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Mark D’Esposito, MD

Professor of Neuroscience & Psychology

Dr. Mark D’Esposito is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, and former Director of the Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center. He is also an attending neurologist at the Northern California VA Health Care System and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at UCSF. Dr. D’Esposito’s lab investigates the neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms underlying cognition, how the brain recovers from injury and potential treatments for the injured brain. His lab has developed and implemented a wide range of approaches and methods to study brain function including functional MRI, transcranial magnetic stimulation, electrocorticography, pharmacological interventions and behavioral studies of patients with neurological disorders.

Scientific Director

Ben Inglis, PhD

BIC Manager

I am interested in using magnetic resonance and other non-invasive methods to study physiology and biochemistry of the brain. As principal physicist in the Brain Imaging Center, I provide support to all neuroscience research on a Siemens 3 T MRI scanner. At Wheeler LABS, I aim to foster a collaborative environment that allows basic scientists and clinicians to work on shared goals. Our project-oriented (ad hoc) teams are driven to provide new tools in medicine or to improve existing tools, and to deploy them in the most efficient way possible, whether through blogs, peer-reviewed publications, patents or startup companies.

Core Scientists


Daniel Sheltraw, MD, PhD

R&D Engineer

My main interest is the non-invasive stimulation of the brain by magnetic induction. A time varying magnetic field, produced by a coil placed on the head, induces an electric field within the brain which couples to neurons and potentially affects their short and long term behavior. Magnetic induction has the distinct advantage, compared to scalp electrode methods, of producing much larger electric field amplitudes in the brain for similar electric field amplitudes in the scalp. I am also interested in using functional MRI to observe non-invasive brain stimulation with magnetic induction in situ, which requires developing new hardware and software that minimizes the interactions between these two methods.



Lana Kaiser, PhD

Associate Research Professor

My research aims to provide insights into brain metabolism in healthy aging using advanced 1H MR spectroscopy (MRS) methods. At present, I am developing methods to study glucose metabolism, brain thermometry, and the brain-gut axis. The first step was to determine a referencing system capable of discriminating between the small chemical shifts of complex, overlapping metabolite patterns, which was achieved with a small molecule sold as a nutritional supplement. The new chemical shift reference is now being used to determine accurate spectral information – a basis set – on more than fifty compounds expected to be present in a human brain.

Ioannis Pappas, PhD

Post-doctoral Associate

My research focus lies in clinical neuroscience, with specific emphasis in stroke. I use methods such as structural and functional MRI, perfusion and diffusion MRI, and spectroscopy. I am investigating abnormal cerebral perfusion and what it means for behavior after stroke. I am also investigating the different roles of functional and structural disconnections that come with different lesions and their impact on brain network reorganization. I recently began to investigate markers for brain metabolism using spectroscopy data and the potential changes in stroke patients. Collectively, I aim to use these neural markers to predict recovery and rehabilitation.


Affiliated Scientists


Scott Baraban, PhD

Professor, Neurological Surgery, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Baraban Lab



George Brooks, PhD

Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley

The Lactate Shuttle Theory: Relevance for Traumatic Brain Injury & More (interview)

John Clarke, PhD

Professor of the Graduate School, Department of Physics, UC Berkeley

Wikipedia page

Michael Cole, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley

Faculty page

Steve Conolly, PhD

Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, UC Berkeley

Berkeley Imaging Systems Laboratory

Nina Dronkers, PhD

Visiting Researcher, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley and  Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurology, UC Davis.

Aphasia Recovery Lab

Blaise Frederick, PhD

Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Associate Biophysicist at McLean Hospital, Belmont MA.

McLean Hospital Opto-magnetic Group

Cathra Halabi, MD

Assistant Professor, Neurology, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and Director, UCSF Neurorecovery Clinic

Neurorecovery Clinic

Mike Horning, PhD

Research Associate, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley and Co-founder & CEO at Medostic

Medostic, Inc.

Maria Ivanova, PhD

Research Scientist, UC Berkeley and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Center for Language and Brain at the National Research University HSE in Moscow, Russia

Aphasia Recovery Lab

Andy Kayser, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Neurology, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Kayser Lab

Jenny Mitchell, PhD

Director, Institute for Translational Neuroscience and Associate Professor, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, UCSF

Institute for Translational Neuroscience

Jeff Pelton, PhD

Manager, Central California 900 MHz NMR Facility, QB3, UC Berkeley

Central California 900 MHz NMR Facility

Fernando Pérez, PhD

Assistant Professor, Statistics Department and BIDS Senior Fellow, UC Berkeley

Berkeley Institute for Data Science

JB Poline, PhD

Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Canada

MNI website

Wade Smith, MD, PhD

Professor, Neurology, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and Director of the UCSF Neurovascular Service

Research website

Stéfan van der Walt, PhD

Senior Research Data Scientist, Berkeley Institute for Data Science.

Berkeley Institute for Data Science