Vitaly Napadow, PhD LicAc

Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Assistant Professor

Harvard Medical School

149 Thirteenth Street, Room 2301

Charlestown, MA 02129

(617) 724-3402



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Beissner F, Meissner K, Bar K, Napadow V. The autonomic brain – An ALE meta-analysis for central processing of autonomic function. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013, 33(25): 10503-11. PMCID: PMC3685840

Dolman AJ, Loggia ML, Edwards RR, Gollub RL, Kong J, Napadow V, Wasan AD. Phenotype Matters: The Absence of a Positive Association between Cortical Thinning and Chronic Low Back Pain when Controlling for Salient Clinical Variables. Clin J Pain. 2013, in press. PMID: 24135900

Hadjikhani N, Boshyan J, Ward N, Napadow V, Maeda Y, Mainero C. The missing link: enhanced connectivity between amygdala and visceroceptive cortex in migraine. Cephalalgia. 2013, 33(15):1264-8. PMCID: PMC3797870

Harris RE*, Napadow V*, Huggins JP, Pauer L, Kim J, Hampson J, Sundgren PC, Foerster B, Petrou M, Schmidt-Wilcke T, Clauw DJ. Pregabalin Rectifies Aberrant Brain Chemistry, Connectivity, and Functional Response in Chronic Pain Patients. Anesthesiology, 2013. 119(6):1453-64.

Harte SE, Clauw DJ, Napadow V, Harris RE. Pressure Pain Sensitivity and Insular Combined Glutamate and Glutamine (Glx) Are Associated with Subsequent Clinical Response to Sham But Not Traditional Acupuncture in Patients Who Have Chronic Pain. Medical Acupuncture. 2013. 25(2): 154-160.

Kim J, Loggia ML, Edwards R, Wasan AD, Gollub RL, Napadow V. Sustained deep-tissue pain alters functional brain connectivity. Pain. 2013, 154(8): 1343-51. PMCID: PMC3700646

Kim J, Van Dijk K, Libby A, Napadow V. Frequency-dependent relationship between resting state fMRI signal power and head motion is localized within distributed association networks.

Brain Connectivity. 2013, in press. PMID: 24117373

Kong J, Spaeth RB, Wey HY, Cheetham A, Cook AH, Jensen K, Tan Y, Liu H, Wang D, Loggia ML, Napadow V, Smoller JW, Wasan AD, Gollub RL. S1 is associated with chronic low back pain: a functional and structural MRI study. Mol Pain. 2013; 9(1):43. PMCID: PMC3765748

Loggia ML, Kim J, Gollub R, Vangel M, Kirsch I, Kong J, Wasan A, Napadow V. Default Mode Network Connectivity Encodes Clinical Pain: An Arterial Spin Labeling Study. Pain. 2013, 154(1):24-33. PMCID: PMC3534957

Loggia ML, Berna C, Kim J, Cahalan CM, Gollub RL, Wasan AD, Harris RE, Edwards RR*, Napadow V*. Disrupted brain circuitry for pain-related reward/punishment in fibromyalgia. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2013, in press.

Maeda Y, Kettner N, Lee J, Sheehan J, Kim J, Cina S, Malatesta C, Gerber J, McManus C, Im J, Libby A, Mezzacappa P, Morse LR, Park K, Audette J, Napadow V. Acupuncture evoked response in somatosensory cortex reflects peripheral nerve pathology of carpal tunnel syndrome. Medical Acupuncture. 2013. 25(4): 275-284.

Maeda Y, Kettner N, Lee J, Sheehan J, Kim J, Cina S, Malatesta C, Gerber J, McManus C, Im J, Libby A, Mezzacappa P, Morse LR, Park K, Audette J, Napadow V. Acupuncture evoked response in somatosensory and prefrontal cortices predicts immediate pain reduction in carpal tunnel syndrome. eCAM. 2013, In press. PMCID: PMC3703406

Maeda Y, Kettner N, Sheehan J, Kim J, Cina S, Malatesta C, Gerber J, McManus C, Mezzacappa P, Morse LR, Audette J, Napadow V. Altered brain morphometry in carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with median nerve pathology. Neuroimage (Amst.). 2013, 2: 313-319. PMCID: PMC3689649

