Hooker Research Group

Hooker Research Group

The Hooker Research Group, led by Jacob Hooker, PhD, aims to accelerate the study of the living human brain through development and application of molecular imaging tools. The group is located at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Overview

Our diverse group of scientists from backgrounds including chemistry, biochemistry and medical physics (among others), develops and applies tools to image molecules within the living human brain using Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

While Magnetic Resonance (MR) images reveal the anatomical/structural data about the body, PET employs radiolabeled chemical ligands to visualize the density and localization of specific molecules within the body. PET neuroimaging provides insight into the neurochemistry of the healthy brain, enables investigation of when and where molecules are dysregulated in brain diseases, and can be used to develop therapeutic treatments.

In collaboration with other groups at the Martinos Center, clinicians from Massachusetts General Hospital (e.g. neurology and psychiatry) and academic centers worldwide, we examine molecular changes in the living brain throughout the course of disease so that we can better understand underlying disease mechanisms and develop novel therapeutic approaches. We are currently running several clinical studies to investigate the role of neuroinflammation and epigenetic enzymes in both neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

Additional projects are focused on developing new methods and tools to enable imaging of novel molecular targets that will advance our ability to translate basic research towards the treatment of human illness.

Group Members

Jacob Hooker, PhD

Jacob Hooker, PhD
Associate Professor
Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar

Michael Placzek

Michael Placzek, PhD
Instructor

Paul S. Russell
Nicole Zürcher, PhD
Instructor
Frederick Schroeder
Frederick Schroeder, PhD
Research Scientist
Misha Riley
Misha Riley, BS
Project Manager
Baileigh Hightower
Baileigh Hightower, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator
Tonya Gilbert, PhD
Tonya Gilbert, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Martin Strebl, PhD
Martin Strebl, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mary Catherine Catanese, PhD
Mary Catherine Catanese, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Johanna Rokka, PhD
Johanna Rokka, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Yueting Chen, PhD
Yueting Chen, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

 

Research Projects

  • NEUROINFLAMMATION IMAGING
  • EPIGENETIC IMAGING
  • NOVEL THERAPEUTIC TARGETING
  • RADIOTRACER CHEMISTRY ADVANCES

Publications

Back to Top