Research, Discovery & Innovation

Nathalie Y. Agar, PhD

Department of Neurosurgery President's Scholar, 2021

Biography

Nathalie is the Daniel E. Ponton Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Her research aims to develop and implement comprehensive molecular diagnoses using molecular imaging with mass spectrometry approaches. This could ultimately enable surgeons and oncologists to tailor treatment from the time of surgery and allow precision cancer care. She has implemented mass spectrometry protocols in the operating room for brain and breast cancer surgery and is developing a direct mass spectrometry analysis of surgical tissue to assist surgeons and pathologists in real time tissue characterization. Her efforts to improve the management of brain tumors includes extensive imaging of the transit of therapeutics through the blood-brain barrier in animal models and clinical trial patients with correlation to non-invasive radiologic imaging and detailed pharmacodynamics. She recently completely the installation of a new 15 Tesla magnetic resonance mass spectrometer (MRMS) at BWH to image the distribution of therapeutics and the metabolism of tumor, brain and immune cells in surgical specimens from clinical trials and animal models.