Napadow V, Sheehan J, Kim J, LaCount L, Park K, Kaptchuk T, Rosen BR, Kuo B. The Brain Circuitry Underlying the Temporal Evolution of Nausea in Humans. Cerebral Cortex, 2013 23(4):806-13. PMCID: PMC3593575

Napadow V, Sheehan J, Kim J, Dassatti A, Thurler AH, Surjanhata B, Vangel M, Makris N, Schaechter JD, Kuo B. Brain white matter microstructure is associated with susceptibility to motion-induced nausea. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2013. 25(5):448-e303. PMCID: PMC3631298

As-Sanie S, Harris RE, Napadow V, Kim J, Neshewat G, Kairys A, Williams D, Clauw DJ, Schmidt-Wilcke T. Changes in regional gray matter volume in women with chronic pelvic pain: a voxel-based morphometry study. Pain. 2012. 153(5): 1006-14. PMCID: PMC3613137

Dhond RP, Ruzich E, Witzel T, Maeda Y, Malatesta C, Morse LR, Audette J, Hamalainen M, Kettner N, Napadow V. Spatiotemporal Mapping Cortical Neuroplasticity in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Brain. 2012, 135(Pt 10):3062-73. PMCID: PMC3470711

Huang W, Pach D, Napadow V, Park K, Long X, Neumann J, Maeda Y, Nierhaus T, Liang F, Witt CM. Characterizing acupuncture stimuli using brain imaging with FMRI - a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature. PLoS One. 2012. 7(4):e32960. PMCID: PMC3322129

Loggia ML, Edwards RR, Kim J, Vangel MG, Wasan A, Gollub RL, Harris RE, Park K, Napadow V. Disentangling linear and nonlinear brain responses to evoked deep tissue pain. Pain. 2012, 153(10):2140-51. PMCID: PMC3445769

Napadow V, Kim J, Clauw DJ, Harris RE. Decreased Intrinsic Brain Connectivity is Associated with Reduced Clinical Pain in Fibromyalgia. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2012. 64(7): 2398-403. PMCID: PMC3349799

Napadow V, Li A, Loggia M, Kim J, Schalock PC, Lerner E, Tran TN, Ring J, Rosen BR, Kaptchuk TJ, Pfab F. The Brain Circuitry Mediating Anti-pruritic Effects of Acupuncture. Cerebral Cortex, 2012. In press.

Napadow V, Robert R Edwards, Christine M Cahalan, George Mensing, Seth Greenbaum, Assia Valovska, Ang Li, Jieun Kim, Yumi Maeda, Kyungmo Park, Ajay D. Wasan. Evoked Pain Analgesia in Chronic Pelvic Pain Patients using Respiratory-gated Auricular Vagal Afferent Nerve Stimulation. Pain Medicine. 2012. 13(6): 777-89. PMCID: PMC3376238

Napadow V, Jeungchan Lee, Jieun Kim; Stephen Cina; Yumi Maeda; Riccardo Barbieri; Richard E Harris, Norman Kettner, Kyungmo Park. Brain Correlates of Phasic Autonomic Response to Acupuncture Stimulation: an event-related fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping. 2012. 34(10):2592-606. PMCID: PMC3646924

Pfab F, Kirchner MT, Huss-Marp J, Schuster T, Schalock PC, Fuqin J, Athanasiadis GI, Behrendt H, Ring J, Darsow U, Napadow V. Acupuncture compared to oral antihistamine for type I hypersensitivity itch and skin response in adults with atopic dermatitis – a patient and examiner blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Allergy. 2012. 67(4): 566-73. PMCID: PMC3303983

Witzel T, Napadow V, Kettner NW, Vangel MG, Hamalainen MS, Dhond RP. Differences in Cortical Response to Acupressure and Electroacupuncture Stimuli. BMC Neuroscience, 2011. 12(1): 73. PMCID: PMC3162932

Wasan AD, Loggia ML, Chen LQ, Napadow V, Kong J, Gollub RL. Neural Correlates of Chronic Low Back Pain Measured by Arterial Spin Labeling. Anesthesiology. 2011, 115(2): 364-374. PMCID: PMC3286828

LaCount LT, Barbieri R, Park K, Kim J, Brown EN, Kuo B, Napadow V. Static and dynamic autonomic response with increasing nausea perception. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2011. 82(4):424-33. PMCID: PMC3137518

