Brain-Body Center Researchers

Center Director

Polina Anikeeva

Polina Anikeeva is developing new tools to examine the gut-brain connection and how gastrointestinal dysfunction can arise in ASDs, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and anxiety.

Center Faculty

Aristide Gumyusenge, Merton C. Flemings Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, is designing soft biocompatible polymers and electrochemical transistors for real-time sensing and feedback-control of biological signals.

Alan Jasanoff is addressing higher-level aspects of interoception by applying a novel battery of
imaging approaches to map neurochemical signaling dynamics in the gut.

Fan Wang is developing novel tools and imaging methods to study autonomic responses and sympathetic-parasympathetic system balance, including how pain influences these interactions. She is also advancing techniques for documenting changes in brain and peripheral tissues induced by acupuncture.

Feng Zhang is pioneering molecular techniques to restore the equilibrium within cells affected by injury, degeneration, and other disease processes.


Annesya Banerjee

Graduate Fellow, McDermott Lab

Annesya Banerjee develops computational models of cochlear implant-mediated hearing perception with the long-term goal of guiding the development of improved stimulation strategies for cochlear implants. 

Itay Fayer

Graduate Fellow, Jasanoff Lab

Itay Fayer’s research explores brain-body interactions in vivo using MRI-based methods.

Sreeparna Pradhan

Postdoctoral Fellow, Flavell Lab

Sreeparna Pradhan studies the role of neuropeptides in gut-brain communication, and their effects on animal behavior and physiology.

Jillianne Wisnewski

Graduate Fellow, Moura Silva Lab

Jillianne (Jill) Wisnewski examines how macrophages bridge communication between the brain and adipose tissue in order to control systemic metabolism.