Director of CNS Imaging
Manzar Ashtari, Ph.D
Researcher, Radiology; Director, CNS Imaging
Dr. Ashtari is the director of CNS imaging at CAROT. In 1982, she received her PhD from MIT in Nuclear Engineering with a thesis on the treatment of glioblastoma brain tumors using nuclear reactor's neutron beam. She was previously a medical physicist at the LIJ/North Shore Health System and Associate Professor in Radiology and Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where for over twenty years has headed groundbreaking research on the brain and its complex illnesses via advanced methods of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). She has worked on numerous projects involving the human brain and has developed comprehensive neuroimaging skills in areas such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), perfusion, spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
Using these advanced methods of imaging Dr. Ashtari is studying the temporal course of functional and structural brain changes in LCA2 patients undergoing gene transfer therapy. This study will provide a unique opportunity to probe the plasticity of the central nervous system (CNS) in individuals with long-term visual deprivation who undergo a gene therapy procedure to restore vision. This will also provide physician and scientists with a new set of objective outcome measures for use in gene, small molecule, and cell therapy clinical trials.
Plasticity of the human visual system after retinal gene therapy in patients with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis
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