Randy Buckner, PhD

Professional Information


Professor of Psychology and of Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School
Neuroscientist in Psychiatry and Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program


PhD Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, 1995
BA Psychology, Washington University, 1991

Martinos Faculty


Mailing Address

Building 149, Room 2618
13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129 USA

General Contact Information



Many neuropsychiatric disorders run in families, suggesting a strong
genetic component. For example, a child with an autistic sibling is 25
times more likely to develop the disorder than his peers. To better
understand the underlying genetic mechanisms that influence brain
function and risk for neuropsychiatric illness, we and our colleagues
have recently begun to study the link between genetic variation and
brain function. This line of inquiry has led to the development of
approaches that focus on the individual and methods that can
specifically measure features of brain organization that indicate
atypical brain development. In the past, human neuroimaging techniques have had to combine
measurements from many people, providing a fictional "average brain."
But even the brains of normal individuals vary considerably, so abnormal
function has to be distinguished from this diversity. Moreover, common
disorders are likely products of abnormalities in multiple brain systems
and gene variants. By harnessing advances in magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) scanner technology, including increases in gradient strength and high-field MRI, we are measuring the detailed structure and function of individual brains with the goal of understanding why some people are at risk for illness.