David Vago is an associate psychologist in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and instructor at Harvard Medical School. He has completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Psychiatry at BWH, the Utah Center for Mind-Body Interactions within the University of Utah Medical School, and the Stuart T. Hauser Research Training Program in Biological and Social Psychiatry. David has previously held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute and is currently a Mind and Life Fellow supporting the Mind and Life mission by advising on strategy and programs. He received his Bachelors Degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1997 from the University of Rochester. In 2005, David received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences with a specialization in learning and memory from the department of Psychology, University of Utah.
David’s research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological substrates mediating psychopathology, to better predict outcomes and identify potential biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for those suffering with mental illness. David has been specifically investigating brain networks supporting self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence in order to clarify adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric disorders. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies along with self-report and performance-based measures are used to explore contemplative practices that cultivate mindfulness as a state, trait, and memory-related process. In this context, David has been specifically focusing on the study of mindfulness-based interventions in clinical settings, and the basic neuroscientific mechanisms by which mindfulness-based practices function. David is an avid Vipassana, Dzogchen meditation and Hatha Yoga practitioner, and enjoys recreating in the outdoors.