About Brian Nahed, MD, MSC

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Dr. Brian Nahed is a neurosurgeon specializing in Brain Tumors (Glioblastoma, Low Grade Gliomas, Meningiomas, Metastatic Brain Tumors) and Brain Mapping / Intraoperative Imaging.  He is Director of Neurosurgery Residency Program at MGH and Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery.

Patient appointments: 617-724-5805.   (Appointments / Second Opinions within 24 hrs.) Visit my web page.

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. Dr. Nahed specializes in intraoperative technology and minimally invasive procedures to treat brain tumors aggressively and safely.

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 neurosurgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital; where Dr. Nahed 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, MGH Brain Tumor Center, and Harvard Medical School in 2011. 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 published the first evidence of circulating tumor cells in the blood of patients with glioblastoma.  Drs Nahed and Stott run an NIH funded laboratory developing the first blood test for patients with brain tumors.

As the Director of the MGH Neurosurgery Residency Program, he has led neurosurgical education.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the CNS/AANS Executive Committee For Brain Tumors. He is Co-Chair of the CNS Leadership Institute.  He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Council State Neurological Societies.  Dr. Nahed serves as the lead neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League (NFL).

Clinical Interests:



Mass General Cancer Center: Neuro-Oncology
55 Fruit St.
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-724-5805
Fax: 617-724-5806

Medical Education

  • MSc, Harvard T. H Chan School of Public Health
  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, New England Baptist Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Neurological Surgery, American Board of Neurological Surgery

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Circulating Tumor Cells in Brain Tumor Patients and Blood Based Biomarkers for Brain Tumor Patients

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. 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 metastatic 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. They are actively enrolling patients into their NIH funded research program.  

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  • Peer-Reviewed Publications: Dr. Nahed has 153 publications in peer-reviewed journals, given hundreds of presentations, published book chapters, scientific and patient centered blogs. Please refer to PubMed for a complete list of Dr. Nahed's publications. Leader in Liquid Biopsy Research and the first to develop a blood test for patients with brain tumors. Dr. Brian Nahed and Dr. Shannon Stott have developed the first blood based test to diagnose brain tumors from patient's blood. They have been awarded several grants, including an R01 from the NIH (National Institutes for Health) to develop a liquid biopsy for patients with brain tumors. Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Nahed serves on the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons where he focuses on improving the education of neurosurgeons nationally and internationally. Dr. Nahed co-chairs the CNS leadership institute and serves as the co-chair of the development committee. He has served as scientific programming and annual meeting chair. Digital Biomarkers for Health. Dr. Nahed has developed novel use of digital biomarkers, technology, and tele-health to advance health care. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=nahed%20b

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