Welcome to the Brastianos Lab

Our Focus

We seek to understand the molecular pathways that drive brain tumors, including meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas and brain metastases.
Our goal is to identify new therapeutic targets that will help patients.
Go to Brain metastases

Brain metastases

Brain metastases are a common complication of cancer, with a dismal prognosis.

Go to Meningiomas

Meningiomas

Meningiomas are the most common primary nervous system tumor, with no effective systemic therapy.

Go to Craniopharyngiomas

Craniopharyngiomas

Craniopharyngiomas can cause profound clinical sequelae both through mass effect at presentation and through morbidity of treatment.

Go to Tissue bank

Tissue bank

We have created an extensive tissue bank with samples from numerous patients around the world.

BRAIN DONATION PROGRAM

A brain donation improves our understanding of these tumors and can enable research that leads to treatment innovations. It is also a chance for family and friends to learn more about their loved one's tumor. We appreciate your consideration of this generous gift to research and to future patients.

The fight against cancer


The Central Nervous System Metastasis Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has the following objectives:

(1) Identify and understand the molecular pathways driving brain metastases

(2) Identify novel therapeutic targets for patients with brain metastases

(3) Accelerate the application of our scientific findings to the clinical setting.



  • Percent of cancer patients that develop brain metastases


  • Percent of advanced HER2 positive breast cancers that develop brain metastases


  • Percent of advanced primary lung cancers that develop brain metastases


  • Percent of advanced triple negative breast cancers that develop brain metastases

Lab Members

Priscilla K. Brastianos, M.D.

Principal Investigator
Director, Central Nervous System Metastasis Program
Department of Medicine and Cancer Center
Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology Massachusetts General Hospital

Naema Nayyar

Lab Manager
Cancer Center
University of Waterloo
Batchelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Biology and Bioinformatics
nnayyar[at]partners[dot]org

Alex Kaplan

Translational Research Coordinator
Hamilton College
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hispanic Studies
akaplan7[at]mgh.harvard[dot]edu

Mia Bertalan

Clinical Research Coordinator
Harvard University
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Global Health and Health Policy
mbertalan[at]mgh.harvard[dot]edu

Ivanna Bihun

Research Technician
Cornell Univeristy
Bachelor of Science
Biological Sciences, Philosophy
ibihun[at]mgh.harvard[dot]edu

Christopher Alvarez-Breckenridge, M.D./PhD.

Neurosurgery Resident and Postdoctoral Fellow
Ohio State University College of Medicine

Ugo Chukwueke, MD

Neuro-Oncology Fellow
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Elisa Aquilanti, M.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
M.D.

Michael Young, M.D.

Post-Doctoral Resident
Harvard Medical School
M.D.

Matthew Strickland, M.D.

Post-Doctoral Resident
Boston University School of Medicine

Currently an Internal Medicine Resident at BMC

Juan Carlos Martinez-Gutierrez, M.D.

Post-Doctoral Resident
Currently a Neuro-Oncology Resident at MGH

Brandyn Castro, M.D.

Post-Doctoral Resident
Boston University School of Medicine

Currently a Neuro-Surgical Resident at the University of Chicago

Sally Williams

Medical Student
Wesleyan University
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Currently Enrolled in Boston University School of Medicine (2015-2019)

Tyler Lazaro

Medical Student
Boston University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Currently Enrolled in Boston University School of Medicine

Taylor Conroy

Medical Student
UMass Amherst
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Neuroscience and Biology

Currently Enrolled in Boston University School of Medicine

Megan D’Andrea

Undergraduate Research Assistant
Currently enrolled in Tufts University (2013-2017)

Andrew Kaneb

High School Research Assistant
Currently Enrolled in the Belmont Hill School (2013-2017)

Kaitlin Hoang

High School Research Assistant
Currently Enrolled in Phillips Academy Andover (2014-2017)

Corey Gill

Former Clinical Research Coordinator
Boston University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Human Physiology
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Anthropology

Currently Enrolled in Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2016-2021)

OUR COLLABORATORS

Recent Publications

A quick look at our current projects.

contact us

Interested in collaborating or joining our lab? Please fill out the form below.