The Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation has helped to pave the way to improving – even revolutionizing – the treatment of neurologic and mental illness. It consistently drives medical innovations and healthcare advances that promise to usher in new therapies and save millions of lives at Massachusetts General Hospital and beyond.

The Rappaport Fellows and Mass General are deeply grateful for the foundation’s generosity, particularly as it comes at time when each recipient is financially vulnerable.

For two decades, the funding provided by the Rappaport Foundation to physicians and researchers early in their careers has allowed brilliance to flourish and breakthroughs to triumph, forecasting a promising future for patients suffering from debilitating neurological diseases and mental illness.

The Rappaport Foundation’s support not only supplements fellows’ salaries, but allows for the purchase of resources vital to realizing their vision – from securing highly specialized equipment to recruiting the requisite scientific talent. The prestige of earning a Rappaport Fellowship has been instrumental in procuring future grants for its fellows, and helping them gain peer recognition in the form of awards, patents and exciting research results communicated in national and international publications and forums. This makes it possible for their achievements to be shared and leveraged globally.

The Rappaport Fellows and Mass General are deeply grateful for the foundation’s generosity, particularly as it comes at time when each recipient is financially vulnerable. Without the Rappaport family’s kindness, the fellows’ research might otherwise have been sidelined, shuttering potentially groundbreaking findings that could result in restoring sight to the blind, reversing brain cancer, applying cutting-edge psychiatric neuroscience to develop radically more effective treatments for schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses, curing Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and much more.

The Rappaport Fellows 1995-2015

Mark W. Albers, MD, PhD, Neurology (2008)
Assistant in Neurology
Frank Wilkens, Jr. and Family Endowed Scholar, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Albers’ laboratory is working on a mechanistic understanding of early pathogenic processes of neurodegenerative diseases that are modifiable or reversible. Patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease suffer olfactory deficits early in the course of their disease, pointing to a particular susceptibility of this neural circuit to the pathogenesis of these diseases, and making the olfactory system a logical starting point.

Using mouse genetics, Dr. Albers’ lab has specifically tailored olfactory neurons to express disease genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease in a reversible manner, such that the disease gene can be turned off by feeding the mice a low-dose antibiotic. Reversal of the disease gene expression affects a complete recovery of the behavioral deficit in adult mice. This advance has generated exciting studies that delve into the molecular mechanisms leading to accelerated neuronal death and to develop a system to screen for molecules that interfere with this neurodegenerative process.

Stephen Cannon, MD, PhD, Neurosurgery (1995)
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
Patricia A. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neuromuscular Disease Research
Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Cannon’s research focuses on how ion channels regulate the electric excitability of cells and how defects in these channels lead to human disease. Dr. Cannon helped to illuminate the consequences of mutations in sodium and calcium channels that have been linked to muscle disorders, causing episodic paralysis or stiffness (myotonia). Under his leadership in the Cannon Laboratory at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, he continues to focus on inherited diseases of muscle that disrupt electrical signaling and thereby cause intermittent attacks of paralysis or muscle stiffness.

As a Rappaport Fellow nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Cannon utilized Rappaport funding to purchase equipment crucial to expanding the throughput on experiments. On the basis of data generated through support from the Rappaport Foundation, he received his first independent investigator award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That grant is still funded today, and he was presented with the NIH’s MERIT award.

Robert S. Carter, MD, PhD (2003)
Professor and Chief of Neurosurgery
University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine

Dr. Carter is currently studying exosomal RNA as potential genetic signatures of human glioma and neurodegenerative disease with the goal of improving the ability to diagnose and therapeutically monitor neurological disorders.

Dr. Carter and his colleagues developed a new strategy for “starving” human brain tumors by decreasing their ability to grow new blood vessels. Other outcomes of his research include the development of serum RNA-based biomarkers for brain tumors and other neurological disorders, as well as gene transfer delivery techniques for the central nervous system. Data obtained during Dr. Carter’s Rappaport funding played a significant role in helping him to establish credibility with government funding agencies. He currently holds two active NIH grants.

