Identifying MSRP Faculty Mentors & Research Groups

The Office of Graduate Education asks MSRP applicants to identify at least 3 faculty members who you are interested in conducting research with during the summer. There are two ways to identify potential faculty mentors:

Browse the list of MIT Faculty who have expressed an interest in hosting an MSRP 2020 intern. Check back often as this is not an exhaustive list – faculty and research groups are added on a periodic basis.  

Visit the MIT School’s Faculty directories below to find additional faculty and learn about their current research.  We are willing to accept faculty of interest not listed on the page.  

School of Architecture and Planning

School of Engineering  

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

MIT Sloan School of Management

School of Science

School of Architecture and Planning

Architecture Leon Glicksman Professor Glicksman works on research and consulting related to energy-efficient building components and design, natural ventilation, sustainable design for developing countries, and design tools.
Architecture Caroline Jones Professor Jones is preparing an exhibition of contemporary art that works with biological materials. She would be thrilled to work with a student familiar with bioengineering; her research group will also do traditional field biology from an “amateur naturalist” perspective, and examine the history of citizen science and art history of same.
Architecture Miho Mazereeuw
Urban Risk Lab
The Urban Risk Lab at MIT develops methods, prototypes and technologies to embed risk reduction and preparedness into the design of cities and regions to increase the resilience of local communities.
Architecture Caitlin Mueller
Digital Structures
We are Digital Structures, a research group at MIT working at the interface of architecture, structural engineering, and computation. We focus on the synthetic integration of creative and technical goals in the design and fabrication of buildings, bridges, and other large-scale structures.
Media Arts and Sciences Fadel Adib
Signal Kinetics Group
The Signal Kinetics group explores and develops new technologies and algorithms for wireless sensing, communications, and networking with a focus on subsea IoT, digital medicine, and robotic micro-sensing. Our current projects range from wireless control of tiny sensors inside the body to ocean communications and sensing. Our technologies aim at addressing major societal challenges in climate change, healthcare, and automation.
Media Arts and Sciences Cynthia Breazeal
Personal Robots
We build socially engaging and emotionally aware robots and interactive technologies that empower people to learn and create, and to help people live healthier, happier lives.
Media Arts and Sciences Canan Dagdeviren
Comfortable Decoders
The Conformable Decoders group explores novel materials, device designs, and fabrication strategies to create micro- and nanoscale electromechanical systems with mechanically adaptive features, which allow intimate integration with the objects of interest. These systems enable us to collect and convert essential patterns into beneficial forms in order to gain insights into our world, and enhance interactions with nature and each other.
Media Arts and Sciences Andrew Lipman
Viral Communications
We are interesting in understanding public perception of television news and building ways to break bubbles. We are also interested in apps based on social networking and data privacy that engage people in public affairs such as voting. We have a framework for this called CivicLink that we would like to expand to be useful in grassroots organizing efforts. We mix technology with a concern for public participation.
Media Arts and Sciences Mitchel Resnick
Lifelong Kindergarten
The Lifelong Kindergarten group develops new technologies and activities that, in the spirit of the blocks and finger paint of kindergarten, engage people in creative learning experiences. For example, our group developed the Scratch programming language and online community, used by millions of children and teens around the world.
Media Arts and Sciences Danielle Wood
Space Enabled
The mission of the Space Enabled research group is to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Our message is that six types of space technology are supporting societal needs, as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

School of Engineering

Aeronautics and Astronautics Richard Linares
SSL-ARCLab

ARCLab, focuses on the following research areas

  • Astrodynamics,
  • Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management,
  • Satellite Guidance and Navigation,
  • Estimation and Controls,
  • Reinforcement Learning,
  • Optimal Control.
Aeronautics and Astronautics
 

Dava Newman Overall, the HSL performs research to improve the understanding of human physiological and cognitive capabilities to optimize human-system effectiveness and to develop appropriate countermeasures and evidence-based engineering design criteria.
Aeronautics and Astronautics Nick Roy
Robust Robotics Group
Our research goals are to build unmanned vehicles that can fly without GPS through unmapped indoor environments, robots that can drive through unmapped cities, and to build social robots that can quickly learn what people want without being annoying or intrusive.
Biological Engineering Mark Bathe
Bathe BioNano Lab
The Laboratory of Prof. Mark Bathe at MIT uses nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) to engineer revolutionary new materials at the nanometer-scale, or nanoscale, where one nanometer is approximately 10,000x smaller than the thickness of an individual human hair. 
Biological Engineering Peter Dedon
The Dedon Laboratory
Research in the Dedon Lab focuses on the chemical biology of nucleic acids in three broad areas: epigenetics, epitranscriptomics, and genetic toxicology.
Biological Engineering

