Sahil Bajaj, Ph.D.

Sahil Bajaj, Ph.D.


Sahil Bajaj, Ph.D. is the Director of the Multimodal Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (MCNL) at the Center for Neurobehavioral Research. Dr. Bajaj has been working in the field of neuroimaging, including diffusion-weighted imaging, brain morphometry, and brain connectivity techniques (functional, structural, and directional: Granger causality and dynamic causal modelling). Dr. Bajaj has applied his expertise in these techniques towards understanding the basic neural mechanisms of healthy and clinical populations - particularly individuals suffering from stroke, mood disorders, sleep disorders, and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

Dr. Bajaj received his doctoral degree in Physics from Georgia State University (GSU) in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Mukesh Dhamala and Dr. Andrew J. Butler. At GSU, he explored the impact of mental practice/imagination and physical therapy on brain connectivity of stroke survivors. Dr. Bajaj joined the Neuroimaging Laboratory at Houston Methodist Research Hospital for his postdoctoral studies in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Masdeu where he used the dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI technique to compare the blood-brain barrier thickness between young and old individuals.

Prior to joining Boys Town National Research Hospital, Dr. Bajaj worked at the SCAN Laboratory at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Dr. William D.S. Killgore. At the SCAN Lab, he studied the impact of blue-wavelength light therapy on brain structure and function following mTBI. He also examined the neural mechanisms of healthy aging, suicidal ideation, and mood degradation following sleep deprivation.

Research Interests

Dr. Bajaj’s primary research interests include studying the neural basis of psychiatric distress using cutting-edge computational data analysis techniques,​ such as small and large-scale brain connectivity (functional: directed functional and effective, and structural: diffusion-weighted imaging) and brain morphometry techniques to identify the affected neural circuits of clinical, sub-clinical, and healthy human populations. His research work/interests have been clinically focused throughout his graduate and postdoctoral studies and have been in close collaboration with neuroscientists, therapists, neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and experts in the field of brain connectivity.


Robert James R. Blair, Johannah Bashford-Largo, Ru Zhang, Avantika Mathur, Amanda Schwartz, Jaimie Elowsky, Patrick Tyler, Christopher J. Hammond, Francesca M. Filbey, Matthew Dobbertin, Sahil Bajaj, and Karina S. Blair (2021). Alcohol and Cannabis Use Disorder Severity, Conduct Disorder and Callous-Unemotional Traits and Impairment in Expression Recognition. Front. Psychiatry (in press).

Sahil Bajaj, Adam C. Raikes, Adeel Razi, Michael A. Miller, and William D S Killgore (2021). Blue-light therapy strengthens resting-state effective connectivity within default-mode network after mild TBI. J. Cent. Nerv. Syst. Dis. 13, 11795735211015076.

Ji-Woo Seok, Sahil Bajaj, Brigette Soltis-Vaughan, Arica Lerdahl, William Garvey, Alexandra Bohn, Ryan Edwards, Christopher J. Kratochvil, James Blair, Soonjo Hwang (2021). Structural atrophy of the right superior frontal gyrus in adolescents with severe irritability. Hum. Brain Mapp., 1-12.

Johannah Bashford-Largo, Joseph Aloi, Ru Zhang, Sahil Bajaj, Erin Carollo, Jaimie Elowsky, Amanda Schwartz, Matthew Dobbertin, R. James R. Blair, Karina S Blair (2021). Reduced neural differentiation of rewards and punishment during passive avoidance learning in adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder. Depress. Anxiety, doi: 10.1002/da.23150.

R. James R. Blair, Ru Zhang, Johannah Bashford-Largo, Sahil Bajaj, Avantika Mathur, Jay Ringle, Amanda Schwartz, Jaimie Elowsky, Matthew Dobbertin, Karina S. Blair, Patrick Tyler (2021). Reduced neural responsiveness to looming stimuli is associated with increased aggression. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci., nsab058,

Joseph Aloi, Kathleen I. Crum, Karina S Blair, Ru Zhang, Johannah Bashford-Largo, Sahil Bajaj, Amanda Schwartz, Erin Carollo, Soonjo Hwang, Emily Leiker, Francesca M. Filbey, Bruno B. Averbeck, Matthew Dobbertin, R. James R. Blair (2021). Individual associations of adolescent alcohol use disorder versus cannabis use disorder symptoms in neural prediction error signaling and the response to novelty. Dev. Cogn. Neurosci., 48: 100944.