Sydney S. Cash, MD, PhD, Neurology (2007)
Assistant in Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Elizabeth Riley and Dan Smith MGH Research Scholar
Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Cash’s laboratory focuses on trying to understand normal and abnormal oscillations in the human brain. He and his team are interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying rhythmic activity in sleep, cognition and epilepsy. They use both noninvasive and invasive methods to study these phenomena and hope to use these results to improve diagnostic and therapeutic efforts to cure neurological disease. One of their most exciting research programs focuses on using specialized microelectrodes to record from the human cortex to understand how seizures start, spread and stop. The results suggest new ways to understand how seizures start and spread. Dr. Cash and his team hope to expand on this new understanding and build new systems for detecting, predicting and controlling seizures.

Rappaport funding laid the groundwork for a series of grants with private foundations (Epilepsy Foundation of America, CIMIT) and the NIH, including an NIH RO1 grant, which is now the main grant supporting lab activity.

William T. Curry, Jr, MD, Neurosurgery (2006)
Attending Neurosurgeon, Department of Neurosurgery and the Stephen E. & Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology Massachusetts General Hospital

Associate Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) Harvard Medical School

Dr. Curry’s research team is combining herpes virus treatment of malignant brain tumors with immunotherapy approaches in an attempt to generate more effective and durable strategies for this intractable disease. G47D is a herpes simplex virus type I that has been engineered in the laboratory to replicate in and, thereby kill dividing cancer cells without affecting normal brain tissue. Their work has demonstrated that this combination viral and dendritic cell therapy is very effective, and, in fact, can cure most established subcutaneous tumors in mice.

The Rappaport funding helped him gain credibility on a national level, setting the stage for his academic advancement to associate professor and for establishing the appropriate recognition to obtain additional funding for his research.

Emad Eskandar, MD, Neurosurgery (2000)
Director, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery

Director, Neurosurgery Residency Training Program, Massachusetts General Hospital

Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Eskandar’s research involves the exploration and use of microelectrode recordings to define the function of the basal ganglia with translational studies in patients with movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease. The Rappaport funding was invaluable in allowing Dr. Eskandar to purchase equipment and software to construct a computer system that collected high-quality intraoperative physiologic data from patients undergoing surgery to treat Parkinson’s disease. With this system, Dr. Eskandar initiated an International Review Board approved protocol to study the activity of neurons in the subthalamic nucleus during visually guided movements. The computers and interface cards are used to run the visual experiment and to store and analyze the physiologic data. Dr. Eskandar’s group is currently the only one in the world conducting this kind of research. Rappaport funding helped him to secure further funding from the NIH and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Eskandar is a recipient of the Grass Neuroscience Fellowship and the Excellence in Teaching Award from Harvard Medical School, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician Scientist Early

Career Award.

Alice Flaherty, MD, PhD, Neurology (1999)
Director, Movement Disorders Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

Associate Professor of Neurology and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Flaherty’s research focuses on how our brains represent our bodies – a key factor that helps drive suffering in depression, Parkinson’s and somatoform disorders. As the principal investigator for the trial of GAD-AAV, Dr. Flaherty led the first successful genetic treatment of Parkinson’s disease and the first successful gene therapy for any neurological disorder. She is currently working with a group to show that the drug acamprosate can effectively and safely suppress dyskinesia, a movement disorder that consists of adverse effects, including diminished voluntary movements and the presence of involuntary movement associated with Parkinson’s disease.

The Rappaport funding provided research support at an early phase in her career. Her experience helped to cement her commitment to treating Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. The Rappaport funding allowed her to apply for and receive an NIH K08 award, and gain a number of other government and private grants.

