About John Chen, MD, PhD

Dr. Chen is an associate radiologist and director of Imaging Clinical Trials in the Division of Neuroradiology and director of the Institute for Innovation in Imaging in the Department of Radiology.

Dr. Chen is an associate professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and attending clinician in the Department of Radiology (Neuroradiology) at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (MD, PhD in physical chemistry) and completed his radiology residency in 2004 and neuroradiology fellowship at Mass General in 2005. He has won several awards including the Mass General Wyman Award, RSNA and Dana Foundation Awards as well as an NIH K08 award. His current research is supported by two NIH R01 and an R21 grants.

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Mass General Imaging: Neuroradiology
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-8628

Medical Education

  • MD, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology
  • Radiology - Neuroradiology, American Board of Radiology

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My laboratory studies neuroinflammation, combining basic science research with a clinical focus. In particular, we investigate the roles of molecular pathways and innate immune processes related to microglia in multiple sclerosis but also other diseases where CNS inflammation is prominent. A key aspect of our research is in deciphering complex in vivo biology by using innovative molecular imaging technologies, targeted molecular treatments, advanced experimental models as well as human trials. Ultimately we hope advance the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases by developing novel imaging and treatment strategies.


    • Rodriguez E, Nilges M, Weissleder R, Chen JW. Activatable magnetic resonance imaging agents for myeloperoxidase sensing: mechanism of activation, stability, and toxicity. J Am Chem Soc. 2010;132(1):168-77
    • Ronald JA*, Chen JW*, Chen Y, Hamilton AM, Rodriguez E, Reynolds F, Hegele RA, Rogers KA, Querol M, Bogdanov A, Weissleder R, Rutt BK. Enzyme-Sensitive Magnetic Resonance Imaging Targeting Myeloperoxidase Identifies Active Inflammation in Experimental Rabbit Atherosclerotic Plaques. Circulation. 2009;120(7):592-9
    • McCann CM, Waterman P, Figueiredo JL, Aikawa E, Weissleder R, Chen JW. Combined magnetic resonance and fluorescence imaging of the living mouse brain reveals glioma response to chemotherapy. Neuroimage. 2009;45(2):360-9
    • Breckwoldt M*, Chen JW*, Stangenberg L, Aikawa E, Rodriguez E, Qiu S, Moskowitz M, Weissleder R. Tracking the Inflammatory Response in Stroke in Vivo by Sensing the Enzyme Myeloperoxidase. P Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105 (47):18584-18589
    • Chen JW, Breckwoldt MO, Aikawa E, Chiang G, Weissleder R. Myeloperoxidase-targeted imaging of active inflammatory lesions in murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Brain. 2008;131(Pt 4):1123-33

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