Bevin Engelward
Engelward Laboratory

In the Engelward laboratory, research effort is focused on public health. We aim to understand the molecular processes that govern disease susceptibility in the context of environmental exposures. We also create novel technologies that enable quantification of DNA damage and mutations, known drivers of cancer initiation and progression.
Biological Engineering Angela Koehler
The Koehler Lab
The Koehler Lab aims to innovate in the earliest stages of drug discovery by building chemical tools and technologies to expand the repertoire of protein targets that are considered “undruggable.” We focus primarily on building chemical tools and methods for studying temporal aspects of transcriptional regulation in development and disease, with a focus on target validation in cancer.
Biological Engineering Jacquin Niles
Niles Laboratory
Our lab focuses on developing new approaches to help us understand how the human malaria parasite causes disease. This allows us to define its biological vulnerabilities to then go about identifying new lead antimalarial drugs and vaccine targets.
Biological Engineering Forest White
The White Lab
The White lab focuses on identification of activated signaling networks in cancer and other disease states.
Chemical Engineering Richard Braatz
Braatz Group
The group does research into modeling and design of biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes, namely, for gene therapy, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and other biotherapeutics.
Chemical Engineering Fikile Brushett
The Brushett Group
The objective of my research program is to advance the science and engineering of electrochemical technologies needed for a sustainable energy economy.
Chemical Engineering Katie Galloway
The Galloway Lab
The Galloway Lab connects basic research questions in gene circuits, genome architecture, and cell fate transitions to tool development for biomedical applications.
Chemical Engineering Paula Hammond
The Hammond Lab
The Hammond Research Group at the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research focuses on the self-assembly of polymeric nanomaterials, with a major emphasis on the use of electrostatics and other complementary interactions to generate multifunctional materials with highly controlled architecture. 
Chemical Engineering Hadley Sikes
Hadley D. Sikes Lab
We develop molecular technologies to be used in medical diagnostic tests. We are focused on infectious diseases (antimicrobial resistance, mosquito-borne viruses, tuberculosis) with clinical partners in the Asia Pacific. Here in the US, we are focused on new measurements of tumor biopsies that can predict response to cancer therapies.
Chemical Engineering James Swan
The Swan Group
The Swan group focuses on building models of soft materials including polymer solutions, colloidal dispersions, and other complex fluids. We use high performance computing techniques to simulation the dynamics of these materials in order to design physical systems that can be used cutting edge technologies such as biopharmaceuticals and coatings.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Colette Heald
Atmospheric Chemistry and Composition Modeling Group

 

Our group investigates the atmospheric composition and chemistry of the global atmosphere and how this impacts air quality, climate, and global health. We use observations of the atmosphere (from satellites, aircraft, surface measurements) with global models of chemistry and climate to study these questions.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Heidi Nepf
Nepf Environmental Fluid Mechanics Lab 
The Nepf Lab studies the interaction of fluid motion with aquatic vegetation and the feedbacks to sediment transport, food passage, and ecosystem function. We develop models for physical processes that determine how vegetated habitats (green infrastructure), such as seagrasses and salt marsh, provide coastal protection and provide blue carbon reservoirs, and how floodplain and instream vegetation alter flood passage and provide essential habitat.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Desiree Plata Research Interests: environmental chemistry, environmentally and economically sustainable design, industrially-important processes and materials, energy technologies (fossil and low-carbon), advanced materials synthesis and manufacture
Computational and Systems Biology Tami Lieberman
The Lieberman Lab
The Lieberman Lab is dedicated to uncovering the rule of colonization within human microbiomes, towards the goal of designing and improving microbiome-targeted therapies. Our favorite approach is using mutations that occurred within humans to infer past transmission events and selective pressures.
Mechanical Engineering Anuradha Annaswamy
Active-Adaptive Control Laboratory

The goal of the laboratory is to investigate complex intelligent systems that require adaptation, learning, optimization, and control. Current projects include distributed optimization and control, retail market design, demand response, and integration of renewables and storage in smart grid, Smart Interdependent-Infrastructure design with applications to transportation-energy infrastructuresCyber-physical security in aerial systems using robust adaptive control and on-line learning, Systems and Control tools for cyber-physical security, and analysis and synthesis of cyber-physical & human systems for efficient urban mobility.

