Alan Jasanoff, PhD



Professor of Biological Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Nuclear Science and Engineering


Contrast agents for “molecular fMRI”
Functional imaging in animals


McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT


Prof. Jasanoff obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard College. After completing his Masters in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK, he returned to Harvard University to commit to his PhD studies in Biophysics. Jasanoff joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT in 2004.


The Jasanoff laboratory is developing a new generation of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods to study the neural mechanisms of behavior. Its principal focus is on the design and application of new contrast agents that may help define spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity with far better precision and resolution than current techniques allow. Experiments using the new agents will combine the specificity of cellular neuroimaging with the whole brain coverage and noninvasiveness of conventional fMRI. Introduction of these technologies will have far-reaching consequences in neuroscience, because the new imaging methods will be applicable to studies of any neural system in vivo. The Lab’s goal is to use the methods to build explanatory models of neural network function in animals, with current emphasis on brain circuitry involved in instrumental learning behavior.

Research Areas: 

Selected Publications:

Lee, Taekwan, Lili X. Cai, Victor S. Lelyveld, Aviad Hai, and Alan Jasanoff. "Molecular-level functional magnetic resonance imaging of dopaminergic signaling." Science 344, no. 6183 (2014): 533-5.