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Research Advances from Mass General Neurology

In This Video

  • Researchers from the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital discuss their collaborative and individual work in clinical and translational research
  • Research teams are working collaboratively across specialties and individually to improve our ability to diagnose, detect and treat neurological disorders

Researchers from the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital discuss their collaborative and individual work in clinical and translational research. They bring together basic science and preclinical expertise, together with their clinical knowledge to translate their neurological findings to the clinic.


Florian Eichler, MD, director of the Center for Rare Neurological Diseases: In a place like Massachusetts General Hospital, we can bring together the preclinical expertise, the basic science expertise, together with our clinical knowledge. This is a unique opportunity to impact patients and families.

Bakhos A. Tannous, PhD, director of the Experimental Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging Lab: Because we're in a hospital setting we could get the collaboration going from a scientist who's working at the bench, which would be myself, working very closely to a neuro-oncologist who is actually in the clinic treating the patients, also, working with a neurosurgeon who's actually doing this surgery on these patients. And having this team working together gives us a tremendous advantage to try to achieve our preclinical, or let's say if you wish, from a bench to a bedside transition.

Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, PhD, director of the NeuroEpigenetics Laboratory: It's always difficult to study diseases of the brain because we can't easily access it. We can't biopsy the brain. That's why looking for markers in the periphery becomes very important in studying neurodegenerative disease.

Florian Eichler, MD: Many of these devastating disorders have a disease-causing gene. If you understand it, if you understand how to correct it, if you can develop a biomarker out of that, and if you bring into this the clinical expertise around natural history and decline, you can design a trial very quickly and help address the unmet need that has existed for so many decades.

Jonathan Rosand, MD, co-director of Mass General Neuroscience: What's really exciting now is that as we're making these genetic discoveries, we're also learning how to characterize patients more and more precisely.

Yakeel T. Quiroz, PhD, director of the Familial Dementia Neuroimaging Lab: For the past several years, I have been studying a Columbian family with autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. This is the world's largest family with one single mutation for autosomal dominant AD. What we are doing now in my lab is trying to define biomarkers as one of the earliest brain changes associated with the risk to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, PhD: I feel hopeful being here because I know that whatever I end up doing here can be translated into the clinic. It is actually a strong enough target that is important for causing disease. There's a lot of support for us to do research here and to be successful, and I can feel that the hospital is really invested in us working together and finding solutions and cures for the patients.

Learn about the Department of Neurology

Learn more about research in the Department of Neurology


In this video, Dr. Florian Eichler discusses his research focused on rare, single-gene neurological disorders that have a devastating impact on patients’ lives.


Yakeel T. Quiroz, PhD, is the director of the Familial Dementia Neuroimaging Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. For the past several years, she has been studying a Colombian family with autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. In this video, she discusses her research to find biomarkers that signal early brain changes associated with developing Alzheimer's Disease.