Mechanical Engineering Sili Deng
Deng Energy and Nanotechnology Group
Our research combines experiments and computations, bridges fundamentals and applications, and focuses on energy conversion and nanomaterial synthesis. Specifically, the group is interested in multi-phase reacting flows, flame synthesis of nanomaterials, nanocatalysis, combustion kinetics and dynamics, emission reduction, and thermal management in engines and power systems.
Mechanical Engineering Nicholas Feng
Nanophotonics and 3D Nanomanufacturing Laboratory
We are interested in innovative optical and acoustic metamaterials for efficient light harvesting, communication and imaging.
Mechanical Engineering Pierre Lermusiaux
Multidisciplinary Simulation, Estimation, and Assimilation Systems
Our research vision is to develop and transform ocean modeling and data assimilation to quantify regional ocean dynamics on multiple scales. Our group creates and utilizes new models and methods for multiscale modeling, uncertainty quantification, data assimilation and the guidance of autonomous vehicles.
Nuclear Science and Engineering Matteo Bucci
The Red Laboratory
Our team explores innovative heat transfer solutions to enhance the efficiency of energy conversion systems. Our focus is on boiling heat transfer for nuclear energy systems.
Nuclear Science and Engineering Jacopo Buongiorno
Nuclear Reactor Laboratory
The MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (MIT-NRL) is an interdepartmental center that operates a high performance 6 MW nuclear research reactor known as the MITR. It is the second largest university research reactor in the U.S. and the only one located on the campus of a major research university.
Nuclear Science and Engineering Benoit Forget
Computational Reactor Physics Group
CRPG focuses on the development of novel methods for accurate and efficient nuclear reactor simulations. Better simulations help the nuclear industry set well-informed safety margins, but also enable assessment of innovative new fuel and reactor designs.
Nuclear Science and Engineering Koroush Shirvan
Innovative Fission Technologies
Dr. Shirvan specializes in development and analysis of innovative nuclear reactor technology. He is currently focused on development of advanced nuclear fuels focused on improving the economics and safety of current and next generation power plants.

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Political Science Fernando Hidalgo

 

 

How can we increase government transparency in the US and abroad? We use machine learning to measure government transparency of local government websites in an automated and scalable fashion. Using the measures we generate, we then study how to best pressure nontransparent local governments to improve and disclose more information.
Political Science

Charles Stewart III
MIT Election Data and Science Lab

The mission of the MIT Election and Data Science Lab is to support scientific analysis of how elections are conducted in the United States, with the goal of ensuring that all votes are counted as intended. One particularly critical project of the lab is “Data for Redistricting,” which supports a multi-campus effort to support public access to redistricting following the 2020 Census. All members of the lab, including MSRP research interns, are involved in some way in gathering and cleaning precinct election returns, so that they can be used by the lab and others in this effort.

Sloan School of Management

Operations Research Robert Freund

Research Interests:

  • Nonlinear optimization theory, applications, and computation — current focus on algorithmic theory and practice of first-order methods
  • Computational complexity of nonlinear optimization
  • Interior-point methods in convex optimization
  • Computational science
  • Related mathematical systems
  • Applied optimization in management and engineering
  • Linear optimization
  • Fixed-point methods

