research program opportunities at MGH

Collaborating for Cures

Thier Building
Thier Research Building and the
connected Edwards Research Building

The MGH hosts the nation’s largest hospital-based neuroscience research program, with over 100 principal investigators, and as many junior faculty and fellows. It is situated within the broader MGH research enterprise, which ranks first in the U.S. in funding from the National Institutes of Health. 

The MGH Neurology Department’s fundamental research strategy is to focus resources simultaneously on all phases of the discovery continuum – from basic research in the genetic and biochemical basis of brain function, and translational studies that link lab findings with potential drug therapies, to clinical trials that test the safety and effectiveness of new treatments.

Using the latest technologies in genetics, imaging, molecular biology, cell biology, electrophysiology, microscopy, neuroanatomy, drug discovery and drug testing, MGH investigators and clinicians are dedicated to scientific discovery that will change patients’ lives.

Because of the enormity of the challenge to make further breakthroughs possible, the Department of Neurology’s research effort is organized into institutes on both the MGH main campus and the Charlestown campus, including:

These institutes and centers bring independent laboratories together to encourage investigators from different disciplines to collaborate, strategize and share technology to minimize the time it takes to progress from basic research to treatments, therapies and drug trials. This approach fosters a vibrant collegial environment that increases prospects for near-term breakthroughs.

In addition, basic and translational research is closely connected to clinical research conducted at the Neurology Clinical Trials Unit, and in every subspecialty clinic in the department.


Bulfinch Building
The Bulfinch Building opened in 1821. The Ether
Dome,where general anaesthesia was first
used in surgery in 1846, is located inside.

Our faculty is world renowned, staffed with outstanding neuroscientists and physician-scientists who also treat patients in both outpatient and inpatient settings at the MGH.

All faculty members hold appointments at Harvard Medical School and are invested in training the next generation of neurologists and neuroscientists. Our faculty teach courses, supervise residents in the hospital, train graduate students, and mentor post-doctoral research fellows associated with Harvard Medical School.

These Neurology department faculty profiles contain research summaries and related information such as disease interests, publications and affiliations.

Research Investigator Profiles

Dr. Merit E. Cudkowicz

Merit E. Cudkowicz, MD, MSc

  • Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
  • Director, MGH MDA ALS Clinic
  • Chief, Neurology Service
  • Co-Director, Neurological Clinical Research Institute
  • Co-Director, Neuromuscular Division

Dr. Cudkowicz's research and clinical activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in particular amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's Disease (HD). Her lab conducts experimental therapeutic trials of novel agents in a mouse transgenic ALS model; the lab has tested over 25 different therapies.

Dr. Cudkowicz is the Director the MGH Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic and the Co-Director of the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) at MGH and Partners HealthCare System.

Read more about Dr. Cudkowicz's work on the Mass General ALS website:

Links to researcher profiles

Mark W. Albers, MD, PhD Fred H. Hochberg, MD
Hakan Ay, MD Leigh R. Hochberg, MD, PhD
Brian J. Bacskai, PhD Bradly Hyman, MD, PhD
Oksana Berezovska, PhD Aleksey Kazantsev, PhD
Lars Bertram, MD Kimberly Kegel, PhD
Pradeep G. Bhide, PhD Raymond J. Kelleher III, MD, PhD
Xandra O. Breakefield, PhD Dora M. Kovacs, PhD
Ippolita Cantuti-Castelvetri, PhD Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD
David Caplan, MD, PhD Airong Li, MD, DPhil
Sydney S. Cash, MD, PhD Joseph J. Locascio, PhD
Jang-Ho Cha, MD, PhD Pamela J. McLean, PhD
Timothy W. Clark MSc Robert D. Moir, PhD
Merit E. Cudkowicz, MD, MSc Anne Louise Oaklander MD, PhD
William S. David, MD, PhD Scott R. Plotkin, MD, PhD
Bradford C. Dickerson, MD Vijaya Ramesh, Ph.D.
Marian DiFiglia, PhD Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, MS, PhD
Anthone W. Dunah, PhD Clemens R. Scherzer, MD
Volodymyr Dzhala, PhD Michael A. Schwarzschild, MD, PhD
Jeffrey M. Ellenbogen, MMSc, MD Khalid Shah, MS, PhD
Jonathan W. Francis, PhD Katherine B. Sims, MD
Matthew P. Frosch, MD, PhD Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD
Karen L. Furie, MD, MPH Tara Spires-Jones, DPhil
David W. Gow, PhD Kevin J. Staley, MD
Steven Mark Greenberg, MD, PhD Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD
David M. Greer, MD, MA Giuseppina Tesco, MD, PhD
John H. Growdon, MD Anju Vasudevan, PhD
Suzanne Y. Guenette, PhD Vanessa C. Wheeler, PhD
James F. Gusella, PhD Wilma Wasco, PhD
Stephen J. Haggarty, PhD Kui Xu, MD, PhD
Steven Hersch, MD, PhD Anne B. Young, MD, PhD, Neurology Chief
Daniel B. Hoch MD, PhD