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Funded Studies

Brian Bacskai, PhD

Assistant in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Brian Bacskai earned a Bachelor ’s degree from Northwestern University in 1985 and a PhD from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 1990.  With an interest in optical imaging, Dr. Bacskai combined technological development of instrumentation with a focus on specific biological problems.  Dr. Bacskai completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego where he studied the mechanisms of learning and memory in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Tsien. In 1998, Dr. Bacskai joined the Alzheimer Disease Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital to work with Dr. Brad Hyman.  Using multiphoton microscopy in the newly developed transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, basic questions surrounding Alzheimer's disease progression were addressed. The main research interests are centered around developing more effective imaging approaches and using the techniques for quantitative evaluation of candidate therapeutic approaches for CNS diseases. Multiphoton microscopy combined with in vivo imaging of mouse models of disease has led to developments and applications in other optical imaging approaches, such as SHG and FLIM, as well as non-invasive diffuse optical imaging of rodent brain. These developments have led to insight into the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s models, and has accelerated the development of imaging probes suitable for clinical imaging with more conventional approaches.

Associated Grants

  • Consortium to Develop an Alpha-synuclein Imaging Agent


  • Development and Screening of Contrast Agents for In-vivo Imaging of Parkinson's Disease


  • Development and Screening of Contrast Agents for In Vivo Imaging of PD


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