Neil Vasdev, PhD

Director of Radiochemistry, MGH
Associate Professor of Radiology, HMS

Email:   vasdev.neil@mgh.harvard.edu
Phone:   1-617-643-4736


Biography

Dr. Neil Vasdev was recently recruited as the Director of Radiochemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. He concurrently graduated (summa cum laude) with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McMaster University in 1998, under the co-supervision of Prof. Raman Chirakal and Prof. Gary Schrobilgen. Prior to starting graduate school he gained experience working in industry as a chemist at two major pharmaceutical companies: Astra Pharma and Glaxo Wellcome, and a radiopharmacy. In 2002, he completed his Ph.D. dissertation in PET radiopharmaceutical chemistry where he developed new agents to image the living human brain as well as several cancers, while holding a national scholarship (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)). He completed an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship to further his training in PET radiopharmaceutical chemistry in the Department of Functional Imaging at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, under the supervision of Prof. Henry VanBrocklin. In 2004, he started his independent research career the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry and the PET group at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where he worked closely under the mentorship of Prof. Alan Wilson. He has focused his radiopharmaceutical chemistry research on developing radiolabelled imaging agents, often by multi-step radiochemistry reactions, for investigating disorders of the human brain and has extended this technology to prepare cancer imaging agents. Several of the radiotracers developed by his laboratory are in preclinical use worldwide and many of these compounds have been used for first in human neuroimaging studies.

Neil has received many academic, teaching and presentation awards for his research. He has been an active member of several national and international chemistry and nuclear medicine societies, including the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), and regularly organizes symposia for the Canadian Society for Chemistry and the American Chemical Society. His distinctions include the First Place Young Investigators Award (2006) from the Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council of the SNM, as well as young investigator awards from the University of Toronto, Ontario Ministry for Research and Innovation, and the Canadian Society of Nuclear Medicine


To see a list of selected publications, visit Neil's profile on Harvard Catalyst

Education

  • B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry, 1998, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada (summa cum laude)
  • B.A. in Psychology, 1998, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada (summa cum laude
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2003, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Professional Positions

  • Quality Control Chemist, 1996-1997, Astra-Pharma, Inc. Mississauga, Canada
  • Chemist (R&D), 1998, Glaxo-Wellcome, Inc., Mississauga, Canada
  • Quality Control Radiochemist, 1999 – 2002, Nuclear Pharmacy, Hamilton Health Sciences, Canada
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2004-2004, E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, United States of America
  • Senior Scientist, 2004 – 2011, PET Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada
  • Assistant Professor, 2004 – 2010, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Associate Professor, 2010 – 2011, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2011 – Present, Director of Radiochemistry, Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Unites States of America

Awards

  • 2009 Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • 2006 First Place, Young Investigator Award, Society of Nuclear Medicine (Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council)
  • 2006 Canadian Society of Nuclear Medicine’s Young Investigator Award
  • 2006 Newly Established Researcher Award (The John M. Cleghorn Award), Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  • 2005 Moissan Fellowship, Division of Fluorine Chemistry, American Chemical Society
  • 2003 NSERC Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2002 Dow Canada Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2001 NSERC Canada Postgraduate Scholarship
  • 2000 Oral Presentation Award at Biological/Medicinal Chemistry at the Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CSC)
  • 1999 Oral Presentation Award at Biological/Medicinal Chemistry at the CSC
  • 2000 E.S. Garnett Bursary in Medical Imaging2000  James A. Morrison Memorial Scholarship in Chemistry1998 – 2002
  • Presentation Awards at Radiology Research Day, McMaster University