Sara W. Lazar, PhD, is an Associate Researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. The focus of her research is to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals. She is a contributing author to Meditation and Psychotherapy (Guilford Press). She has been practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation since 1994. Her research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and WebMD, and her work has been featured in a display at the Boston Museum of Science.
PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard University
1. Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Vangel M, Congleton C, Yerramsetti SM, Gard T, Lazar SW. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jan 30;191(1):36-43.
2. Gard T, Taquet M, Dixit R, Hölzel BK, de Montjoye YA, Brach N, Salat DH, Dickerson BC, Gray JR, Lazar SW. Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Apr 22;6:76.
3. Sevinc G, Hölzel BK, Greenberg J, Gard T, Brunsch V, Hashmi JA, Vangel M, Orr SP, Milad MR, Lazar SW. Strengthened Hippocampal Circuits Underlie Enhanced Retrieval of Extinguished Fear Memories Following Mindfulness Training. Biol Psychiatry. 2019 May 30. pii: S0006-3223(19)31407-6.
2011: Highly viewed TEDx Talk: How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains (view here)