Jonathan Rosand, M.D., M.Sc.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Center for Genomic Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Member
Broad Institute
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Principal Investigator
Rosand Lab, Massachusetts General Hospital
MD Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons 1994
MSc Harvard School of Public Health 2003
anticoagulants; brain health; brain ischemia; cardiovascular genetics; cerebral amyloid angiopathy; cerebral hemorrhage; disease genetics; family; genomic medicine; hematoma; hemorrhagic stroke; ischemic stroke; stroke recovery; traumatic brain injury; warfarin

While diseases of the brain’s blood vessels are most often recognized when a person has a stroke, they also cause progressive decline in cognition, memory and gait as we age, as well as late-life depression. Preventing cerebrovascular disease therefore holds the hope of transforming the aging process and preserving our brain function as we age. The overall aim of our research program is to reduce the damage caused by diseases of the brain's blood vessels and enhance recovery and repair for individuals who suffer brain damage from these diseases.

At the core of our work is a partnership with patients. Patients graciously contribute their time, share their medical histories, answer questionnaires, undergo neuroimaging, and donate blood and tissue samples.

We analyze all of our patients' data to answer the following questions:

  • Why are some of us more likely to suffer a stroke than others?
  • Why, if we suffer a stroke or traumatic brain injury, do some of us recover more fully than others?
  • Why, after we suffer an initial stroke, are some of us at higher risk of a recurrent stroke than others?
  • Why, after we suffer a stroke or traumatic brain injury, are we and our loved ones at risk for developing depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress and what can we do to reduce this risk?

The answers to these questions hold vital clues to finding effective ways to prevent stroke, to finding the new treatments our patients so desperately need, and to preserving brain health as we age.

Our laboratory is a pioneer in the investigation of genetics to answer these questions. Working in collaboration with the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, the Broad Institute, and scientists from across Boston and the world, we examine genetic information from tens of thousands of patients with and without stroke and seek to identify those genetic variants that alter human biology in such a way that risk of disease is influenced, or recovery enhanced. As we discover these variants, we and our collaborators then determine the precise mechanisms through which they alter human biology with the overall goal of developing new, effective treatments.