Sheraz Khan, PhD

I am Instructor (Research Faculty) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since 2005, I have been studying the brain using magnetoencephalography (MEG) for clinical and experimental research. I have not only published several seminal findings on brain function in patients with Autism Spectral Disorder (ASD), my work has pushed forward the development of novel techniques for analyzing neurophysiological signals.

I have trained with world leading MEG scientists including Sylvian Baillet, Matti Hämäläinen and David Cohen. My unique contribution to research is implementation of expertise in MEG methods, instrumentation, analysis and applications. I have been developing software for basic and clinical MEG/EEG research and since 2006 have been part of development teams of widely used MEG/EEG processing packages (MNE/Brainstrom). The tools that I developed are routinely used in MEG/EEG research and have led to several high impact publications.

During my postdoc under the supervision of Dr. Tal Kenet, I have developed advanced signal processing methods for understanding neural underpinnings of ASD. Our recent papers; Khan et al, BRAIN, 2015 and Khan et al, PNAS, 2013 sheds new light on functional connectivity in ASD. The neurophysiological metrics presented in these papers, can be used to blindly identify individuals with ASD with high accuracy and correlate with severity of ASD. For these projects, I have been awarded Nancy Lurie Marks Fellowship by Harvard Medical School to investigate local functional connectivity in autism.

My other important research contribution is that I am routinely involved in training MEG users. My integrated MEG processing pipeline is now widely used in MGH. Since 2010, I am part of the teaching faculty for Annual Multi-modal Neuroimaging course organized by MGH/HST Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, in which participants from all over the world get trained in different neuroimaging modalities. I have been invited to participate as a jury member at annual Office for Research Career Development (ORCD), Research Fellows Poster Celebration in 2014 and 2015. Beside that I also contribute to CME courses organized by Harvard Catalyst. I also regularly mentor several scientist at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level in MEG acquisition, analysis and data interpretation.

Before joining MGH I completed my PhD (summa cum laude) in Applied Mathematics at Ecole Polytechnique, France under the supervision of Drs Sylvain Baillet and Habbib Ammari. My PhD research binds together two of the most important aspects of MEG research: spatial and temporal dynamics. I have also received Masters in Signal Processing from SUPELEC, France in 2006 and Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from NED University, Pakistan in 2001 (summa cum laude). I believe my efforts are bridging the detrimental gap between the field of MEG methods development and the various neuroscience fields that use MEG. My research is not only helping us understand the neurophysiological mechanisms, but is also geared towards identification of an objective diagnostic biomarker for ASD.