Ralph Weissleder, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Radiology
Biography: Dr. Weissleder is the Thrall Professor of Radiology and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Attending Clinician (Interventional Radiology) at MGH, senior faculty in the HMS Department of Systems Biology, a member of the Harvard Cancer Center as well as the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). Dr. Weissleder obtained his postdoctoral and residency training at MGH (1986-91) and has been on faculty at HMS since 1991. He has published over >750 publications in peer reviewed journals and has authored several textbooks. His work has been honored with numerous awards including the J. Taylor International Prize in Medicine, the Millenium Pharmaceuticals Innovator Award, the AUR Memorial Award, the ARRS President's Award, The Society for Molecular Imaging Lifetime Achievement Award, the Academy of Molecular Imaging 2006 Distinguished Basic Scientist Award among others. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). His lab has been a driving force in studying human biology, especially cancer and inflammatory diseases. He has developed systematic ways to explore disease biology using in vivo imaging and has been instrumental in translating several discoveries into new drugs. Dr. Weissleder was awarded in August 2013, the “Thrall Family Professor of Radiology Chair from Harvard Medical School. In 2014, Dr. Weissleder was named by Thomson Reuters as one of the “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”.
Research and Expertise: We study human biology. Specifically, our current research is focused on the imaging and quantitative measurement of cancer treatments. My laboratory employs a variety of techniques including whole body and intravital microscopic imaging, novel chemical approaches for perturbing systems, and innovative sensing strategies including nanotechnology approaches. Our goals are to obtain quantitative and systems-wide global measurements, to perform dynamic serial measurements, and to integrate multiple and various data sets into models. Increasingly, our work has been focused in reconciling the gap that exists between imaging and traditional cell biology research, but in an in vivo setting. Our work on nanomaterials and the development of novel miniaturized next-gen chips has led to advanced clinical trials. While our research is often basic in nature, much of our work has a translational focus, with in vivo imaging playing a major role.