Professor in Psychiatry and Associate Professor in Radiology
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Marek is a Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and trained Radiologist holding an M.D. and Ph.D. from the Medical University of Lodz, Poland. He has his primary appointment with the Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard medical School, where he is an Associate Director of Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory. His secondary appointments are with the Departments of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. For the last 20 years, Marek has been using neuroimaging as a tool to study neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. He is one of the pioneers of application of Diffusion Imaging to Schizophrenia, and he has been on the forefront of developing non-standard measures and methods that are now widely used to understand better the neurobiology of brain diseases. He has published over 150 per reviewed papers, chapters and opinion articles. Throughout his career he has been awarded several prestigious awards, including an NIH Young Investigator Travel Award (2003), two consecutive NARSAD Young Investigator Awards (2001-2003 and 2003-2005), an NIMH R03 grant (2003-2005), a Brigham and Women’s Hospital Translational Neuroscience Project Grant, a Harvard Milton Award (2006-2008), and he has been site PI on an NIH U54 center grant (2006-2009). He is on the editorial boards of Schizophrenia Research, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, BMC Psychiatry, Brain Imaging and Behavior, Journal of Neuroimaging, and is a founding editorial board member of Journal of Neuroimaging, Psychiatry and Neurology. He is an ad hoc reviewer on ITVA, CNBT and ZRG1 NIH study sections, as well as a scientific review committee member of Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Currently, his research is funded by three R01 NIH grants (where he is a PI or co-PI) and an R21 grant (where he is co-PI). He is also involved in teaching at HMS, as a co-director of the T32 training program, the Stuart T. Hauser Clinical Research Training Program in Biological and Social Psychiatry, and is funded by a K24 mentoring NIMH award.
The goal of his current research is to shed light on microstructural and morphological changes that are likely associated with white matter abnormalities that are relevant to the time-course of schizophrenia. He and his collaborators have suggested that the degree of myelin degeneration, as well as neuroinflammation, can be measured in vivo using MRI, and that both of these pathologies play an important role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, aging and many other brain disorders. These studies have not only suggested possible biological mechanisms of these diseases, but also possible new targets for pharmacological treatment. He is currently perusing those studies employing PET neuroinflammatory and epigenetic biomarkers in patients with psychosis, as well as in animal models of aging.