David Vago is an instructor of psychology in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He has completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Psychiatry at BWH, the Stuart T. Hauser Research Training Program in Biological and Social Psychiatry, and at the Utah Center for Mind-Body Interactions within the University of Utah Medical School. David has held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering dialogue and research at the highest possible level between modern science and the great living contemplative traditions. He currently is a Mind and Life Fellow, a selected group of distinguished scientists, scholars, and contemplative practitioners who support the Mind and Life mission and strategy by advising on strategy and programs. He received his Bachelors Degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1997 from the University of Rochester. In 2005, David received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences with a specialization in learning and memory from the department of Psychology, University of Utah.
David's research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological substrates mediating psychopathology. In this context, David has been specifically focusing on investigating functional-anatomical brain networks supporting cultivated forms of awareness developed through mindfulness meditation training in order to clarify adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric disorders. By revealing the neural circuitry and further identifying endophenotypes for pathophysiology, David hopes to better predict outcomes and potential targets for the development of biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for those suffering with mental illness. Lastly, David is involved in designing multiple real-time functional neuroimaging studies that aim to use direct neurofeedback as a form of self-regulation to improve outcomes of anhedonia, dysthymia, depression, and addiction. David is an avid Vipassana, Dzogchen meditation and Hatha Yoga practitioner, and enjoys recreating in the outdoors.
For more information about contemplative neuroscience research in the FNL and projects led by Dr. Vago, visit [http://contemplativeneurosciences.com]