Alik Widge, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Alik Widge

Contact Info

Office Phone 952-525-4500

Fax 612-273-9774

Lab Phone 612-625-7594

Office Address:
3-208 McGuire Translational Research Facility (MTRF)

Mailing Address:
2001 6th Street SE
2873 (campus mail code)
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Natasha Hampton-Anderson

Administrative Email

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Preceptor, Medical Scientist Training Program (Combined MD/PhD Training Program)

Faculty, Graduate Program in Neuroscience

MD, University of Pittsburgh

Residency in Psychiatry, University of Washington

Research Fellow, Interventional Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

Research Fellow, Picower Institute for Learning & Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PhD, Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University

BA, Computer Science & Cognitive Science, Dartmouth College

Postdoctoral Researcher, Biophysics, Neurophysiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington


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.


  • Humans: DBS, TMS, VNS, cortical stimulation, EEG, intracranial LFP, cognitive neuroscience.
  • Animals: single-unit and LFP electrophysiology, optogenetics, real-time/closed-loop brain stimulation, real-time video analysis, computational modeling.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2011 Outstanding Resident Award, National Institute of Mental Health
  • 2017 Rising Star Translational Research Award, OneMind Institute
  • 2017 Associate Membership in American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • 2018 Young Investigator Award, Sage Bionetworks
  • 2019, NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists

Professional Associations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Medical Association
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • Society for Biological Psychiatry
  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology


Research Summary/Interests

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.

Research Funding Grants

6/1/2014 – 5/30/2019, W911NF-14-2-0045 (Dougherty/Eskandar)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency $7,584,647
Transdiagnostic Restoration of Affective Networks by Systematic, Function-Oriented, Real-time Modeling and Deep Brain Stimulation (TRANSFORM DBS)

8/1/2016 – 7/31/2019 (NCE), R21 MH109722-01A1 (Widge)
NIH/NIMH $150,000
Synchronizing a Fear Regulation Circuit by Temporally Patterned Closed-Loop Neurostimulation

9/1/2016 – 8/30/2021, UH3 NS100548-01 (Dougherty/Widge)
NIH/NINDS $364,456
Combined Cortical and Subcortical Recording and Stimulation as a Circuit-Oriented Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

9/1/2016 – 8/30/2020, R01 MH111872 (Anikeeva)
NIH/NIMH $91,972
Multi-Site Non-Invasive Magnetothermal Excitation and Inhibition of Deep Brain Structures

5/1/2017 – 4/30/2020, R01 MH111917-01A1 (Dougherty/Makris)
NIH/NIMH $474,649
Patient-specific, Effective, and Rational Functional Connectivity Targeting for DBS in OCD (PERFECT DBS)

9/1/2017 – 8/31/2019, R21 MH113103-01A1 (Widge) 
NIH/NIMH $150,000
Engineering Plasticity and Connectivity in a Fear Regulation Circuit


Board Certifications

General Psychiatry


In The News

Merging AI with targeted electrical brain stimulation to improve specific human brain functions

- The Medical Progress, 11/02/2021

As Minnesota considers qualifying anxiety for its medical cannabis program, psychiatrists raise concerns

- MinnPost, 10/18/2021

A new approach to mental health crisis

- EmPATH: Minnesota Medicine, Sep/Oct 2021 Edition