Core Faculty Affiliated with Neuroscience Initiative

Jagan Srinivasan
Associate Professor, Biology & Biotechnology

Phone: +1 (508) 8316564

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. Science bears no geographical barriers and my academic training has taken ...

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Robert Dempski

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4193

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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Angela Incollingo Rodriguez
Assistant Professor, Social Science & Policy Studies

Phone: +1 (508) 8315787

Angela Incollingo Rodriguez is an assistant professor of Psychological & Cognitive Sciences and Neuroscience. She directs the Stigma Eating & Endocrinology Dynamics (SEED) Lab and collaborates on interdisciplinary research initiatives throughout WPI and around the globe.Dr. Rodriguez's research program harnesses an integrated biopsychosocial approach to identify psychosocial predictors and mechanisms that drive health behaviors, overall health, and health disparities. Her mixed-methods research occurs at the intersection of social phenomena (such as weight stigma), biomarkers ...

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

Phone: +1 (508) 8314677

Dr. Jean King is an active neuroscientist and Peterson Family Dean of Arts & Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Previously Dr. King was the Vice Provost of Biomedical Research and Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology, and Neurology (with tenure) at UMass Medical School, where she had been a faculty member since 1994.  Together with other administrative leaders at WPI, Dean King has launched new undergraduate and graduate programs in Learning Science, Neuroscience, Interactive Media and Game Development, and AI and has expanded undergraduate research opportunities.  Dr. King’s ...

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Xiangnan Kong
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315860

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. He has been working on ...

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Dmitry Korkin
Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8314916

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. We also develop hardware-optimized algorithms to understand the evolution of animal and plant genomes on the large scale. ...

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Adam Lammert
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315114

Adam Lammert has been at WPI since 2019, where he is a member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, affiliated with the Department of Computer Science, and a core member of the Neuroscience Program. He also maintains an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Adam's research is situated in the domain of computational neuroscience, and centers on building computational models that are useful for making sense of human behavior. He has a particular interest in models that link behaviors to the brain and brain health, and in the behaviors ...

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Richard Lopez
Assistant Professor, Social Science & Policy Studies

Phone: +1 (508) 8316805

Richard Lopez is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies at WPI. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, social neuroscience, and Open Science practices applied to functional neuroimaging. He also directs the Social Neuroscience of Affective Processes (SNAP) Lab. In the SNAP Lab, Professor Lopez and his students utilize tools in modern neuroscience (e.g., fMRI) and longitudinal modeling of behavior to better understand how human beings align their thoughts and emotions with goals they are pursuing—with ...

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Inna Nechipurenko
Assistant Professor, Biology & Biotechnology

Phone: +1 (508) 8316314

My lab investigates signaling mechanisms of neuronal development. We are particularly interested in studying the role of the primary cilium in this context. Primary cilia are specialized filamentous structures that protrude from the surface of most human cells including neurons and mediate transduction of all major signaling pathways. Due to their central role in signaling, primary cilia are required for development and tissue homeostasis in vertebrates, and cilia defects are causal to a large spectrum of genetic disorders called ciliopathies. One research direction in the lab is centered ...

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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.  I developed a transgenerational social stress based rodent model of postpartum depression/anxiety, and related ...

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Carolina Ruiz
Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315640

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. Ruiz and her research group have developed novel, high-performing machine learning methods, including deep learning networks, for analyzing physiological sleep data; and machine ...

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Suzanne Scarlata

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6803

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. G proteins help control how cells move, divide, and change structure; the signaling pathways they mediate ...

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Jeanine Skorinko

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5451

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.Her research program attempts to understand how factors in our social environment, especially those factors we are unaware of, influence decisions and interpersonal interactions. She investigates how different types of external and internal influences (e.g., subtle contextual signs, stereotypes/stigmas, ...

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Erin Solovey
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6936

 My research is in human-computer interaction and human-AI interaction. One focus of my research is on next-generation interaction techniques, such as brain-computer interfaces, physiological computing, textile sensing, radar sensing, and reality-based interaction. My students and 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 ...

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Ali Yousefi
Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315072

My research focuses on developing methodological solutions to problems concerning neuroscience data analysis. My research can be divided into two categories: first, a methodological element, focused on developing a statistical framework for linking neural activity to biological and behavioral signals as well as developing statistical estimation and inference algorithms, goodness-of-fit analyses, and mathematical theory that can be applied to different modalities of neural data; second, an application element, where these methods are applied to neural data recorded from neural systems to ...

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Other Affiliated Faculty

Dirk Albrecht
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4859

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. Research in the lab develops an interdisciplinary set of skills in microfabrication, computation and modeling, lab automation/robotics, ...

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Andrea Arnold
Assistant Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8316825

My research focuses on inverse problems and uncertainty quantification, incorporating elements of applied and computational mathematics, statistics, and scientific computing.  Broadly speaking, inverse problems involve finding the unknown causes of observed effects, and uncertainty quantification plays a key role in understanding the reliability of predicted effects due to variability in the causes.  In the problems that I consider, these causes are typically the unknown inputs (or parameters) of a system, and the effects are some partial, noisy observations of the system components.  The ...

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Marja Bakermans
Associate Teaching Professor, The Global School

Phone: +1 (508) 8314910

I possess a strong commitment to student education, and a goal of mine is to stimulate students' critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Recently, students and I have been on a journey to open classroom content and discussions in an interdisciplinary and inclusive way. Students are challenged to rethink their role as active knowledge producers beyond the class as students become co-authors of open educational resources. For example, students are co-authors of multiple texts, like Extinction Stories, Climate Lessons, and Current Challenges in Biodiversity and Conservation. More ...

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Scott Barton
Associate Professor, Humanities & Arts

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5620

I compose, perform, record, mix and produce electroacoustic music; I am interested in how we can use the tools and techniques of audio production to explore new musical territory. I build mechatronic and robotic musical instruments; I am interested in how we can free electronic music from the world of speakers through computer-controlled automatic mechanical instruments. I conduct research and experiments that explore how our cognitive and perceptual processes affect our musical experience; I am interested in how we can use such research to guide our compositional and analytic activities. I am ...

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Frederick Bianchi
Professor, Humanities & Arts

Phone: +1 (508) 8316435

Professor Frederick Bianchi works in the area of music technology. As the director of music technology research, Bianchi works with students from all disciplines. His particular focus is Virtual Orchestra technology, multichannel sound design, and neuroscience research. In addition to overseeing the Media Arts Group Innovation Center (MAGIC), Professor Bianchi is also the director of the Bar Harbor, Maine Project Center and the Glacier National Park Project Center.

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Kristen Billiar
Professor and Department Head, Biomedical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5384

Understanding the mechanisms by which mechanical forces regulate the development and healing of connective tissues and the pathogenesis of disease is becoming one of the foremost problems at the intersection of biomechanics and cell biology—it has spawned the field of mechanobiology. In our lab we use precisely engineered, two-dimensional and three-dimensional constructs as model systems to study the effects of external internal (cell-generated) forces on cell behavior, matrix biochemistry, and the biomechanics of soft tissues and biomaterials. We have developed many innovative systems to ...

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Shawn Burdette

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5224

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. In addition to ...

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Soussan Djamasbi
Professor, The Business School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5266

I specialize in user experience and decision-making research, focusing on uncovering the intricacies of human cognition to understand the factors that enhance or impede the effective use of information technologies.Since people predominantly use their eyes to process information, I utilize eye-tracking technology to study user reactions to product and service designs. For example, I analyze eye movement data to evaluate user engagement with various content, ranging from embedded information on organizational websites to complex details, such as diagnosis and treatment options, in medical ...

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Tanja Dominko

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4108

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. Chromatin modifiers from arginine ...

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Joseph Duffy
Associate Professor, Biology & Biotechnology

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5579

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.  This work involved the characterization of Kekkon1 (Kek1), an archetypal LIG molecule, as a novel feedback inhibitor of the EGFR network. ...

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Michael Elmes
Professor, The Business School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315182

Since arriving at WPI in 1990, I have had the great pleasure of teaching a variety of organization studies undergraduate and graduate courses, engaging in organization studies research and theory development, and offering service to the university, the Business School, and my field. With respect to teaching, I have framed my role in the classroom as helping technically-minded students become more cognizant and mindful of themselves and of the human and behavioral dimensions of organization life. I engage students via experiential methods including digital storytelling, ...

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Natalie Farny
Assistant Professor, Biology & Biotechnology

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6511

My lab works broadly in the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology seeks to apply engineering design principles to the understanding and creation of biological systems. I use synthetic biology to design biosensors and bioremediation strategies for various environmental contaminants that impact human health, including lead, arsenic, and other toxic substances. We apply the tools of synthetic biology to address global challenges related to water, soil, and human health. Our water and soil applications focus around understanding how we can use genetically engineered microbes ...

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Ulkuhan Guler
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316914

My research interests lie in the broad area of circuits and systems, and my primary area of interest is analog/mixed signal integrated circuits. More specifically, I am interested in the circuit design of sensing interfaces and energy harvesting and wireless power transmission systems for applications in the IoT. Exponential increases in the demand for next-generation clinical and telemedical diagnostic devices require monitoring and measurements from inside and outside of the body via implantable and wearable sensors predicted to be an important pillar of smart healthcare. My vision is ...

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Lane Harrison
Associate Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315952

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. Results from these projects have led to visualization design guidelines in domains such as cyber security and health-risk communication, as well as a better ...

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Mayer Humi

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5213

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.

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Songbai Ji

Phone: +1 (508) 8314956

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. This is critical ...

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Sarah Olson
William Steur Professor & Department Head, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4940

At WPI, I enjoy teaching all courses fundamental to applied mathematics, scientific computing, and modeling. I look 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.

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Elizabeth Ryder

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6011

I have a long-standing interest in applying computer science and mathematics to solve biological problems. I am currently the Associate Director of WPI’s Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and I am always looking for students with interests in this exciting interdisciplinary area. One of my goals in teaching biology is to help students to think more quantitatively about biological questions. A few years ago, my colleague Dr. Brian White of UMass Boston and I were awarded a grant from the NSF to develop a course, “Simulation in Biology”. In this class, students use an approach ...

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Dalin Tang

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5332

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. Louis), Emory ...

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Luis Vidali

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x4194

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. I am particularly interested in understanding the ...

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Craig Wills
Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5622

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. Teaching students in systems and networking courses provides the opportunity to expose ...

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Wilson Wong
Associate Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5706

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 22 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. It is ...

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Min Wu
Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8316377

My research involves analysing size and shape development in biological processes. The form of living systems can be affected by growth and internal force, so it is important to know how they are patterned spatial-temporally. To do this, I develop deterministic approximate inference schemes using static and live imaging data; and develop mathematical models and numerical methods to describe tissue growth and morphogenesis. My research at WPI has attracted interest from all levels of students, and they have become enthusiastic and creative contributors.

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Zheyang Wu

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5031

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. In clinical studies, he is establishing statistical models to predict carotid atherosclerotic ...

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Adjunct Teaching Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5495

My professional interests include electromagnetic and multiphysics modeling, scientific computations, and optimization in interdisciplinary areas involving high frequency electromagnetics. I am particularly interested in phenomena linked with interactions of electromagnetic field with the matter including processes and systems in microwave power engineering. 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). This unit allows me to enrich traditional research activities by direct ...

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