Neuroscience

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

Degree is also offered online.
Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
Neuroscience master

From Neurons to Neuroengineering...

A new graduate program in neuroscience is now available that draws on WPI's strengths in computational biology and engineering. The program is a full-time master's degree and is accepting applications. Inquire today to learn more about the program. 

Neuroscience & Society Spring Seminar: Music and the Brain

Core Faculty Affiliated with Neuroscience Initiative

Robert E. Dempski
Professor-Chemistry, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Our research integrates investigating the structure and function of targeted membrane proteins with development of mixed reality tools for workforce development. We 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.

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Jean Adelina King
Dean of Arts & Sciences,
School of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Jean King is the WPI Peterson family Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as a Professor of Biology and Biotechnology, affiliate Professor in Biomedical Engineering Department, Professor in the Neuroscience Program and Director, NeuroTech Suite at WPI. Prior to joining WPI, she was vice provost for biomedical research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; a tenured professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neurology; and director of the university’s Center for Comparative Neuroimaging.

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Xiangnan Kong
Associate Professor-Computer Science, Computer Science

Professor Kong’s research interests focus on data mining and machine learning, with emphasis on addressing the data science problems in biomedical and social applications. 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.

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Dmitry Korkin
Professor-Computer Science, Computer Science

My research is interdisciplinary and spans the fields of bioinformatics of complex diseases, 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 multi-omic, systems, and structural biology data.

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Benjamin Nephew
Assistant Research Professor-Biology & Biotechnology, Biology & Biotechnology

I work with Dean Jean King, where our research is broadly focused on identifying and studying neurobehavioral mechanisms of mental illness and developing effective interventions. We currently use functional MRI (fMRI) to identify the neural correlates of mindfulness based stress reduction as part of a stage IIa randomized clinical trial, and fMRI data combined with related clinical measures to develop machine learning based early predictors of severe depression and suicidality.

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Angela C Incollingo Rodriguez
Assistant Professor, Social Science & Policy Studies

Angela Incollingo Rodriguez is an assistant professor of Psychological & Cognitive Sciences and Neuroscience. In addition to collaborating on interdisciplinary research teams across campus - including the Chronic Pain Research Group - she also directs her own lab - the WPI Stigma Eating & Endocrinology Dynamics (SEED) Lab.

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Carolina Ruiz
Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science

Carolina Ruiz is the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Harold L. Jurist ’61 and Heather E. Jurist Dean's Professor of Computer Science. She joined the WPI faculty in 1997. Prof. Ruiz’s research is in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Mining, and their applications to Medicine and Health. She has worked on several clinical domains including sleep, stroke, obesity and pancreatic cancer. Prof.

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Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Suzanne Scarlata, Richard Whitcomb Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, joined the university faculty in 2016. She studies how small molecules in the bloodstream can change the behavior of cells. In particular, she is interested in how certain hormones and neurotransmitters can activate a family of organic molecules known as G proteins (guanine nucleotide-binding proteins), which are involved in transmitting signals from various stimuli from the exterior to the interior of cells.

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Jeanine LM Skorinko
Professor- Social Science, Social Science & Policy Studies

Jeanine Skorinko is a professor of psychology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies. She also is the director of the Psychological & Cognitive Science program. She received her PhD in social psychology at the University of Virginia.

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Erin Solovey
Associate Professor, Computer Science

My research is in human-computer interaction. One focus of my research is on next-generation interaction techniques, such as brain-computer interfaces, physiological computing, and reality-based interaction. I design, build and evaluate interactive computing systems that use machine learning approaches to adapt and support the user’s changing cognitive state and context. I also investigate novel paradigms for designing with accessibility in mind, particularly for the Deaf community. Much of my work also explores effective human interaction with complex and autonomous systems and vehicles.

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Jagan Srinivasan
Associate Professor-Biological Science, Biology & Biotechnology

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.

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Neuroscience Faculty

Researchers at WPI have a long history of studying at the intersection of computational biology, human/computer interfaces, AI, data science, neuro-engineering, and the life sciences. Working together as a larger cohort, they look to finding advances in research areas impacting neuroscience and other related fields. Learn more about the faculty affiliated with neuroscience programming.