Neurosurgery faculty conduct a diverse range of basic and clinical research aimed at better understanding neurologic conditions and discovering, developing, and improving treatments for patients, as well as evaluating patient outcomes. The goal is to advance knowledge to improve care for patients worldwide.

Neurosurgery faculty publish their research findings in leading academic journals and books, and are invited to present their work at conferences nationally and internationally.

Below are the main research interests of our faculty. For faculty with individual reports describing their current research in detail, click on their names. To visit our faculty members’ Harvard Catalyst profiles, which include recent selected publications, click on the Catalyst link.

Ron L. Alterman, MD

Chief of Neurosurgery
Professor of Neurosurgery
Harvard Catalyst

  • Globus pallidus deep brain stimulation (DBS) for primary dystonia
  • Gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease
  • Use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to examine subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS-induced alterations in global cerebral blood flow
  • Technology to deliver therapeutic macromolecules to the brain parenchyma using trans-cerebral electrophoresis

Jeffrey E. Arle, MD, PhD

Associate Chief of Neurosurgery 
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery 
Harvard Catalyst

  • Computational modeling of neural stimulation and circuitry related to therapies used in neuromodulation, including deep brain stimulation (DBS), spinal cord stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, motor cortex stimulation, and other related aspects of neural processing
  • Developing novel implantable devices for interfacing with the nervous system
  • Computational models of neural circuitry to help streamline new drug development in major depressive disorder
  • Mechanisms of action to treat chronic pain using high frequency and burst-type spinal cord stimulation
  • Evaluating new DBS systems for patients with Parkinson’s disease

Christopher S. Ogilvy, MD

Director, BIDMC Brain Aneurysm Institute
Professor of Neurosurgery
Harvard Catalyst

Ajith J. Thomas, MD

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Co-Director, BIDMC Brain Aneurysm Institute
Harvard Catalyst

Dr. Christopher Ogilvy and Dr. Ajith Thomas collaborate on clinical and basic research, as well as technology development, in the following areas related to neurovascular conditions:

  • Flow diverter technology safety and efficacy
  • Anticoagulation regimens for endovascular techniques
  • Management of dural AV fistulas
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Risk stratification to predict re-treatment after endovascular therapy
  • Medical device innovation and design
  • Overcoming limitations surrounding neural stem cell transplantation 

Efstathios Papavassiliou, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Co-Director, BIDMC Spine Center
Harvard Catalyst

  • Relationship of intra-cranial pressure to intra-abdominal pressure
  • Inflammatory markers in calvaria of patients with post-traumatic headaches
  • Inflammatory markers in soldiers with PTSD and head trauma after combat
  • Identification of inflammatory markers in the paraspinal muscles in patients with chronic low back pain
  • Assay of molecules of the brain calvaria

Martina Stippler, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Director, Neurotrauma and TBI Program
Harvard Catalyst

  • Multimodality monitoring to predict brain swelling in traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Advanced imaging to triage mild TBI
  • Inflammatory markers in chronic subdural hematoma