Matthew Sacchet, PhD

Director of Meditation Research

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Laboratory for Affective and Translational Neuroscience

McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Office: Oaks building, office 345
Phone: 617-855-4437

Lab Website:

Ph.D., Neurosciences, Stanford University School of Medicine
Sc.B., Contemplative Studies, Brown University



Research Interests

Dr. Matthew D. Sacchet, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Meditation Research at McLean Hospital. Dr. Sacchet and his team, the Meditation Research Group, advance the science of meditation. Since 2012, Dr. Sacchet has authored over 75 publications and his research has been presented over 125 times and cited over 3500 times. Dr. Sacchet has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Ad Astra Chandaria Foundation, Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF), BIAL Foundation, Gatto Foundation, and The Ride for Mental Health. His research has received coverage by major media outlets including CBS, NBC, NPR, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal, and in 2017 Forbes Magazine named him as one of its “30 Under 30”.

The Meditation Research Group uses a multidisciplinary approach to advance our understanding of meditation in both clinical and non-clinical contexts. The Group’s studies span and integrate affective and cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology and psychiatry, computer science and related computational disciplines, contemplative and religious studies, neuro- and micro-phenomenology, human neuroimaging, and psychoneuroimmunology including epigenetics and stress physiology. Current projects include (1) mechanism-focused clinical trials of mindfulness meditation training for mood and anxiety disorders that will help to clarify “why” and “for who” meditation training is helpful; and (2) studies of meditative development and advanced meditation that promise to inform a more comprehensive understanding of the course and trajectory of meditation training. Together this research promises to contribute to reducing suffering and improving well-being by informing the development of improved meditation training and meditation-based interventions that are more effective, efficient, and targeted.

Please see the Meditation Research Group’s website for more information: