Steven W. Flavell

Steven W. Flavell, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
Associate Professor

The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
MIT Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Office: 46-4243
Phone: (617) 715-2605
Email: flavell@mit.edu
Profiles: PubMedGoogle Scholar / LinkedIn

Short biography

Steve Flavell joined the faculty of MIT in 2016. He received his B.A. From Oberlin College and his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where we worked with Dr. Michael Greenberg. Before arriving at MIT, Steve worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Cori Bargmann’s lab at Rockefeller University. Research in the Flavell Lab is aimed at deciphering the fundamental neural mechanisms that underlie the generation of long-lasting behavioral states. This work primarily focuses on the neuromodulatory systems that control arousal, motivation, and mood across organisms. Steve’s work has uncovered novel molecular mechanisms that allow signals from the gut to activate neuromodulatory systems, as well as circuit-level mechanisms by which neuromodulator release alters neural circuit dynamics. Steve’s work has been recognized by numerous national awards, including the Weintraub Graduate Student Award, Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, NARSAD Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, and McKnight Scholars Award.

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Training

Postdoctoral, Rockefeller University, New York NY, 2009-2015

Ph.D. in Neurobiology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, 2009

B.A. in Neuroscience with Highest Honors, Oberlin College, Oberlin OH, 2002

Research and Experience

Assistant Professor, Picower Institute, Dept of Brain & Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Research Focus: Neural mechanisms for persistent behaviors
2021 – Present

Assistant Professor, Picower Institute, Dept of Brain & Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Research Focus: Neural mechanisms for persistent behaviors
2016 – 2021

Postdoctoral Fellow (Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow)
Rockefeller University/HHMI, New York, NY
Research Advisor: Cornelia Bargmann, PhD
Research Focus: Neuromodulatory control of sustained behavioral states in C. elegant
2009 – 2015

Ph.D. Student, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Research Advisor: Michael Greenberg, PhD
Research Focus: Activity-regulated MEF2 transcription factors control synapse development
2003 – 2009

Undergraduate Thesis, Department of Neuroscience, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Research Advisors: Michael Loose, PhD (Oberlin) and Karl Herrup, PhD (CWRU)
Research Focus: Role of cell cycle re-entry in cell death in Alzheimer’s Disease
2001 – 2002

Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Fellowship
Dept. of Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland OH
Research Advisor: Karl Herrup, PhD
Research Focus: Role of cell cycle re-entry in cell death in Alzheimer’s Disease
2001

Research Assistant, Dept. of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven CT
Research Advisor: Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD
Research Focus: Role of Notch signaling in neurite outgrowth
2000

Academic Honors

Sloan Research Fellowship, 2021

McKnight Scholars Award, 2020

BCS Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring, 2019

NSF CAREER Award, 2019

Named Lister Brothers Career Development Assistant Professor, 2018

NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2017

Newton Brain Science Award, 2016

Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2010

Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2008

Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Award, Harvard University, 2006

Albert J. Ryan Fellowship, Harvard University, 2005

Highest Honors in Neuroscience, Oberlin College, 2002

Nancy Robell Memorial Endowed Prize in Neuroscience, Oberlin College, 2002

Summer Program for Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University, 2001

Publications

For a list of all our published papers please our publications page.