Pfab F, Winhard M, Nowak-Machen M, Napadow V, Irnich D, Pawlik M, Bein T, Hansen E. Acupuncture in critically ill patients improves delayed gastric emptying: a randomized controlled trial. Anesth Analg. 2011. 112(1):150-5. PMID: 21081772

Napadow V, LaCount L, Park K, As-Sanie S, Clauw DJ, Harris RE. Intrinsic brain connectivity in fibromyalgia is associated with chronic pain intensity. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2010. 62(8):2545-55. PMCID: PMC2921024

Hui KK, Napadow V, Liu J, Li M, Marina O, Nixon EE, Claunch JD, LaCount L, Sporko T, Kwong KK. Monitoring acupuncture effects on human brain by FMRI. J Vis Exp. 2010 (38): 1190. PMID: 20379133

Harris RE, Sundgren PC, Craig AD, Kirshenbaum E, Sen A, Napadow V, Clauw DJ. Elevated Insular Glutamate in Fibromyalgia Is Associated With Experimental Pain. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2009; 60(10): 3146–3152. PMID: 19790053

Hui KK, Marina O, Claunch JD, Nixon EE, Fang J, Liu J, Li M, Napadow V, Vangel M, Makris N, Chan ST, Kwong KK, Rosen BR. Acupuncture mobilizes the brain's default mode and its anti-correlated network in healthy subjects. Brain Res. 2009; 1287:84-103. PMID: 19559684.

Harris RE, Zubieta JK, Scott DJ, Napadow V, Gracely RH, Clauw DJ. Traditional Chinese acupuncture and placebo (sham) acupuncture are differentiated by their effects on μ-Opioid Receptors (MORs). Neuroimage. 2009; 47(3): 1077-85. PMID: 19501658.

Napadow V, Dhond RP, Kim J, LaCount L, Vangel M, Harris RE, Kettner N, Park K. Brain encoding of acupuncture sensation - coupling on-line rating with fMRI. Neuroimage. 2009; 47(3):1055-65. PMID: 19500677.

Napadow V, Dhond RP, Park K, Kim J, Makris N, Kwong KK, Harris RE, Purdon P, Kettner N, Hui KKS. Time-Variant fMRI Activity in the Brainstem and Higher Structures in Response to Acupuncture. Neuroimage. 2009, 47(1):289-301.

Napadow V, Dhond RP, Conti G, Makris N, Brown EN, Barbieri R. Brain Correlates of Autonomic Modulation: Combining Heart Rate Variability with fMRI. Neuroimage. 2008, 42(1):169-77.

Dhond RP, Yeh C, Park K, Kettner N, Napadow V. Acupuncture Modulates Resting State Connectivity in Default and Sensorimotor Brain Networks. Pain. 2008, 136(3):407-18.

Dhond RP, Witzel T, Hamalainen M, Kettner N, Napadow V. Spatiotemporal Mapping the Neural Correlates of Acupuncture with MEG. J Altern Complement Med. 2008, 14(6):679-88.

Napadow V, N Kettner, J Liu, M Li, KK Kwong, M Vangel, N Makris, J Audette, Hui KKS. Hypothalamus and Amygdala Response to Acupuncture Stimuli in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pain. 2007, 130(3):254-66.

Napadow V, Liu J, Li M, Kettner N, Ryan A, Kwong KK, Hui KKS, Audette J. Somatosensory cortical plasticity in carpal tunnel syndrome treated by acupuncture. Hum Brain Mapp. 2007, Mar;28(3):159-71.
Hui KK, Nixon EE, Vangel MG, Liu J, Marina O, Napadow V, Hodge SM, Rosen BR, Makris N, Kennedy DN. Characterization of the "Deqi" Response in Acupuncture. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Oct 31;7(1):33

Gilbert RJ, Wedeen VJ, Magnusson LH, Benner T, Wang R, Dai G, Napadow VJ, Roche KK. Three-dimensional myoarchitecture of the bovine tongue demonstrated by diffusion spectrum magnetic resonance imaging with tractography. Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. 2006 Nov;288(11):1173-82.

