Dr. Brian Nahed is a neurosurgeon who specializes in Brain Tumors (Glioblastoma, Gliomas, Meningiomas, Metastatic Brain Tumors) and Spinal Disorders.  He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Pappas Center for Neurooncology.  Please visit my web page.



Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

  • Neuro-Oncology (Brain)
Clinical Interests
  • Brain tumors
  • Glioblastoma
  • Meningiomas
  • Metastatic Cancer of the brain (from melanoma, lung, etc)
  • Awake and Language Mapping Craniotomy
  • Spine Surgery: disc excision, laminectomy, fusions
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Spinal Tumor (Primary and Metastatic)
  • Cervical and lumbar disc degeneration
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
Medical Education
  • MSC, Harvard School of Public Health
  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, New England Baptist Hospital
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.

Patient Age Group

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Dr. Brian Nahed is a neurosurgeon specializing in brain tumors (glioblastoma, gliomas (low grade and high grade), metastatic brain tumors, and meningiomas) as well as Spinal Disorders. Dr. Nahed specializes in brain tumors of the eloquent cortex (language and motor areas of the brain) which require awake surgery, language and motor mapping, and subcortical stimulation. 

Born in New York, Dr. Nahed attended UCLA where he majored in Neuroscience, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and with the department's Highest Honors. He attended the Yale School of Medicine where he was awarded the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship and graduated with honors. Dr. Nahed completed his internship and neurosurgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital; where Dr. Nahed also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Daniel Haber and Shyamala Maheswaran in the MGH Cancer Center.

Dr. Brian Nahed was recruited to the MGH Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Center in 2011.  As an assistant professor of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Brian Nahed's research focuses on developing the first blood based test to diagnose and monitor brain tumors. In collaboration with Drs. Haber, Maheswaran, and Stott, Dr. Nahed recently published the first evidence of circulating tumor cells in the blood of patients with glioma.  Dr. Nahed is actively enrolling patients into his translational clinical research study.  

Dr. Brian Nahed serves as the Associate Director of the MGH Neurosurgery Residency Program.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the CNS/AANS section on Tumors. He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and  Council State Neurological Societies.  Dr. Nahed is focused on education and socioeconomic issues in neurosurgery. He also serves as a neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League (NFL).

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

View my most recent research

Circulating Brain Tumor Cells and Blood Based Biomarkers for Brain Tumors

Dr. Brian Nahed's research recently identified the first evidence of tumor cells in the blood of patients with brain tumors - a landmark finding which changes our understanding of brain tumors and the blood. Dr. Brian Nahed and his colleagues developed the first device which they used to identify, capture, and analyze circulating tumor cells in the blood of patients with brain cancer. Through a collaboration between bioengineers, molecular biologists and clinicians, a circulating tumor cell capture device was developed to capture and detect tumor cells from patients with cancer. Under the mentorship of Drs. Daniel Haber, Shyamala Maheswaran, and Mehmet Toner, they aim to harness this technology to genetically characterize tumor cells without needing an invasive biopsy, and determine responsiveness to targeted cancer drugs. It also offers the opportunity to study cancer stem cells or metastasic precursors, thought to be at the origin of cancer spread via the bloodstream, to define their molecular vulnerabilities and help design new therapies to prevent cancer metastasis. Dr. Nahed has joined Dr. Shannon Stott to develop the first clinical tool to identify and monitor brain tumor patients using a blood test - expanding on their individual work on circulating tumor cells and exosomes.

Dr. Nahed's research was recently published in Cancer Discovery and he is active enrolling patients in his translational clinical research study. More information about his research lab can found at the the Nahed Brain Tumor Research Lab.


View my most recent publications at PubMed

Dr. Brian Nahed has authored 107 publications in peer-reviewed journals and several book chapters and blogs.
Please refer to pubmed for a complete list of the publications.

Dr. Brian Nahed's research focuses on developing the first blood based clinical test to diagnose and monitor patients with brain tumors.  More information about his research lab can be found at the Brian Nahed Brain Tumor Research Lab Website or at www.briannahed.com

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News & Events

  • Blood Tests for Brain Cancer

    A Massachusetts General Hospital Neurosurgeon Works to Develop the First Blood-Based Test for Patients with Brain Tumors.

  • Sideline doctors: How the NFL's concussion - spotting system is - and isn't - working

    Confronted by criticism over its handling of player concussions, the NFL dramatically stepped up its response three years ago by installing neurotrauma specialists on the sidelines of every game and concussion spotters in booths high above the field.

  • Westford resident reflects on struggle with brain tumor

    Christine Zinke, 48, has had a difficult year. After being diagnosed in March with a meningioma brain tumor--a layer of tissue that covers the brain and spine--she underwent months of difficult treatment and therapy.

  • Neurosurgeons Advance Aggressive but Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Care

    More than 70,000 patients will learn that they have a new primary brain tumor this coming year in the United States alone.6 While most of these patients will undergo surgery for removal and diagnosis, there are some for whom surgery is not a good option.5 Historically, treatment interventions for these individuals were more limited. Neurosurgeons frustrated by this limitation have been involved in the development and study of two new FDA-approved treatments. These are thermal therapy systems that sparked a renewed interest in Magnetic Resonance Guided Laser Induced Thermal Therapy (MRgLITT). LITT provides a minimally invasive surgical access coupled with the power of lasers to ablate a tumor from the inside out.


Pappas Center for Neuro Oncology
55 Fruit Street
Yawkey 9E
Boston MA, 02114
Phone: 617-724-5805
Fax: 617-724-5806
E-mail me:
Visit my website:

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