The Harris Lab

(Photo of Upper Motor Neuron from the Harris Lab)

Corticospinal neuron (from Harris Lab)


Dr. Harris’ research focuses on the areas of neurodegeneration and CNS neoplasia. His primary interest is in understanding how mechanisms of neuroinflammation and glial-neuronal communication influence the pathophysiology of neurological diseases. As a neuropharmacologist he also seeks to uncover novel targets for pharmacological intervention. As Director of Neuropathology and the Georgetown Brain Bank, Dr. Harris works collaboratively with other investigators interested in basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research projects here at GUMC and with other academic and industry partners.

For more information, please visit the Harris Lab website.

Contact Information

Brent Harris, MD, PhD
GUMC Department of Neurology
Building D, Room 207
4000 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20057
Office phone: 202-687-5614


  1. Lee, SJ, Zhu, W, Heyburn, L, Harris, BT, Zhang, LG.  Development of novel 3D Printed Scaffolds with Core-shell Nanoparticles for Nerve Regeneration. IEEE Transactions Biomedical Engineering (in press, 2016).

  2. Shea, A; Harish, V; Afzal, Z; Chijioke, J; Kedir, H; Roy, A; Ramalinga, M; Harris, BT; Blancato, J; Vermam, M; Kumar, D. MicroRNAs in Glioblastoma Multiforme Pathogenesis and Therapeutics. Cancer Medicine (in press), 2016.

  3. Turnquist, C; Horikawa, I; Foran, E; Major, EO; Vojtesek, B; Lane, DP; Lu, X; Harris, BT*; Harris, CC*.  p53 isoforms regulate astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection and neurodegeneration. Cell Death Differentiation (in press, 2016).

  4. Kundakovic, M; Jiang, Y; Kavanagh, D; Dincer, A; Brown, L; Pothula, V; Zharovsky, E; Park, R; Jacobov, R; Magro, I; Kassim, B; Wiseman, J; Dang, K; Sieberts, SK; Roussos, R; Fromer, M; Harris, BT; Lipska, BK; Peters, MA; Sklar, P. Practical Guidelines for High-resolution Epigenomic Profiling of Nucleosomal Histones in Postmortem Human Brain Tissue. Biololgical Psychiatry (in press, 2016).

  5. Valdés PA, Jacobs V, Harris BT, Wilson BC, Leblond F, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW. Quantitative fluorescence using 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX biomarker as a surgical adjunct in low-grade glioma surgery. J Neurosurg. 2015 Sep;123(3):771-80. PubMed PMID: 26140489.

  6. Shibuya Y, Niu Z, Bryleva EY, Harris BT, Murphy SR, Kheirollah A, Bowen ZD, Chang CC, Chang TY. Acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase 1 blockage enhances autophagy in the neurons of triple transgenic Alzheimer's disease mouse and reduces human P301L-tau content at the presymptomatic stage. Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Jul;36(7):2248-59. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.04.002. Epub 2015 Apr 7. PubMed PMID: 25930235; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4457653.

  7. Williams SM, Venkataraman L, Tian H, Khan G, Harris BT, Sierks MR. Novel atomic force microscopy based biopanning for isolation of morphology specific reagents against TDP-43 variants in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Vis Exp. 2015 Feb 12;(96). doi: 10.3791/52584. PubMed PMID: 25742170.

  8. Costine BA, Missios S, Taylor SR, McGuone D, Smith CM, Dodge CP, Harris BT, Duhaime AC. The subventricular zone in the immature piglet brain: anatomy and exodus of neuroblasts into white matter after traumatic brain injury. Dev Neurosci. 2015;37(2):115-30. doi: 10.1159/000369091. Epub 2015 Feb 10. PubMed PMID: 25678047; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4406780.

  9. Merino DM, Shlien A, Villani A, Pienkowska M, Mack S, Ramaswamy V, Shih D, Tatevossian R, Novokmet A, Choufani S, Dvir R, Ben-Arush M, Harris BT, Hwang EI, Lulla R, Pfister SM, Achatz MI, Jabado N, Finlay JL, Weksberg R, Bouffet E, Hawkins C, Taylor MD, Tabori U, Ellison DW, Gilbertson RJ, Malkin D. Molecular characterization of choroid plexus tumors reveals novel clinically relevant subgroups. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Jan 1;21(1):184-92. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-1324. Epub 2014 Oct 21. PubMed PMID: 25336695.

