Laura Lewis

Update: I will be starting a lab at Boston University in January 2019, and we're hiring research technicians, grad students, and postdocs! More information here: Lewis lab website

I'm a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, where I study the neuroscience of sleep, anesthesia, and altered states of consciousness. My research focuses on how the brain switches between different dynamical states, and how these states shape our perception of the outside world. To enable us to study these brain states in humans, I also develop neuroimaging and computational techniques that enable new kinds of measurements and analyses of brain activity.

What happens in the brain when a person wakes up or falls asleep? What are the circuit mechanisms that control the brain's arousal state and how do they alter information processing? I use several methods to investigate these questions, including intracranial recordings in human patients receiving general anesthesia, optogenetic manipulation of sleep circuits, multimodal neuroimaging (EEG and fMRI) of sleep, and novel statistical and computational methods to analyze neural data.

I completed my Ph.D. in Emery Brown's lab at MIT in 2014. I am now based at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, supported by a K99 award from the NIH.

My email address is lauralewis at fas dot harvard dot edu

Received the Gruber International Research Award at the Society for Neuroscience 2017 meeting
Short Engineering Innovation radio feature on our paper about inducing local sleep: National Academy of Engineering
Talk on our research on brain networks during sleep and anesthesia: Indo-US Frontiers of Science symposium
Our talk on cortical dynamics of burst suppression wins the Best Abstract in Clinical Science award at ASA
Our paper on neuronal dynamics in human cortex during propofol-induced unconsciousness is featured in Nature News, New Scientist, and TIME