Napadow V, Dhond R, Kennedy D, Hui KKS, Makris N. Automated Brainstem Co-registration (ABC) for MRI. Neuroimage. 2006, Sep 32(3):1113-9.
Gilbert RJ, Magnusson LH, Napadow V, Benner T, Wang R, Wedeen V. Mapping complex myoarchitecture in the bovine tongue with diffusion spectrum magnetic resonance imaging. Biophysical Journal. 2006, Aug 1; 91(3):1014-22.

Napadow V, Kettner N, Ryan A, Kwong KK, Audette J, Hui KKS. Somatosensory Cortical Plasticity in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - a Cross-sectional fMRI Evaluation. Neuroimage, 2006, Jun 31(2):520-30.

Napadow V, Dhond RP, Purdon P, Kettner N, Makris N, Kwong KK, Hui KKS. Correlating acupuncture fMRI in the human brainstem with heart rate variability. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2005; 5:4496-9.

Hui KK, Liu J, Marina O, Napadow V, Haselgrove C, Kwong KK, Kennedy DN, Makris N. The integrated response of the human cerebro-cerebellar and limbic systems to acupuncture stimulation at ST 36 as evidenced by fMRI. Neuroimage. 2005 Sep;27(3):479-96.
Gilbert RJ, Napadow VJ. Three-dimensional muscular architecture of the human tongue determined in vivo with diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging. Dysphagia. 2005 Winter;20(1):1-7.
V, Makris N, Liu J, Kettner NW, Kwong KK, Hui KK. Effects of electroacupuncture versus manual acupuncture on the human brain as measured by fMRI. Hum Brain Mapp. 2005 Mar;24(3):193-205.

Napadow V, Liu J, Kaptchuk TJ. A systematic study of acupuncture practice: acupoint usage in an outpatient setting in Beijing, China. Complement Ther Med. 2004 Dec;12(4):209-16.
Napadow V, Kaptchuk TJ. Patient characteristics for outpatient acupuncture in Beijing, China. J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Jun;10(3):565-72.

Napadow V, Kamm RD, Gilbert RJ.  A biomechanical model of sagittal tongue bending. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. 2002; 124 (5):547-56.

Napadow V, Mai V, Bankier AA, Gilbert RJ, Edelman R, Chen Q.  Determination of regional pulmonary parenchymal strain during normal respiration using spin inversion tagged magnetization MRI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 2001; 13 (3):467-74.
Chen Q, Mai V, Bankier AA, Napadow V, Gilbert RJ, Edelman R.  An ultra-fast MR grid tagging sequence for assessment of local mechanical properties of the lungs. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2001; 45 (1):24-8.

Napadow V, Wedeen VJ, Chen Q, Mai V, So PTC, Gilbert RJ.  Quantitative analysis of 3D-resolved lingual fiber architecture in intact tissue with diffusion tensor MRI and two-photon microscopy.  Biophysical Journal. 2001; 80 (6):2968-75.

Wedeen V, Reese TG, Napadow V, Gilbert RJ.  Demonstration of primary and secondary muscle fiber architecture of the Bovine tongue by diffusion tensor MRI.  Biophysical Journal. 2001; 80 (2):1024-8.

Napadow V, Chen Q, Wedeen VJ, Gilbert RJ.  Biomechanical basis for lingual muscular deformation during swallowing.  American Journal of Physiology. 1999; 40 (3):G695-G701.

Napadow V, Chen Q, Wedeen VJ, Gilbert RJ.  Intramural mechanics of the human tongue in association with physiological deformation.  Journal of  Biomechanics. 1999; 32 (1):1-12.

Clinical Experience



Acupuncturist, Pain Management Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Chestnut Hill, MA


Vitality Acupuncture (private practice)


Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wan Jing Hospital, Beijing, China

5 month internship in outpatient acupuncture clinics


NESA Clinic, Watertown, MA; Aids Care Project, Boston, MA; Dimock Hospital, Boston, MA

504 hours supervised clinical internship






Doctorate of Philosophy, Division of Health Science and Technology
Harvard University / Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, MA
Thesis Title: "A Biomechanical Investigation of the Structure - Function
Relationships in the Human Tongue." 


Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, MA


Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
Cornell University, College of Engineering; Ithaca, NY


Master of Acupuncture, Chinese and Japanese Style Acupuncture
New England School of Acupuncture; Watertown, MA
License of Acupuncture, September 2002






Finalist, Schnitzer Prize for the Visual Arts