Rachit Bakshi, PhD, is an instructor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Bakshi trained as a cell and molecular biologist and later developed expertise in biochemistry and cell biology of Parkinson's disease (PD). In his research, Dr. Bakshi follows genetic and environmental clues as he develops therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases in general and for Parkinson's disease in particular. Dr. Bakshi previously completed post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Clemens Scherzer, MD, at Brigham and Women's Hospital and participated in the collaborative Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center Biomarker Study, where he investigated variants of the alpha-synuclein gene that increase the risk of disease and defects in mitochondria -- cells' energy generators -- in Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Bakshi joined Massachusetts General Hospital as a junior faculty member in 2012. His initial work there in collaboration with Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD, focused on characterizing the neuroprotective role and mechanisms of uric acid and activators of Nrf2 pathway in pre-clinical models of PD and other neurodegenerative diseases. He currently studies damaging effects of mutations -- genetic changes -- in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene, the greatest known genetic contributor to PD. His research interests also include the identification of potential predictive biomarkers -- objective measures of disease -- and the development of clinical methods of biomarker detection.