Ian R. Wickersham, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

McGovern Institute for Brain Research
MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Office: 46-6023 / Phone: 617-447-6566 / Email: wickersham@mit.edu
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Ian received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Duke University, a master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College (thesis advisor: Michael S. Gazzaniga), and a Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego, doing his thesis work in the laboratory of… Learn more »


Heather A. Sullivan

Technical Associate

B.S., Biology, Simmons College

Office: 46-6023
Email: sullivah@mit.edu

Heather joined the lab when it was launched in 2013, having worked with Ian since 2008, when both were in the Seung laboratory at MIT. She is a specialist in cell culture and virus production and leads our efforts in these key areas.


YuanYuan Hou, Ph.D.

Technical Associate

Ph.D., Neuropharmacology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai
M.S., Pharmacology, China Pharmaceutical University
B.S., Pharmacology, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing

Office: 46-6023
Email: yhou@mit.edu

YuanYuan joined the molecular biology team in January 2015. YuanYuan has a strong background in many aspects of molecular biology and neuroscience and provides valuable expertise to the lab.


Thomas K. Lavin

Technical Associate

B.S., Biology, B.S. Biochemistry, University of Maine

Office: 46-6023
Email: tlavin@mit.edu

Tom moved from Maine to Cambridge to join the lab in June of 2015. Tom’s work in the lab focuses on virus injections, histology, and fluorescent and confocal imaging of brain sections.


Kelsey Babcock

Technical Associate

B.A., Neuroscience, Wheaton College

Office: 46-6204
Email: kbabcock@mit.edu

Kelsey joined the lab in May 2016 to help with our transgenic mouse colony management as well as with molecular biology, cell culture, and histology.


Nicholas Lea

Technical Associate

B.S., Biochemistry, Boston College

Office: 46-5103
Email: leani@mit.edu

Nick joined the lab in August 2016 and performs molecular biology, surgery, and histology.


Lei Jin

Postdoctoral fellow

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Aachen University

Office: 46-6023
Email: leijin@mit.edu

Lei joined the lab in September 2016. He is engineering novel transsynaptic tracing techniques.


Makoto Matsuyama

Postdoctoral fellow

Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Tokyo

M.D., University of Tokyo

Office: 46-5103
Email: mmatsuya@mit.edu

Makoto joined the lab in February 2017. He is engineering novel techniques for cell-type-specific transgene expression in wild-type animals.



Jacob Michalski

Technical Associate

B.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan

Office: 46-6023
Email: jemichal@mit.edu

Jake joined the lab in June 2016. With extensive cell culture experience, he helped with cell culture and virus production as well as with histology. He left the lab in June 2017 to attend the University of Colorado School of Medicine.


Yudi (Judy) Liu

Visiting Student

B.S., (anticipated), Barnard College

Office: 46-6023
Email: yudiliu@mit.edu

Judy joined us for the summer of 2016 to help with our molecular biology work.


Zhuoli Huang

Visiting Student

B.S., Biochemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Office: 46-6023
Email: zhuoli@mit.edu

Zhuoli joined us for the summer and fall of 2016 to help with molecular biology as well as with design of protein complementation strategies. She is now a technical assistant in the laboratory of Denise Cai at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


Stephan Dietrich

Former Visiting Student

B.S., Human Biology, University of Greifswald

Stephan worked in the lab for a year starting in February 2015, researching the use of pseudorabies viral vectors as helper viruses for second-generation rabies viruses. He has now returned to Germany to finish his program and defend his thesis.


Catherine Xu

Former Technical Assistant

B.S., Nutritional Biochemistry, McGill University

Catherine joined the lab in 2013 immediately after its launch. She led our molecular biology work, designing and implementing experimental and cloning strategy, using standard and seamless cloning techniques. She left the lab in 2016 to attend medical school at Washington University in St. Louis.