School of Science

Biology Pulin Li
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
We study how circuits of interacting genes in individual cells enable multicellular functions, such as self-organizing into complex tissues. We combine approaches from synthetic biology, developmental/stem cell biology, biophysics, and bioengineering to build and quantitatively analyze these multicellular behaviors. We aim to provide both fundamental understanding of tissue development and new ways for tissue engineering.
Biology Sebastian Lourido
Lourido Lab
Our group works on the cellular mechanisms that enable parasites to infect animals. We aim to uncover novel pathways that mediate this type of host-parasite interaction through the application of novel technologies in genetic screening and proteomics, primarily focusing on understanding the unique and fascinating cell biology of apicomplexan parasites.
Biology Seychelle Vos
Vos Lab
Our group investigates how genome organization and transcription are physically coupled. Cell fate is determined by the subset of genes that are expressed in that particular cell type. How genes are organized in 3D space affects which genes get expressed. We use structural biology and biochemistry to understand at the molecular level how these processes are coordinated.
Biology Robert Weinberg
Weinberg Laboratory
The Weinberg lab is known for its discoveries of the first human oncogene – the ras oncogene that causes normal cells to form tumors, and the isolation of the first known tumor suppressor gene – the Rb gene.
Brain and Cognitive Sciences Guoping Feng
Feng Laboratory
We use animal models to study neurobiological mechanisms of brain disorders such as autism, OCD and schizophrenia.
Brain and Cognitive Sciences Roger Levy
MIT Computational Psycholinguistics Lab
Our research group studies fundamental questions about human language: how we understand what we hear and read, how we can convert our thoughts into words and sentences that others understand, and how we learn our native language in infancy and childhood.
Chemistry

Stephen Buchwald
The Buchwald Research Group

My research group has been actively involved in the development of carbon-nitrogen cross-coupling methodology for many years. We have come up with a number of new reactions and protocols that have had a major impact on the day-to-day pursuits of medicinal chemists.
Chemistry Sylvia Ceyer
Ceyer Research Group
Our research group explores the microscopic level dynamics of non-equilibrium interactions of molecules with surfaces of materials that serve as nanocatalysts relevant to energy production and environmental sustainability or as templates for epitaxy or nanodevices.
Chemistry Christopher Cummins
The Cummins Lab
The Cummins lab works on projects in the area of synthetic chemistry bringing new substances into existence.
Chemistry Mircea Dinca
The Dincă Lab

 

 

 

 

The Dincă Lab focuses on the synthesis and characterization of new inorganic and organic materials for applications in small molecule transformations (e.g. CO2 and O2 reduction, and natural gas conversion), energy conversion and storage, sensing, gas separation, and biotechnology.
Chemistry Mei Hong
Hong Lab
The Hong group develops and applies magic-angle-spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy to elucidate the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules. We seek to understand how molecular conformation, motion, and intermolecular interactions enable proteins and carbohydrates to carry out their functions such as ion conduction across lipid membranes, membrane fusion between viruses and cells, membrane scission during virus budding, and maintenance and expansion of plant cell walls. We also investigate the structure and dynamics of amyloid proteins in neurodegenerative diseases.
Chemistry Elizabeth Nolan
Nolan Lab
We study the roles of metal ions in biology. In particular, we investigate how microbial pathogens and the host (human) immune system compete for metal ions that are essential nutrients (Mn, Fe, Zn).
Chemistry Gabriela Schlau-Cohen
The Schlau-Cohen Lab
We use single-molecule and ultrafast spectroscopy to study the structural and energetic dynamics in biological systems, in particular membrane proteins.
Chemistry Alex Shalek
Shalek Lab

Research in the Shalek Lab is directed towards the development and application of new technologies to facilitate understanding of how cells collectively perform systems-level functions in health and disease. Our technology development leverages recent advances in genomics, chemical biology, and nanotechnology to establish cross-disciplinary platforms for in-depth profiling and precise manipulation of cells and their interactions.
Chemistry Matthew Shoulders
The Shoulders Lab
The Shoulders Lab studies how cells fold proteins and uses directed evolution to develop new biotechnologies.
Chemistry Daniel Suess
The Suess Research Group
The chemical composition of the biosphere is in constant flux. We study how metals—particularly iron-sulfur clusters—catalyze the reactions that underly these processes.
Chemistry Timothy Swager
The Swager Group
We are interested in new concepts and methods that can impact technology and make positive contributions to society.  Enduring themes include the development of functional materials, sensors, reaction chemistry for the construction of conjugated systems, electronics, and the materials biology interface. We strive to create fundamental science and concepts with impact. 
Chemistry Troy Van Voorhis
The Van Voorhis Group
We use computational modeling to understand the molecular processes behind solar energy conversion, electrochemical energy storage and solid state lighting.
Chemistry Bin Zhang
The Zhang Group
By developing novel theoretical and computational approaches, my research group aims to provide a high-resolution characterization of the three-dimensional genome organization, to unravel the molecular mechanisms that dictate its setup, and to elucidate its impact on regulating gene expression and establishing cell fate.
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Andrew Babbin
BabLab
Our lab studies the marine microbial nitrogen cycle. We use a variety of tools, including genetic manipulation, genomic analysis, and high precision microfluidics to understand how microorganisms shape the chemical landscape of the ocean.
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Kristin Bergmann
The Bergmann Lab
Our work combines aspects of sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, and geobiology to better understand the connections between the Earth’s environment and the organisms that inhabit it.
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Tanja Bosak
Bosak Lab

