Marcus E. Raichle, MD

Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering

Marcus E. Raichle, MD, is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine and a researcher in the Neuroimaging Labs Research Center for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Raichle, who previously served as head of the Neuroimaging Labs Research Center, is a trailblazer in the study of human brain function through the development and use of positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). He and his colleagues’ landmark study described the first integrated strategy for the design, execution and interpretation of functional brain images. Another seminal study led to the discovery that blood flow and glucose utilization change more than oxygen consumption in the active brain causing tissue oxygen to vary with brain activity. Finally seeking to explain task-induced activity decreases in functional brain images, Raichle’s team employed an innovative strategy to define a physiological baseline. This led to the concept of a default mode of brain function and invigorated studies of intrinsic functional activity, an issue largely dormant for more than a century.  An important facet of this work was the discovery of a unique fronto-parietal network in the brain that has come to be known as the default network. This network is now the focus of work on brain function in health and disease worldwide.

Research Interests

normal human brain function, functional brain imaging signals biological origins

Link to Publications

Education History


Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Neurology, Cornell University Medical College

Medical Degree

University of Washington


University of Washington


American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Neurological Association
National Academy of Science (Institute of Medicine)
National Academy of Sciences
Editorial Board, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


2016 Neuronal Plasticity Prize, Fondation Ipsen
2015 Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award, Center For BrainHealth
2014 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
2012 Second Century Award, Washington University
2011 MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research
2011 Peter Raven Lifetime Achievement Award, StLouis Academy of Sciences
2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism
2010 C. U. Ariens Kappers Medal, Royal Nederlands Academy of Sciences
2009 George A. Miller Prize, Cognitive Neuroscience Society
2008 Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience
2006 Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Washington School of Medicine
2006 Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Chicago
2004 Patricia Goldman-Rakic Award in Cognitive Neuroscience, National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression
2001 Inaugural Grawemeyer Award for Psychology, University of Louisville
1999 Inaugural Carl and Gerty Cori Award for Faculty Achievement, Washington University in St. Louis