Shelley Fried, PhD (2015)
Research Staff, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Fried’s research focuses on the development of a bionic retina – a device implanted into the back of the eye that can stimulate diseased neurons with the goal of restoring sight to those blinded by retinal diseases such as macular degeneration. His team is investigating the fundamental mechanisms by which these devices interact with retinal neurons and use this information to develop more effective stimulation strategies. They are also pioneering new technology in which tiny magnets are used to activate neurons; this approach has some marked advantages over conventional electrodes, but still needs further investigation.

Giulia Fulci, PhD, Neurosurgery (2007)
Assistant Virologist, Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital

Neurosurgery Instructor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Fulci’s research focuses on increasing efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy for brain tumors through transient suppression of the host’s innate antiviral defense responses. Dr. Fulci performs oncolytic virotherapy with viruses that selectively replicate in and kill tumor cells. These viruses can generate a progeny that spreads through the tumor while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. This is an excellent means to deliver an anti-tumor agent to isolated malignant cells that infiltrate the normal brain and that cause rapid re-occurrence of the cancer after standard treatments.

She is developing a new MRI technique that allows monitoring in brain tumor patients with the presence of antiviral immune responses, the intratumoral spread of the virus and the tumor response to the treatment throughout the therapy. Dr. Fulci is establishing a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool that can evaluate in a quantitative and noninvasive fashion all three parameters and therefore provide fundamental information about the progress of the treatment.

The Rappaport funding gave her the support needed to obtain an NIH R21 grant award to pursue this work.

Lee Goldstein, MD, PhD, Psychiatry (2001)
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering, Boston University

Dr. Goldstein’s research focuses on the role of abnormal protein aggregation in chronic degenerative disorders of aging, such as Alzheimer’s and age-related cataracts. Dr. Goldstein and his team recently discovered the first evidence of Alzheimer’s disease-associated amyloid pathology outside the brain as well as a new transcription factor that plays a crucial role in cellular differentiation within the lens and brain. He and his team are developing a laser-based diagnostic technology that may detect Alzheimer’s disease years before the first symptoms emerge.

Dr. Goldstein developed a breakthrough optical imaging device that is able to identify a marker of early Alzheimer’s disease. Eventually, such a test might be used to measure the effectiveness of new strategies to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s symptoms and to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages, when new treatments are likely to be most effective.

The Rappaport funding provided salary and fringe benefit support to Dr. Goldstein during a time when he was pursuing continued funding for his critical research.

Daphne Holt, MD, PhD, Psychiatry (2004)
Director of Research for MGH Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program

Director of MGH Resilience Enhancement and Prevention Program

Psychiatrist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Holt’s research uses neuroimaging in schizophrenia in order to examine the functions of pathways involved in emotion. Dr. Holt found that many of the symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions and negative symptoms, are associated with abnormalities in emotion processing. This led to a change in the way that the biological and clinical relationships between psychosis and affective symptoms (e.g. depression and anxiety) are viewed in the field.

She is currently working to understand the changes in emotional functioning and associated changes in the brain that occur with the symptoms of schizophrenia, in order to shed light on the underlying mechanisms that give rise to these symptoms. She is also investigating those mechanisms so that she can identify early markers of the illness and apply interventions that protect those at risk for psychosis and other mental illnesses.

The Rappaport funding allowed Dr. Holt to complete her studies in the field of schizophrenia functional neuroimaging, focus on her research and publish the preliminary data needed to secure a K23 Career Development Award from the NIMH, and R21 and RO1award from the NIH and two Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Awards.