  10. Taylor SR, Smith C, Harris BT, Costine BA, Duhaime AC. Maturation-dependent response of neurogenesis after traumatic brain injury in children. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2013 Dec;12(6):545-54. doi: 10.3171/2013.8.PEDS13154. Epub 2013 Sep 20. PubMed PMID: 24053630.

  11. Valdes PA, Bekelis K, Harris BT, Wilson BC, Leblond F, Kim A, Simmons NE, Erkmen K, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW. 5-Aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX fluorescence in meningioma: qualitative and quantitative measurements in vivo.
    Neurosurgery. 2014 Mar;10 Suppl 1:74-82; discussion 82-3. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000117. PubMed PMID: 23887194; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4237006.

  12. Sherman AV, Gubitz AK, Al-Chalabi A, Bedlack R, Berry J, Conwit R, Harris BT, Horton DK, Kaufmann P, Leitner ML, Miller R, Shefner J, Vonsattel JP, Mitsumoto H. Infrastructure resources for clinical research in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 May;14 Suppl 1:53-61. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2013.779058. Review. PubMed PMID: 23678880.

  13. Graber DJ, Harris BT*. Purification and culture of spinal motor neurons from rat embryos. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2013 Apr 1;2013(4):319-26. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot074161. PubMed PMID: 23547162.

  14. Graber DJ, Harris BT*. Purification and culture of spinal motor neurons. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2013 Apr 1;2013(4):310-1. doi: 10.1101/pdb.top070920. PubMed PMID: 23547146.

  15. Roberts DW, Valdés PA, Harris BT, Hartov A, Fan X, Ji S, Pogue BW, Leblond F, Tosteson TD, Wilson BC, Paulsen KD. Adjuncts for maximizing resection: 5-aminolevuinic acid. Clin Neurosurg. 2012;59:75-8. Review. PubMed PMID: 22960516; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3761374.

  16. Valdés PA, Moses ZB, Kim A, Belden CJ, Wilson BC, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW, Harris BT*. Gadolinium- and 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX levels in human gliomas: an ex vivo quantitative study to correlate protoporphyrin IX levels and blood-brain barrier breakdown. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2012 Sep;71(9):806-13. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e31826775a1. PubMed PMID: 22878664; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3718468.

  17. Costine BA, Quebeda-Clerkin PB, Dodge CP, Harris BT, Hillier SC, Duhaime AC. Neuron-specific enolase, but not S100B or myelin basic protein, increases in peripheral blood corresponding to lesion volume after cortical impact in piglets. J Neurotrauma. 2012 Nov 20;29(17):2689-95. doi: 10.1089/neu.2012.2428. Epub 2012 Sep 27. PubMed PMID: 22867012; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3510446.

  18. Kim NC, Andrews PC, Asselbergs FW, Frost HR, Williams SM, Harris BT, Read C, Askland KD, Moore JH. Gene ontology analysis of pairwise genetic associations in two genome-wide studies of sporadic ALS. BioData Min. 2012 Jul 28;5(1):9. doi: 10.1186/1756-0381-5-9. PubMed PMID: 22839596; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3463436.

  19. Roberts DW, Valdés PA, Harris BT, Hartov A, Fan X, Ji S, Leblond F, Tosteson TD, Wilson BC, Paulsen KD. Glioblastoma multiforme treatment with clinical trials for surgical resection (aminolevulinic acid). Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2012 Jul;23(3):371-7. doi: 10.1016/ Review. PubMed PMID: 22748650; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3761370.

  20. Graber, DW, Hickey, WF, Stommel, EW, Harris, BT*. Dexamethasone, but not Nrf2 activators, suppresses pro-inflammatory transcription in a short-term cortical explant model of CNS injury. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2012, 7(1):266-78.

  21. Farmer JG, Crain BJ, Harris BT, Turner RS. Coexisting adult polyglucosan body disease with frontotemporal lobar degeneration with transactivation response DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43)-positive neuronal inclusions. Neurocase. 2013;19(1):67-75. doi: 10.1080/13554794.2011.654217. Epub 2012 Apr 16. PubMed PMID: 22506890; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3436935.

  22. Graber DJ, Hickey WF, Stommel EW, Harris BT*. Anti-inflammatory efficacy of dexamethasone and Nrf2 activators in the CNS using brain slices as a model of acute injury. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2012 Mar;7(1):266-78. doi: 10.1007/s11481-011-9338-8. Epub 2012 Jan 17. PubMed PMID: 22249489.

  23. Caller TA, Field NC, Chipman JW, Shi X, Harris BT, Stommel EW. Spatial clustering of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the potential role of BMAA. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2012 Jan;13(1):25-32. doi: 10.3109/17482968.2011.621436. Review. PubMed PMID: 22214351.

