If you’re not familiar with Matthieu Ricard (and even if you are), you must check out this interview. As you can see, Ricard is a very different sort of researcher:
More than 35 years ago, Matthieu Ricard left a promising career in cellular genetics to study Buddhism in the Himalayas. After earning a doctorate in biology from the prestigious Pasteur Institute in France, Ricard left Paris and moved to Darjeeling, India to study with a great Tibetan master. Today, Ricard draws upon his recent writings, research into brain plasticity and cognitive neuropsychology, and his work with neuroscientists and Buddhist practitioners at the Mind and Life Institute (co-founded by the Dalai Lama), while examining the interconnecting relationship between meditation, brain circuitry, and emotional balance.
Ricard is also a fantastic author. I’ve read a few of his books and especially found “The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet” to be fascinating. “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill” is also a great read.