Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Matthew D. Sacchet, Ph.D.

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Dr. Matthew D. Sacchet, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Meditation Research Program at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General). Dr. Sacchet and his team study advanced meditation: states and stages of contemplative practice that unfold with mastery and time. Since 2012, he has authored more than 100 publications, presented more than 150 times at international, national, regional and local conferences and speaker series and cited more than 6,000 times. He has received generous support from numerous foundations and repeat awards from the primary federal funding bodies in the United States, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). His work has been covered by many major media outlets, including CBS, Forbes, NBC, NPR, TIME, Vox, and The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes named him one of its “30 Under 30.” Dr. Sacchet is an Associate Editor of the leading meditation academic journal Mindfulness, and a Research Fellow of the Mind & Life Institute.

The objective of the Meditation Research Program is to establish a multidisciplinary scientific understanding of advanced meditation. The program’s studies span and integrate affective and cognitive neuroscience, applied phenomenology, clinical psychology and psychiatry, computer science and related computational disciplines, contemplative and religious studies, neuroimaging and electrophysiology, psychometrics and psychological assessment, and psychosomatic medicine. Current projects include studies of meditative development and meditative endpoints that will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the trajectories and outcomes of advanced meditation. This research promises to contribute to improving individual well-being and the collective health of society by informing the development of meditation training and meditation-based interventions that are more impactful.
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.