MGH Research Scholars Program
The MGH Research Scholars Program was established to support early career researchers with innovative yet unproven ideas that have the potential to transform the future of medicine. Funded 100% through philanthropy, this program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility they need to follow the science wherever it leads. History has shown that brilliant scientists who are given free rein to explore new frontiers make the greatest, often unexpected, advances.
The laboratory of MGH Research Scholar Brian Bacskai, PhD, is using sophisticated optical techniques to address fundamental questions in Alzheimer's disease research.
A common neuroprotective strategy to prevent or treat central nervous system diseases
The Bacskai lab uses optical techniques to ask fundamental questions in Alzheimer's disease research.
Using the mulitphoton micrsocopy imaging technique, senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease can be detected and characterized in the brains of living transgenic mice.
This approach was used to study a way to clear senile plaques based on immunotherapy, as well as to characterize new factors that target amyloid in preclinical development for PET imaging in humans.
The lab is also optimizing anti-amyloid 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.