Rakesh Karmacharya, MD, PhD, Psychiatry (2013)
Director of Stem Cell Research, Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostic, Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Karmacharya’s research focuses on identifying robust cellular signatures that underlie the disease biology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Dr. Karmacharya and his team use neuronal cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells. The goal is to find reliable cellular features that segregate with disease and can serve as disease signatures. These disease signatures can then be used in high-throughput screens of small molecule libraries to discover compounds that can normalize the cellular disease signatures, with an eye towards identifying new diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Preliminary data obtained during Dr. Karmacharya’s Rappaport funding has leveraged a pilot grant from Harvard Catalyst to use high resolution microscopes at the Harvard Center for Biological Imaging. This grant will allow Dr. Karmacharya to collaborate with scientists at the center on a detailed study of the structural differences in neurons from patients compared to those from control subjects. He has also obtained a grant from the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation to study the effects on metabolic profiles of patient cells in the presence of stressful conditions, an opportunity that will allow him to conduct metabolic profiling experiments at the Broad Institute. Finally, he recently applied for an NIH R21 grant to fund a collaborative study looking at gene-environment effects of low folate on neuronal development using cells from subjects with different genetic backgrounds.

David N. Louis, MD (1996)
Pathologist-in-Chief, Massachusetts General Hospital

Benjamin Castleman Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Louis’ research focuses on finding a more effective treatment for brain tumors, with an emphasis on the application of molecular diagnostics to glioma classification. Dr. Louis’s laboratory was the first to demonstrate that molecular approaches could predict the response of particular malignant gliomas to specific therapies. This work has contributed to worldwide adoption of molecular testing for the management of patients with these tumors.

Dr. Louis attributes the support of the Rappaport funding as an early stepping stone in his work on the genetic basis of malignant gliomas, which eventually changed how some of these patients are diagnosed and managed around the world.

Nicte Mejia, MD, MPH, Neurology (2011)
Director of Neurology Diversity and Community Outreach Initiatives, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Mejia’s research aims to improve neurologic care and outcomes for those with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, especially for patients in underserved communities. Dr. Mejia demonstrated significant nationwide racial and socioeconomic inequalities in access to Parkinson’s disease deep brain stimulation surgery. This work is critical for patients with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers, as they often face years of progressive disability and poor quality of life. This information helped to secure funding to develop a Parkinson’s disease web portal for Latino patients and their caregivers to connect with a health coach, making essential strides toward health equity.

The Rappaport funding provided Dr. Mejia with “protected time” to develop neurology health service research projects that have led to manuscripts, abstracts, scientific platform sessions and courses at national and international neurology meetings that give her research a global voice. It also made it possible for her to pursue a masters of Public Health at Harvard, which she completed in 2012, and to leverage further funding for her work.

Mohammed R. Milad, PhD, Psychiatry (2007)
Director, Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Research Scientists, Massachusetts General Hospital

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Milad’s research focuses specifically on understanding the differences that exist between males and females in their ability to regulate fear, and to understand the role that estrogen and other sex hormones have in regulating fear. His lab is taking the information learned about ways to reduce the fear response in rat’s brains and translating it to human brains using psychophysiological and neuroimaging tools. The hope is to develop much-needed therapy for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The Rappaport funding allowed Dr. Milad to establish the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab, purchase lab equipment and offset salary costs to hire additional staff. Preliminary data generated from his lab has leveraged additional governmental funding, including an RO1 NIH grant to study other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder.

Eric M. Morrow, MD, PhD, Psychiatry (2007)
Director of the Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program
Assistant Professor in Biology and Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University

Dr. Morrow’s research investigates normal mechanisms that regulate brain development and studies genetic mutations that lead to difficult-to-treat autism. The long-term aim of Dr. Morrow’s research is to contribute to the development of targets for novel medical interventions that will enhance cognitive gains in the most difficult autism cases. His work bridges patient-oriented and basic experimental studies.

Dr. Morrow is currently conducting both longitudinal studies of children and adults with Christianson syndrome (a rare genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system), as well as studying patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to further understand the cause of the disease symptoms. Research in the Morrow lab on the endosomal NHEs in autism and Christianson syndrome represents an integrated translational approval involving mouse models and human stem cells.

The Rappaport funding supplemented salaries and provided protected time to complete studies, prepare manuscripts and travel for international conical research and national presentations. The funding also helped leverage funding from other sources such as the NIH/NIMH and private funding agencies.

