I am a psychiatrist and biomedical engineer. Clinically, I provide brain stimulation treatments for mood, anxiety, and substance disorders. These include deep brain stimulation, cortical stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
My research focuses on developing these treatments further, particularly the creation of new "closed loop" devices. These devices sense brain signals in real-time and deliver energy in a planned and rational fashion, compensating for each patient's specific brain network abnormalities. My laboratory (TNE Lab) prototypes new stimulation paradigms and targets in rodent models, conducts clinical trials of these new technologies, and searches for biomarkers of illness and recovery to guide next-generation therapies.
To inquire about being part of our neurostimulation trials or about existing clinical treatments, please contact my clinical office at 952-525-4500.
- Neuromodulation for mental illness
(for academic support only)
In the Media
- 2023: Featured in this WCCO TV piece titled, “New research at U of M measures brain waves to detect depression, suicide warnings.”
- 2023: Featured in this StarTribune article titled, “University of Minnesota studies brain's electrical signals as warnings for depression, suicide,” and in this WCCO interview titled, “ Can brain signals indicate thoughts about suicide and severe depression?”
- 2023: Dr. Widge and his research team are featured in this article titled, “Can we do a better job of detecting suicidality? U of M team using a DARPA award to test the possibility.”
- 2022: Featured in a video titled "Tackling Psychiatric Illness Using Translational Models and Computations", shot as part of the American Psychiatric Association's Conference TV with funding from NeuroPRSMH (NeuroPlasticity Research in Support of Mental Health), the U’s multidisciplinary neuroscience research group
- 2022: Featured in this Psychiatric Times article titled, “Assessing Gaps and Opportunities in ECT, rTMS, and DBS Guidelines”.
- 2021: Spotlighted in The Medical Progress in a piece titled, “Merging AI with targeted electrical brain stimulation to improve specific human brain functions”.
- 2021: Interviewed for this MINNPOST piece titled, “As Minnesota considers qualifying anxiety for its medical cannabis program, psychiatrists raise concerns.
- U of M research team hopes to develop an implantable device to treat mental illness — thanks to a $6.6 million grant”. Features exciting work led by Dr. Alik Widge
Our laboratory develops new ways of modifying brain circuits to treat mental illness. We take a "dimensional" approach, breaking mental disorders into their core components that cut across diagnoses. We use a variety of tools, including electrical, magnetic, and optical stimulation, to change those circuits in a way we hope will translate to humans.