Helen Weng, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Helen Weng, Ph.D. is trained as a neuroscientist and a clinical psychologist and specializes in researching the neuroscience of meditation. Dr. Weng is collaborating with the Neuroscape Center and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine on the EMBODY Project, which develops new ways to quantify meditation skills using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and machine learning to identify mental states during meditation. She is also using community-engaged approaches to increase racial and ethnic diversity of meditators studied within contemplative neuroscience. Her doctoral work with Dr. Richard Davidson at the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, demonstrated that compassion meditation can increase both altruistic behavior towards strangers and neural responses to suffering. Dr. Weng’s clinical psychology training includes integrating mindfulness and compassion practices into psychotherapy for individuals with mood and anxiety disorders. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, the BBC, National Public Radio, and Fast Company.