Mireya Nadal-Vicens, MD, PhD, Psychiatry (2010)
Staff Psychiatrist, The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Massachusetts General Hospital

Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Nadal-Vicens’ research drives drug discovery relevant to clinical applications in depression and other mood disorders by developing a simple new animal model of depression. By using a large screening assay in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the hope is to discover new medications able to reverse the brain changes brought on by stress and defeat.

Thanks to the Rappaport fellowship, Dr. Nadal-Vicens has been able to further characterize the social defeat assay in the fruit fly Drosophila, wherein a single loss in a fighting arena leads to profound and long-lasting changes in the fly’s behavior. In addition, Dr. Nadal-Vicens has been able to increase the volume of experiments in preparation for a larger screening. Through these steps, she has laid the foundations of two promising collaborations, both of which examine the role of different epigenetic modifications on this behavioral assay. Dr. Nadal-Vicens’ laboratory has also obtained some exciting results contrasting the role of valproic acid and lithium in this assay system, which may have important implications for how these commonly used drugs function in clinical mood disorders. This research is being submitted for publication and would not have been possible without the philanthropic support of the Rappaport Foundation.

John S. Pezaris, PhD, Neurosurgery (2012)
Principal Investigator, Visual Prosthesis Laboratory

Assistant in Neuroscience, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Pezaris’ research explores the potential for device-based therapy (or visual prosthesis) to correct complete vision loss due to diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and optic neuritis, along with vision loss due to trauma to the eyes.

Dr. Pezaris’ lab has three lines of investigation: a.) developing the visual prosthesis through exploration in an animal model; b.) guiding the animal work with work in humans operating in a simulation of artificial vision; and applying tools developed for a.) and b.) to new fields such as the motor cortex. Dr. Pezaris discovered and is utilizing highly advanced deep brain stimulation techniques to provide an alternate pathway for visual information to enter the brain by implanting electrodes in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus and sending processed information from eyeglass-mounted digital cameras into the visual pathway. Through this work he has made incremental progress in restoring sight to the blind.

Dr. Pezaris also has taken tools developed for his visual prosthesis recording work and applied them to recordings made in the motor cortex. By doing so, he observed that the fundamental representation of the body within the motor cortex appears to be far more dynamic and complex than the classical view. This exciting discovery has the potential to aid in developing brain-machine interfaces that can be used to drive motor prosthesis to assist people who are paralyzed.

The Rappaport funding was instrumental in allowing Dr. Pezaris to purchase essential equipment and recruit top talent to his team. The funding has invigorated his lab and enabled him to continue his important line of investigation.

Jonathan Rosand, MD, MSc, Neurology (2005)
J.P. Kistler Chair in Neurology
Chief of the Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology

Medical Director, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital

Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rosand’s research focuses on combining neuroimaging and the genetic characterization of patients in order to discover the underpinnings of devastating injuries to the brain. Dr. Rosand spends a substantial portion of his time running the multi-disciplinary research group within the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT devoted to the genetic and imaging of cerebrovascular disease.

His early investigations focused on the use of neuroimaging to characterize patients with hemorrhagic stroke. As genetic technologies have advanced to enable the robust identification of genetic variants that influence common traits, Dr. Rosand has turned his attention to genetics. His long-term goal is to develop novel strategies that reduce the burden of cerebrovascular disease for generations to come.

Rappaport funding provided Dr. Rosand support to hire staff to assist him in establishing an infrastructure for his research in genetics. With this structure in place, he was able to initiate genetic studies independently and be in a much stronger position to apply for federal funds for his research.

H. Diana Rosas, MD, PhD, Neurology (2002)
Director, Center for Neuroimaging of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital

Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rosas’ research focuses on investigating the regional and temporal progression of the changes that occur in the brain as part of normal aging and how those are distinct in neurodegenerative diseases, more specifically in Huntington’s disease, using neuroimaging. Most recently, her team has begun to explore the sensitivity, reliability and reproducibility of neuroimaging methods to serve as a biomarker of Huntington’s disease onset and progression, and its potential to enhance the efficiency of clinical trials.

