Research Investigator Profile

Brian J. Bacskai, PhD

Brian J. Bacskai, PhD

  • Professor of Neurology,
    Harvard Medical School
  • Principal Investigator, Neurology,
    Massachusetts General Hospital



Research Description

Using the imaging technique mulitphoton micrsocopy, the senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease can be detected in the brains of living transgenic mice, and characterized with chronic imaging. This detection platform was used to characterize a therapeutic approach to clearing the senile plaques based on immunotherapy, as well as to characterize novel amyloid-targeting ligands in preclinical development for PET imaging in humans.

Current research is aimed at optimizing anti-amyloid-beta therapeutic approaches, and imaging the anatomy and physiology of specific cell types in the brain before and after treatment. Development of novel optical techniques is ongoing, and includes methods to measure protein-protein interactions using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), and non-invasive approaches to amyloid imaging in intact animals.


Research interests Mulitphoton micrsocopy, senile plaques, anatomy and physiology of brain cells
Research techniques Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM)
Diseases studied Alzheimer's disease
Selected publications
  1. Elissa M. Robbins, Rebecca A. Betensky, Sarah B. Domnitz, Susan M. Purcell, Monica Garcia-Alloza, Charles Greenberg, G. William Rebeck, Bradley T. Hyman, Steven M. Greenberg, Matthew P. Frosch, and Brian J. Bacskai. Kinetics of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy Progression in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease.   Jan. 2006.  Journal of Neuroscience.
  2. Kumar AT, Skoch J, Bacskai BJ, Boas DA, Dunn AK. Fluorescence-lifetime-based tomography for turbid media. Opt Lett. 2005 Dec.
  3. Golde TE, Bacskai BJ. Bringing amyloid into focus.Nat Biotechnol.2005 May.
  4. Skoch J, Dunn A, Hyman BT, Bacskai BJ. Development of an optical approach for noninvasive imaging of Alzheimer's disease pathology.J Biomed Opt.2005 Jan-Feb.
  5. Garcia-Alloza M, Bacskai BJ. Techniques for brain imaging in vivo. Neuromolecular Med. 2004.

Publications list on Harvard Catalyst

NCBI PubMed link NCBI PubMed publications
  • Frosch, Matthew
  • Greenberg, Steven
  • Hyman, Bradley
  • Kumar, Anand
  • Spires, Tara
E-mail address
Lab mailing address

MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease
Massachusetts General Hospital
Floor 2, Room 2010
114 16th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Related Subspecialty Clinic Memory Disorders Unit



Updated 03/29/2012

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