About Brian Nahed, MD, MSc

Watch a video about my work

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

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 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, 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.  Dr. Nahed and Dr. Stott run an NIH funded project developing this blood test for patients with brain tumors.

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 Executive Committee For Brain Tumors. He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Council State Neurological Societies.  Dr. Nahed focuses on healthcare delivery efficiency and serves as the neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League (NFL).

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



Pappas Center for Neuro Oncology
55 Fruit Street
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

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


View my most recent research

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.  

For more information, please click here


  • View my most recent publications at PubMed

    Peer-Reviewed Publications

    Dr Nahed has 132 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has given hundreds of presentations, and continues to publish 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 is focused on improving the education of neurosurgeons nationally and internationally.   Dr. Nahed currently serves as the annual meeting chair, the co-chair of the CNS leadership institute, and the co-chair of the development committee.