Principal Investigator

Eva-Maria Ratai, PhD


  • Assistant Professor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
  • MR Spectroscopist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Link to the profile at Martinos Center

Link to the profile at Harvard Catalyst


Current Members

Melanie Fu, BS

Clinical Research Coordinator


Michael Wenke, BS

Clinical Research Coordinator




Joanna Bafia

2018 - Summer Student

Joanna Bafia is currently an undergraduate student at Harvard College. She is interested in concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. In the Ratai Lab, she applies RANO criteria in order to measure the sizes of brain tumors, classifying each patient’s response to bevacizumab as complete response, partial response, stable disease, or progression.


Wesley Shin

2018 - Summer Student

Wesley is an undergraduate at Harvard University, where he is an A.B. candidate in Chemistry. He is currently analyzing MR Spectroscopic data to predict the effectiveness of antiangiogenic treatment for patients with recurrent glioblastomas. In the future, he hopes to take this research in order to help others and plans to join the Peace Corps after college.



Past Members


Daniel Kim, EdM

2016~2018 - Clinical Research Coordinator



Termara Parker, BS

2017 - Research Assistant

Termara Parker graduated summa cum laude from Howard University in 2017 and studied biology before starting as a research assistant in the Ratai Lab. In the Ratai lab, she was involved in a project that tested whether the balance of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters is altered across the autistic brain using whole-brain GABA imaging. She also was involved in a project studying temporal and compartmental changes associated with HIV-neurocognitive disorder. Currently, Termara is a Ph.D. student in Yale University’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. She is interested in understanding the morphological and functional differences between the autistic and typically brain, and to what extent can current and future neuroimaging methods provide insight into the structure-function relationship. Her long-term goal is to one day translate autism research into health policies that can majorly impact that world.


Elizabeth Speyer Besancon

2015 - Summer Student

Currently, Elizabeth Besancon is a college student at Mount Holyoke. She helped with the spectroscopic data analysis using LCModel in a project to understand cortical inflammation and demyelination in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by combined PET and MRI.


Raghav Seth

2015 - Summer Student

Currently, Raghav Seth is a medical student at Tufts Medical Center. He provided full MR spectroscopy data analysis to understand the role of inflammation in people with ALS using [11C]PBR-28 PET and MRS imaging technologies.


Robert Fell

2009 ~ 2011 - Research Assistant

Currently, Robert Fell is an M.D. student at University of Florida - Medical College. He established a method for SIV RNA brain tissue extraction for quantitative real-time PCR analysis which contributed significantly to the understanding of the neuropathogenesis of AIDS. He has won the Young Investigator Award to attend the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in February 2011 and was invited to give a talk on the topic “Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Induced Neuronal Injury Correlates with Plasma and Brain Viral Burden and Activated Monocyte Subsets”. 


Dr. Vadim Villarroel, MD 

2009 - Medical Summer Student

Currently, Dr. Vadim Villarroel is a resident at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Vadim Villarroel started a new project in our lab from scratch, he found that DTI can detect subtle anisotropic changes in the white matter in our SIV animal model of neuroAIDS; he essentially undertook the first study using DTI to examine longitudinal brain changes prior to infection and following seroconversion. 


Dr. Chan-Gyu Joo, PhD

2007 ~ 2009 - Post-Doctoral Fellow

Currently, Dr. Joo is a member of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. 


Dr. Jeffery Bombardier, PhD

2007 ~ 2009 - Research Assistant

Currently, Dr. Bombardier is a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University. He substantially contributed to our research concerning the validation of the MRS methodology utilizing an accelerated SIV macaque model at high field and the neuroprotection of NeuroAIDS by minocycline.


Dr. Katherine W. Turk, MD 

2005 ~ 2007 - Research Assistant

Currently, Dr. Turk is a neurologist at University of Washington Medical Center of Neurology. She significantly contributed to a project that resulted in an automatic repositioning method to reduce variability in longitudinal MRSI exams based on a priori image registration. 

Elizabeth Speyer Besancon

2015 - Summer Student