistical genetics, he is developing novel statistical theory and methodology to analyze genome-wide association (GWA) data and deep (re)sequencing data to hunt new genetic factors for complex human diseases. In epigenetics, he is studying gene expression regulation mechanisms through chromatin interaction, and RNA silencing pathways in the developmental stages of germ-line cells. ... View Profile
Min Wu

Min Wu

Assistant Professor

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall, 105C

My research is in mathematical biology. My work is to understand how animals shape themselves. From ants to elephants, animals come in all shapes and size, and it is interesting and important to know how growth and forces are patterned and how they interplay in forming these shapes. To answer these questions, I develop mathematical and computational models of growth and explore how to infer the forces at play in living tissue based on imaging data. At WPI, I like to integrate my research interest and experience with the teaching practice. View Profile

Vadim V. Yakovlev

Associate Research Professor

Mathematical Sciences

Office: Stratton Hall 104C

Phone: 508-831-5495

My professional interests include electromagnetic and multiphysics modeling, scientific computations, and optimization in various interdisciplinary areas involving high frequency electromagnetics. I am particularly interested in applications of microwave power engineering as well as microwave imaging (i.e., non-destructive evaluation and testing of materials from the characteristics of the electromagnetic field). I run the Industrial Microwave Modeling Group (IMMG), which I established in 1999 as a division of WPI’s Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics (CIMS). ... View Profile