Ed Boyden, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Media Lab and McGovern Institute, Depts. of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room E15-421, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, MA 02139
phone: (617) 324-3085
Directions to the lab
Here is a map to our lab's headquarters, on the east side of the MIT campus, just southwest of the Kendall T-stop (on the red line). Here are directions to the MIT campus by private or public transportation, as well as the locations of parking locations on campus. Enter the building covered with off-white square tiles (20 Ames St.), then take the elevator to the 4th floor, turn right through the gray doors, and go down the hallway about 1/3 of the way to find the E15-421 complex. Please schedule meetings in advance by emailing Ed Boyden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neurotechnology training program
We welcome visitors to our lab to learn how to do optogenetics, in vivo robotics, and other neurotechnology-driven experiments, in order to apply such neurotechnologies to novel scientific and biological questions. Visitors typically stay for ~1-2 day periods, observing us perform experimental procedures (surgeries, optics, physiology, etc.) that we are performing on those days, appropriate to the interest of the visitor. Visitors are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. If you are interested in arranging such a visit, please email Ed Boyden at email@example.com with (1) a paragraph of background skills and training (so that we can tune training appropriately; a certain amount of background knowledge and experience is essential for advanced training to be practical), and (2) a paragraph describing the project you are doing and what kinds of training you are interested in (so that we can schedule your visit and appointments appropriately), with the email subject line beginning with "[neurotech-training]". It is very important to be very specific about what you want to learn; we cannot accomodate general lab tours. It is also important that you have enough background in the area, that a 1-2 day visit will meaningfully impact your research. We will try to accomodate all appropriate requests.
How to collaborate or partner with us
We freely distribute all of the technologies we invent, to the maximum extent possible. We and our partners have distributed our tools to perhaps over 1000 research groups by now, since we began work at MIT. For researchers in non-profit groups, we can send you tools directly and rapidly; we partner with many other non-profit institutions to distribute our tools. See our Resources web page for more information. Write to Ed Boyden at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
We also have a large number of collaborators in industry. One of the several vehicles for industrial collaboration with our lab is through the Media Lab Sponsorship Program. We also engage in other undirected and directed projects with industrial partners both large and small. We are always eager to hear from groups interested in applying our technologies to problems, or who want to work on problems together. Several startup companies have been launched by lab members as well.
We partner with many philanthropists, foundations, and non-profit institutions as well, to work on creating new neurotechnologies or answering scientific questions; in fact, this is a prime way that we help broadly positively impact science and medicine.
We have also created an MIT fund to which you can directly donate, to support invention and application of new technologies towards the development of systematic new brain analyses and strategies for approaching neural disorders. Here is the donation site to support our research via the MIT giving web page; look for the category "Neurotechnology Fund (3893630)" in order to make a donation to support our research.
How to join the lab
Independent, energetic postdoctoral fellows with a passion for creating the future are encouraged to write. I like to regard a postdoctoral experience in my lab as a mutually educational and collaborative journey into the inventing or solving of something really important. Please feel free to write with a description of your experiences, interests, and current and future goals. Ideally it would be best if you could also have three letters of reference emailed to me. Coming with fellowship funding (Helen Hay Whitney, LSRF, etc.) is always a plus.
Graduate students from almost any MIT department can do research in our lab. Medical, Ph.D., or M.D.-Ph.D. students in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, and in the M.D. program of Harvard Medical School, are also welcome. I recommend that you consider applying directly to the MIT Ph.D. programs in Biological Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, or Media Arts and Sciences. I also suggest that you secure a graduate research fellowship (NSF, NDSEG, Hertz, etc.). Information on applying directly to the MIT Media Lab program can be found here. The deadline for applying is early December of each year, for a start date in either June or September of the following year. In the application, you should specify me as one of the faculty you are interested in working with. Include a curriculum vitae, reprints of 2-3 scientific papers or other works, and a statement of scientific interests which includes a description of the kinds of project you would want to do in the lab. Writing directly to me in advance is encouraged.
Undergraduates interested in doing research should write to me directly, including a CV and also a description of what your short-term and long-term research interests are (see the report on our lab's UROP philosophy here).
We involve many members of the community, including retirees, alums, and entrepreneurs, in our research activities. (In fact, this may be one of the many things that makes our lab interesting, that we view research as a community activity, as delineated in this essay.) If you are interested in contributing, write to me and we can explore possibilities. In particular, we are seeking new kinds of collaboration with retired engineers and scientists, as well as entrepreneurs- and venture capitalists-in-residence.
To the generous and visionary partners who are providing the resources that support the invention of radical new technologies for understanding and repairing the brain, and the distribution and application of these tools towards broad scientific and clinical impact:
Benesse Foundation; Jerry and Marge Burnett; DARPA Living Foundries Program; Department of Defense CDMRP PTSD Program; Google; Harvard/MIT Joint Grants Program in Basic Neuroscience; Human Frontiers Science Program; IET Harvey Prize; Lincoln Labs Campus Collaboration Award; MIT Alumni Class Funds; MIT Intelligence Initiative; MIT McGovern Institute (including the Hubert Schoemaker Fellowship); MIT McGovern Institute Neurotechnology (MINT) Program; MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Consortia; MIT Mind-Machine Project; MIT Neurotechnology Fund (& its generous donors); NARSAD; New York Stem Cell Foundation-Robertson Investigator Award; NIH Director’s New Innovator Award 1DP2OD002002, NIH EUREKA Award 1R01NS075421, NIH Transformative R01 1R01GM104948, NIH Single Cell Award 1 R01 EY023173, and NIH Grants 1R01DA029639, 1R43NS070453, 1RC2DE020919, 1RC1MH088182, and 1R01NS067199; NSF CAREER Award CBET 1053233 and NSF Grants, EFRI0835878, DMS0848804, and DMS1042134 (the Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative); Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; Paul Allen Distinguished Investigator in Neuroscience Award; Shelly Razin; Skolkovo Tech; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Society for Neuroscience Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience (RAIN) Prize; MIT Synthetic Intelligence Project (& its generous donors); Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.