Mclean Hospital
Nicholas T. Lange, ScD

Nicholas T. Lange, ScD

McLean Hospital Title:
  • Director, Neurostatistics Laboratory
Harvard Medical School Title:
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Biostatistics), Part-Time


During his career, Dr. Lange has led and supported multidisciplinary teams of biostatisticians and other scientists in basic, translational, and clinical research on the developing brain in health and illness. Since taking a major career risk in 1996 to leave academic biostatistics and join the team at McLean Hospital, he is now a recognized leader in neurostatistics at local, national, and international levels.

Dr. Lange’s current areas of investigation are in autism research: longitudinal brain image and genetic correlations in autism, and a clinical trial of two intense early intervention treatments for toddlers with autism. He is editor in chief for Case Studies in Biometry.

Research Focus:

Dr. Lange’s Neurostatistics Laboratory, founded in 1999, is a resource available to the McLean research community and is open to potential collaborators nationwide. The multidisciplinary team of biostatisticians and other scientists have made significant gains in the basic, translational, and clinical science of the developing human brain. The lab is a statistical data analysis service and provides support for autism spectrum disorder research, clinical trials design and analysis, statistical computing, and structural and functional human and non-human brain imaging and brain tissue microscopy.

The central role of Dr. Lange’s work is to foster high-quality biostatistical thinking, methods, and clinical practice to further the understanding of the diagnosis, treatment, course, and outcome in autism spectrum and other disorders, with the overarching goal of improving the lives of individuals with these disorders.

Dr. Lange’s contributions to the field have been, and continue to be, in the theory and application of new longitudinal and clustered biostatistical methods to investigate typical and atypical brain development in psychotic disorders, spatial patterns of brain cell arrangements, and brain-behavior associations in autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. Lange collaborates with researchers at McLean and beyond in structural and functional MRI studies, including diffusion tensor imaging of the human brain. The lab has been a major contributor to numerous research studies on a wide range of topics.

The lab provided biostatistical support for a multisite 12-year developmental study in autism that found significant associations between social communication deficits and brain development.

Dr. Lange also provided biostatistical support for a NIH-sponsored, nationwide, decade-long longitudinal study of typical brain development from ages 3 to 22 years. The lab developed the study’s cohort sequential (accelerated longitudinal) design, its random sampling method with participants balanced in age bins and for nationwide CDC and IRS levels. The lab also provided modern cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses to develop normative whole and regional brain growth curves for males and female children and young adults for use as an external control database in clinical trials involving brain disorders.

To improve the detection of white matter abnormalities by diffusion tensor imaging for developing healthy and ill children and adults, Dr. Lange invented a novel visualization and analytic method.


ComputingStatisticsAutismPsychotic Disorders


Selected Publications:

Lange N, Dubray MB, Lee JE, Froimowitz MP, Froehlich A, Adluru N, Wright B, Ravichandran C, Fletcher PT, Bigler ED, Alexander AL, Lainhart JE. Atypical diffusion tensor hemispheric asymmetry in autism. Autism Research 2010;3(6):350-8.

Brain Development Cooperative Group. Total and regional brain volumes in a population-based normative sample from 4 to 18 years: the NIH MRI study of normal brain development. Cerebral Cortex 2012;22(1):1-12.

Lange N, Travers BG, Bigler ED, Prigge MDB, Froehlich AL, Nielsen JA, Cariello AN, Zielinski BA, Anderson JS, Fletcher PT, Alexander AA, Lainhart JE. Longitudinal volumetric brain changes in autism spectrum disorder ages 6-35 years. Autism Research 2014;8(1):82-93.

PubMed search for Dr. Lange


Intersubject coherence in DT-MRI. This invention significantly improves the sharpness and clarity of brain circuitry images and provides more clinically effective identification of atypicalities. Issued to Nicholas T. Lange on September 11, 2007, U.S. Patent 7,268,551. Issued to Nicholas T. Lange on September 09, 2009, U.S. Patent 7,570,049 B2 (international patent).

Imaging-based identification of a neurological disease or a neurological disorder. This high-dimensional decision algorithm identifies the presence or absence of a neurological disease or neurological disorder in an individual based on brain circuitry. U.S. Patent Application 13/014,47 filed January 26, 2011.


Lange N, Ryan L, Billard L, Brillinger D, Conquest L, Greenhouse J, eds. Case studies in biometry. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994.

Education & Training:

  • 1975 BS in Mathematics, Northeastern University
  • 1981 MS in Computer Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • 1986 ScD in Biostatistics, Harvard University School of Public Health




Office Address:

Belmont campus - Oaks Building

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