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. Her lab focuses on elucidating the neural mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation, from both a clinical healing perspective and in healthy individuals. Dr Lazar has led numerous scientific studies.
Some of her most notable research uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the neuroplasticity associated changes that occurs following participation in 8 week mindfulness training programs. These data demonstrate meditation training dependent changes on brain structure and function that correlate with decreases in anxiety and stress. She is contributing author to the book Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, which gives its readers a comprehensive introduction to mindfulness and its applications by encompassing the growing body of neuroscientific studies and how these evidence-based mindfulness techniques can be implemented into our lives. Dr Lazar has presented her work at numerous international conferences and neuroscientific meetings and events. A notably popular appearance is her TEDx talk on How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains, which has amassed millions of views on social media platforms. Her research has been widely covered by numerous news, medical and media organisations including The New York Times, Time Magazine, CNN, WebMD, the Huffington Post, and her work has been featured in a display in the Boston Museum of Science.