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, 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. 

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 for Fall 2020. Inquire today to learn more about the program. 

Neuroscience & Society Spring Seminar: Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain

Core Faculty Affiliated with Neuroscience Initiative

Robert E. Dempski

Robert E. Dempski

Associate Professor
Chemistry & Biochemistry

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.

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Jean King

Jean King

Peterson Family Dean of Arts & Sciences
Arts and Sciences

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.

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Xiangnan Kong

Xiangnan Kong

Assistant Professor
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

Dmitry Korkin

Associate Professor
Computer Science

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.

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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

Angela C Incollingo Rodriguez

Assistant Professor
Social Science & Policy Studies

Angela Incollingo Rodriguez is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies. She is also a faculty member with the Neuroscience Initiative, a co-director of the Global Public Health minor program, and an affiliated faculty member in the WPI Healthcare Delivery Institute.

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Carolina Ruiz

Carolina Ruiz

Associate Professor and Associate Department Head
Computer Science

Carolina Ruiz's research interests are in machine learning, artificial intelligence and data mining. Together with her graduate and undergraduate students, Dr. Ruiz has worked on numerous interdisciplinary research projects with clinicians from the University of Massachusetts Medical School on developing and using machine learning algorithms over clinical and behavioral patient data.

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Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Professor
Chemistry & Biochemistry

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.

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Jeanine LM Skorinko

Jeanine Skorinko

Professor
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 Science undergraduate program. She received her PhD in social psychology at the University of Virginia.

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Erin Solovey

Erin Solovey

Assistant 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.

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Jagan Srinivasan

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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