Wharton Led/Penn Wide

Our Vision: The Nexus of Business and Brain Science

Neuroscience has begun to uncover some of the fundamental mechanisms underlying decision making, innovation and insight, empathy and human connection, social awareness and the common good, how people use information to guide learning and exploration, and the experience and impact of online versus live interaction and pedagogy. New developments in neuroscience, as well as biometrics, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and the human microbiome, offer the opportunity for enhanced precision not only in marketing and finance, but also in the identification of talent, enhancement of performance, and advancing human potential.
We believe these new areas of exploration can be translated to improve business, drive new discoveries and applications, and enhance the education of future leaders at the nexus of business and brain science.

Our Goals


  • Develop future leaders at the nexus of business and brain science


  • Drive new discoveries
  • Create novel applications
  • Recruit the best talent to become the top program in the world


  • Communicate and engage
  • Build a community that links Wharton, Penn, alumni, business leaders, scientists, policy makers, and the public


  • Incubate innovative research through industry and government investment
  • Connect experts in business and academia
  • Provide authoritative guidance

The Team


Michael Platt, PhD


James S. Riepe University Professor of Marketing, Neuroscience, and Psychology

Dr. Platt’s research focuses on the brain’s decision-making processes. As a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) Professor, he has appointments in the Department of Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine, the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Marketing in the Wharton School. Platt has served as Professor of Neurobiology, Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. He has also served as the President of the Society for Neuroeconomics.  He has been recognized in the New York Times, the Washington post, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, ABC, BBC and PBS.

Email: mplatt@wharton.upenn.edu

Lab website: http://plattlabs.rocks


Elizabeth Johnson, PhD

Executive Director & Senior Fellow

Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson is the executive director and a senior fellow of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative. Students and faculty looking to get more involved with the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative should contact her directly. She received an A.B. in Psychobiology at Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in Neural Science at New York University. Before moving to Penn, she was the Associate Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Duke University’s School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the mechanisms underlying vision and visual behavior, from retinal and early visual cortical physiology in animal models to eye tracking to investigate how human observers look and visually navigate through the world and the role of social cognition in these processes. She has a long-time interest in how our perception of visual art informs how we see.

Email: zabj@wharton.upenn.edu

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Kate Molt, MEd

Program Coordinator

Kate Molt serves as program coordinator and special assistant to the director of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative. She provides overall management and implementation of the initiative’s programs and events, such as seminars, lectures, workshops, conferences and the initiative’s educational program coordination.

Email: katemolt@wharton.upenn.edu

106 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Ph. 215.898.7766
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