The Bosak laboratory uses experimental geobiology to explore modern biogeochemical and sedimentological processes in microbial systems and interpret the record of life on the Early Earth. 
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Brent Minchew
Glacier Dynamics and Remote Sensing Group
The Glacier Dynamics and Remote Sensing Group studies interactions between the climate, the cryosphere, and the solid earth. We use a combination of observations and models to study dynamical systems and their responses to environmental forcing. Most of our research focuses on the dynamics of glaciers, with an emphasis on the mechanics of glacier beds, fracture mechanics in glacier ice, ice rheology, and ice-ocean interactions.
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Paul O’Gorman Our group focuses on using climate models to better understand the impacts of climate change. Examples of such impacts include changes in rainfall and storm intensity. Recently we have been using machine learning approaches to improve the accuracy of climate models.
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Taylor Perron
Perron Surface Processes Group
Prof. Perron studies the physical processes that create landscapes on Earth and other planets. His group’s efforts currently follow four themes: the formation and evolution of river networks; the influence of climate on erosion and landscapes; landscapes and the human past; and landscapes on Mars and Titan (Saturn’s largest moon).
Mathematics Steven Johnson We work on the the influence of complex (often nano-scale) geometries on photonic (electromagnetic-wave) devices and phenomena, from lasers to solar, using both paper-and-pencil theory as well as computational science and optimization.
Physics Claude Canizares
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Professor Canizares’s main research interests are high-resolution spectroscopy and plasma diagnostics of cosmic X-ray sources. He studies the properties of a wide range of Galactic and extra-Galactic X-ray sources, including active stars, black-hole or neutron star binaries, supernova remnants, quasars and clusters of galaxies. He also uses X-ray sources as probes of inter-stellar and inter-galactic matter.
Physics Nikta Fakhri
Fakhri Lab @ MIT
My group focuses on identifying underlying principles of collective dynamics and complex spatiotemporal patterns in far from equilibrium biological systems. We develop experimental tools and conceptual frameworks to uncover laws governing order, phase transitions and fluctuations in systems in which individual components break time reversal symmetry.
Physics Greg Fiete Our research focuses primarily on interaction effects in quantum many-body systems. The theoretical methods we use range from numerics to powerful non-perturbative analytical techniques.
Physics Joseph Formaggio
The Formaggio Neutrino Group
Our research group focuses on understanding the properties of neutrinos. We are assembling a small array of detectors for a future experiment designed to detect neutrinos from a nuclear reactor.
Physics Erin Kara In this research project, the student will take a first look at some new observations of a black hole that is ten times the mass of our sun. Lots of hot gas is falling past the event horizon of this black hole, and the rate of that gas falling in to the black hole is 10 times faster than the theoretical limit! With these observations, we aim to understand how black holes can grow so quickly.
Physics Pragati Pradhan
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
The group primarily deals with high resolution spectroscopy using Chandra data of a variety of astrophysical sources emitting in X-rays. These astrophysical sources include black holes, neutron stars, massive stars to name a few. The research also include timing, image and spectral analysis from other existing spacecrafts to reveal important astrophysical processes in and around these cosmic sources. 
Physics Jesse Thaler Our research is aimed at maximizing the discovery potential of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) by merging novel data analysis strategies with insights from theoretical physics. Our current efforts are focused on scrutinizing public LHC data for signatures of new phenomena using a variety of unsupervised machine learning techniques.
Physics Salvatore Vitale
LIGO Lab
LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), LIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and by industrial contractors. LIGO is the largest and most ambitious project ever funded by NSF.
Physics Vladan Vuletic
Group of Vladan Vuletic Experimental Atomic Physics  
The long term goal of our group is to develop new methods to manipulate many-body states in a regime where the quantum mechanical aspects dominate their behavior and their properties.