Dr. Rosas’ laboratory is using sophisticated MRI imaging and analytic techniques to understand how Huntington’s disease starts long before symptoms occur, to understand how involvement of different areas of the brain are responsible for symptoms that occur, and to track the progression of the disease. These methods have shown promise in monitoring whether brain deterioration can be slowed by potential neuroprotective treatments. Her work has demonstrated that many brain regions contribute to the symptoms of Huntington’s disease and has sparked a paradigm shift away from the concentration on preventing disease in the striatum and towards preventing disease in the entire brain.

Rappaport funding helped purchase equipment needed to develop and validate surrogate biomarkers for Huntington’s disease. A small portion was used to provide partial salary support for a laboratory research assistant.

Guochuan Emil Tsai, MD, PhD (1997)
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Medical Director, Alliance for the Mentally Ill/Field Capable Clinical Service Program

Dr. Tsai’s research focuses on investigating novel treatments for central nervous system disorders. He and his group have successfuly identified several new drug targets that will improve the symptoms and quality of life for people with mental illness. The treatment is based on the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor mechanism. Dr. Tsai has shown that the NMDA therapeutics worked for populations refractory to the available treatments based on proof obtained in the principle studies at both the bench and bedside. These novel therapeutics can benefit conditions including schizophrenia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s and dementia, since the NMDA receptor mechanism is the main regulatory mechanism of memory and cognitive brain function.

The support of the Rappaport funding helped to fuel Dr. Tsai’s early research and ultimately helped him to identify several new drug targets that will improve the symptoms and quality of life for people with mental illness.

Tuong Van Nguyen, MD, Psychiatry, Neurology (1998)

A former Vietnamese refugee, Dr. Nguyen transitioned his career from academic research to private practice in order to devote more of his time to providing care to the refugee community.

He is on the faculty of Boston Medical Center and the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center and practices general psychiatry in Dorchester.

Hiroaki Wakimoto, MD, PhD, Neurosurgery (2009)
Research Scientist, Brain Tumor Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Wakimoto’s goal is to develop a novel treatment strategy for glioblastoma, a common brain cancer that is both aggressive and deadly. He is developing a better understanding of the biological and molecular characteristics of glioblastoma stem cells that are likely associated with the unfavorable outcome of this brain cancer. Although efforts are directed at conducting laboratory studies of glioblastoma cancer cells using molecular, cellular and disease modeling approaches, emphasis is put on how to translate the leading-edge findings in the lab into better patient care in the clinic.

Dr. Wakimoto’s lab – the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Lab – has been successful in establishing more than 30 cultures of glioblastoma stem cells from patients that serve as a powerful tool to investigate how glioblastoma cells proliferate, invade into the normal brain, and survive a variety of therapeutic agents such as anti-cancer drugs. These studies will lead to the development of new therapies that are effective at eradicating glioblastoma stem cells and can ultimately improve the lives of patients.

Rappaport funding provided financial stability for Dr. Wakimoto to focus on his research and generate findings to leverage further funding through both federal and private agencies such as the NIH and the American Brain Tumor Association.

M. Brandon Westover, MD, PhD, Neurology (2014)

Dr. Westover is a leader in the fields of critical care electroencephalography (EEG) and biomedical signal processing. Dr. Westover’s laboratory is working on helping intensive care unit (ICU) patients leave the hospital with better neurological outcomes. ICU patients are at risk for a host of neurological complications that could be prevented with better brain monitoring technology, including delirium, anoxic brain injury, over- and under-sedation, occult pain and seizures.

Dr. Westover’s research is pursuing two parallel strategies: developing computer algorithms for monitoring brain activity in patients at risk for neurological deterioration and developing “Big Data” analytics to extract new medical knowledge from the rich and massive clinical data archives of the MGH ICU and Epilepsy Units.

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