Ralph Weissleder

Ralph Weissleder

Professor of Systems Biology and of Radiology

The Weissleder lab is interested in the development of novel in vivo imaging methods for studying complex human diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases. The lab is also involved in translating these discoveries into the development of new diagnostic devices and drugs.

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Simches Research Building, Room 5.210
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-726-8226
Email: rweissleder@mgh.harvard.edu


Lab Size: Over 20


Current research in the Weissleder lab is focused on developing better detection methods for specific cells (e.g. circulating cancer cells, immune cells), cell-derived microvesicles or, bacteria implicated in human disease. The lab utilizes a variety of techniques including whole body and intravital microscopic imaging, novel chemical approaches that perturb specific systems or biological pathways, and innovative sensing strategies that include nanotechnology and microfluidic methods. The lab uses these techniques to: a) obtain quantitative and systems-wide global measurements, b) perform dynamic serial measurements, and c) integrate multiple and various data sets into models. Increasingly, the lab has been focused on reconciling the gap that exists between imaging and traditional cell biology research by developing techniques that are powerful enough to image cellular processes in an in vivo setting. Thus far, the lab’s work on nanomaterials and on novel miniaturized nuclear magnetic resonance (μNMR) chips have led to advanced clinical trials. Single cell analysis systems have also been developed for rapid and accurate diagnosis and monitoring of drug therapy. Whilst the research is primarily basic in nature, much of it has a strong translational focus, with in vivo imaging playing a major role.


Ullal AV, Peterson V, Agasti SS, Tuang S, Juric D, Castro CM, Weissleder R. Cancer Cell Profiling by Barcoding Allows Multiplexed Protein Analysis in Fine-Needle Aspirates. Sci Transl Med. 2014; 6 (219) :219ra9 - PMID: 24431113 - PMCID: PMC4063286

Laughney AM, Kim E, Sprachman MM, Miller MA, Kohler RH, Yang KS, Orth JD, Mitchison TJ, Weissleder R. Single-cell phrmacokinetic imaging reveals a therapeutic strategy to overcome drug resistance to the microtuble inhibitor eribulin. Sci Trans Med. 2014;6 (261);261ral152 - PMID: 25378644 - PMCID: PMC4330962.

Im H, Shao H, Park YI, Peterson VM, Castro CM, Weissleder R, Lee H. Label-free detection and molecular profiling of exosomes wtih a nanoplasmonic sensor. Nat Biotechnol. 2014; 32 (5):490-5 - PMID:24752081 - PMCID: PMC4356497

Thurber GM, Yang KS, Reiner T, Kohler RH, Sorger P, Mitchison T, Weissleder R. Single-cell and subcellular pharmacokinetic imaging allows insight into drug action in vivo. Nat Commun. 2013;4:1504 - PMID: 23422672 - PMCID: PMC3579506

Huilin Shao, Jaehoon Chung, Leonora Balaj, Alain Charest, Darell D. Bigner, Fred H. Hochberg, Xandra O. Breakefield, Ralph Weissleder, Hakho Lee. Protein typing of circulating microvesicles allows real-time monitoring of glioblastoma therapy. Nature Medicine. 2012;18(12):1835-1840 - PMID: 23142818 - PMCID: PMC3518564

Issadore D, Chung J*, Shao H*, Liong M, Ghazani AA, Castro CM, Weissleder R, Lee H Ultrasensitive Clinical Enumeration of Rare Cells ex Vivo Using a Micro-Hall Detector. Science Transl Med. 2012;4 (141):141ra92 - PMID: 22764208 - Cover