Edward Chang

2015 National Award Winner — Faculty

Edward Chang

Current Position:
Associate Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Physiology

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)


Recognized for: Developing methods of awake neural recordings in humans and his contributions to our understanding of language processing

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Human brain mapping, speech and language mechanisms, computational neurophysiology



MD, University of California, San Francisco
BA, Amherst College

Dr. Chang specializes in functional neurosurgery, with particular expertise in the treatment of refractory seizures, cranial nerve disorders, and brain tumors.  His research focuses on the discovery of higher-order neurological function in humans, such as language processing. Dr. Chang’s laboratory has demonstrated the detailed functional organization of the human speech cortex. He is developing advanced, human-based neural interface technologies with LLNL and UC Berkeley. 

Dr. Chang is Co-Director of the Center for Neural Engineering & Prostheses at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. He is principal investigator of the DARPA SUBNETS project to develop advanced therapies for neuropsychiatric conditions. He is recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NIH Pathways to Independence Award, Klingenstein Fellowship, McKnight Foundation Award, and Young Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Chang is a New York Stem Cell Foundation- Robertson Investigator. 

“Language is a unique and defining behavior of our species. Our goal is to understand the brain machinery that gives rise to our ability to speak and to comprehend speech. That is, we are trying to understand the neural codes that translate our thoughts into spoken words.”

Key Publications:

  1. Mesgarani N, Cheung C, Johnson K, Chang EF. Phonetic feature encoding in human superior temporal gyrus. Science. 2014
  2. Bouchard KE, Mesgarani N, Johnson K,Chang EF. Functional organization of human sensorimotor cortex for speech articulation. Nature. 2013
  3. Chang EF, Rieger J, Johnson KD, Berger MS, Barbaro NM, Knight RT. Categorical speech representation in the human superior temporal gyrus. Nature Neuroscience. 2010 

Other Honors:

2003Alpha Omega Alpha
2008Wilder Penfield Fellowship, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
2009NIH Pathway to Independence Award
2010Henry Newman Award, San Francisco Neurological Society
2011Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences
2011Young Investigator Award, Grass Foundation-American Epilepsy Society
2011-16NIH New Director's Innovation Award
2013McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award
2014New York Stem Cell Foundation- Robertson Investigator

In the Media:

UCSF Neuroscientist Named 2015 Blavatnik Laureate in Life Sciences. UCSF News Center. June 30, 2015. 
Researchers watch as our brains turn sounds into words. NPR. Jan 30, 2014
Brain-Machine Interface Could Give Voice to the Voiceless. Discover. April 20, 2014
UCSF study shows how the brain sorts sounds to make language. San Francisco Chronicle. Jan 31, 2014