In addition to serving as a Senior Investigator at the Center for Neurosciences, Dr. Vijay Dhawan, PhD, is also the leader the Imaging Core of the National Institutes of Health Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. For the past 30 years his research has focused on how biophysics and bioengineering can be applied to neuroscience—and particularly to the study of disease mechanisms in movement disorders and other neurodegenerative conditions.
A major contribution of his research has been to combine network analytical strategies with in vivo neurochemical measurements to investigate how localized neuronal attrition may be related to the expression of spatially distributed functional brain networks.
Dr. Dhawan earned his PhD in bioengineering at Polytechnic Institute in New York in 1980. His PhD thesis, under Dr. David Rottenberg, modeled the production and distribution of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in cerebral ventricles. He completed his post-doctoral training at Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York. Subsequently, as a physicist at Sloan-Kettering in the Department of Neurology, Dr. Dhawan measured regional cerebral blood flow using xenon as a contrast agent. That work led to the development of a technique to study the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in brain tumors, using rubidium-82 as a tracer for positron emission tomography (PET). Since 1988 he has worked with Dr. David Eidelberg in the PET imaging of movement disorders at The Feinstein Institute.