Nicole Zürcher, PhD, is currently Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, a faculty member at the Martinos Center and the Director of Human Imaging in the Chemical Neuroscience Program. She has a background in biology, behavioral and social neuroscience, and neuroimaging. Dr. Zürcher uses magnetic resonance (MR) and simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET)-MRI to study brain function and dysfunction in health and disease with an emphasis on neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.  Her main disease focus is on autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.


PhD in Neuroscience, Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Select Publications

1. Zürcher NR, Loggia ML, Mullett JE, Tseng CJ, Bhanot A, Richey L, Hightower BG, Wu C, Parmar AJ, Butterfield RI, Dubois JM, Chonde DB, Izquierdo-Garcia D, Wey HY, Catana C, Hadjikhani N, McDougle CJ, Hooker JM, [11C]PBR28 MR-PET imaging reveals lower regional brain expression of translocator protein (TSPO) in young adult males with autism spectrum disorder. Molecular Psychiatry. 2020.

2. Gilbert TM*, Zürcher NR*, Catanese MC, Tseng CJ, Di Biase MA, Lyall AE, Hightower BG, Parmar AJ, Bhanot A, Wu CJ, Hibert ML, Kim M, Mahmood U, Stufflebeam SM, Schroeder FA, Wang C, Roffman JL, Holt DJ, Greve DN, Pasternak O, Kubicki M, Wey HY, Hooker JM. Neuroepigenetic signatures of age and sex in the living human brain. Nature Communications. 2019 Jul 3;10(1):2945. * co-first authors

3. Tseng CJ, Mc Dougle CJ, Hooker JM, Zürcher NR. Epigenetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Histone deacetylases. Biological Psychiatry


Travel Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), 2021

Co-chair MGH Radiology Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Subcommittee, 2020-

Autism Speaks Meixner Translational Postdoctoral Fellowship, Autism Speaks, 2014-2016


Chemical Neuroscience Program