Shan Siddiqi

Shan Siddiqi, MD
Research Fellow
Research interests
The brain has long remained enigmatic because it has been difficult to study direct cause-effect relationships in such a complex dynamic system. At the microscopic level, the neuroscience community has made major strides with optogenetics, which allows us to study the direct effects of stimulating specific nerves in a living organism. At the large scale, we are just starting to learn how to study causality in brain systems by pairing functional imaging with targeted neuromodulation. This allows us to study the direct effects of stimulating specific brain regions.
My research is focused on developing better methods for individualizing these neuromodulatory treatments based on functional MRI (fMRI) and clinical phenomenology. During residency, I was involved in several projects to investigate predictors of response to brain stimulation based on both clinical factors and computational analysis of brain imaging data. This culminated in a randomized-controlled trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) targeted with individualized brain network mapping for depression associated with traumatic brain injury. I also started a group called the Midnight Modulation Club, which studied causal relationships in the brain by stimulating different brain targets and mapping the immediate effects of that stimulation.
Since arriving in Boston, I have been working with Dr. Michael Fox to develop better computational methods for using brain stimulation to explain human behavior. We are working on developing better understandings of human emotional networks via novel approaches to looking at data acquired from functional MRI, TMS, deep brain stimulation, and brain lesions. We hope that this will help us discover new ways to individualize brain stimulation treatments based on patient-specific symptoms and imaging findings.
Clinical interests
Brain stimulation (TMS and DBS), traumatic brain injury, focal brain lesions, and other syndromes causing behavioral changes as a result of a discrete causal event.
Personal interests/hobbies
When I’m not doing science, I love to spend my time writing, playing guitar, or playing chess.
Personal goals
I came to the Berenson-Allen Center to learn cutting-edge research techniques, refine my skills as a scientist, and remain at the forefront of clinical neuromodulation. I hope to use these skills to start a research group focused on answering unique clinical questions by integrating neuroimaging and neuromodulation data from a variety of sources. This will hopefully be accompanied by a clinic for patients with behavioral changes after focal brain damage, which will allow us to implement novel circuit-based treatment approaches.