  24. Valdés PA, Kim A, Leblond F, Conde OM, Harris BT, Paulsen KD, Wilson BC, Roberts DW. Combined fluorescence and reflectance spectroscopy for in vivo quantification of cancer biomarkers in low- and high-grade glioma surgery. J Biomed Opt. 2011 Nov;16(11):116007. doi: 10.1117/1.3646916. PubMed PMID: 22112112; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3221714.

  25. Maue RA, Burgess RW, Wang B, Wooley CM, Seburn KL, Vanier MT, Rogers MA, Chang CC, Chang TY, Harris BT, Graber DJ, Penatti CA, Porter DM, Szwergold BS, Henderson LP, Totenhagen JW, Trouard TP, Borbon IA, Erickson RP. A novel mouse model of Niemann-Pick type C disease carrying a D1005G-Npc1 mutation comparable to commonly observed human mutations. Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Feb 15;21(4):730-50. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr505. Epub 2011 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 22048958; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3263988.

  26. Graber, DW, Harris, BT, Hickey, WF. Differential Transcription among Three Mouse Strains in a Cortical Explant Model for Central Nervous System Injury.  J Neuroinflammation 8:122, 2011.

  27. Bekelis K, Meiklejohn DA, Missios S, Harris B, Saunders JE, Erkmen K. Ganglioneuroma of the internal auditory canal presenting as a vestibular schwannoma. Skull Base Rep. 2011 Nov;1(2):89-94. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1276722. Epub 2011 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 23984208; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3743606.

  28. Graber DJ, Harris BT, Hickey WF. Strain-dependent variation in the early transcriptional response to CNS injury using a cortical explant system. J Neuroinflammation. 2011 Sep 26;8:122. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-8-122. PubMed PMID: 21942980; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3192692.

  29. Solomon DA, Kim T, Diaz-Martinez LA, Fair J, Elkahloun AG, Harris BT, Toretsky JA, Rosenberg SA, Shukla N, Ladanyi M, Samuels Y, James CD, Yu H, Kim JS, Waldman T. Mutational inactivation of STAG2 causes aneuploidy in human cancer. Science. 2011 Aug 19;333(6045):1039-43. doi: 10.1126/science.1203619. PubMed PMID: 21852505; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3374335.

  30. Valdés PA, Kim A, Brantsch M, Niu C, Moses ZB, Tosteson TD, Wilson BC, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW, Harris BT*. δ-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX concentration correlates with histopathologic markers of malignancy in human gliomas: the need for quantitative fluorescence-guided resection to identify regions of increasing malignancy. Neuro Oncol. 2011 Aug;13(8):846-56. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nor086. PubMed PMID: 21798847; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3145475.

  31. Bekelis K, Valdés PA, Erkmen K, Leblond F, Kim A, Wilson BC, Harris BT, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW. Quantitative and qualitative 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX fluorescence in skull base meningiomas. Neurosurg Focus. 2011 May;30(5):E8. doi: 10.3171/2011.2.FOCUS1112. PubMed PMID: 21529179; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3116440.

  32. Kerr DA, Memoli VA, Cathey SS, Harris BT*. Mucolipidosis type III α/β: the first characterization of this rare disease by autopsy. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011 Apr;135(4):503-10. doi: 10.1043/2010-0236-CR.1. PubMed PMID: 21466370; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4188553.

  33. Fuld AD, Speck ME, Harris BT, Simmons NE, Corless CL, Tsongalis GJ, Pastel DA, Hartford AC, Ernstoff MS. Primary melanoma of the spinal cord: a case report, molecular footprint, and review of the literature. J Clin Oncol. 2011 Jun 10;29(17):e499-502. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.34.0695. Epub 2011 Mar 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 21444862.

  34. Valdés PA, Leblond F, Kim A, Harris BT, Wilson BC, Fan X, Tosteson TD, Hartov A, Ji S, Erkmen K, Simmons NE, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW. Quantitative fluorescence in intracranial tumor: implications for ALA-induced PpIX as an intraoperative biomarker. J Neurosurg. 2011 Jul;115(1):11-7. doi: 10.3171/2011.2.JNS101451. Epub 2011 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 21438658; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3129387.

  35. Whitson WJ, Valdes PA, Harris BT, Paulsen KD, Roberts DW. Confocal microscopy for the histological fluorescence pattern of a recurrent atypical meningioma: case report. Neurosurgery. 2011 Jun;68(6):E1768-72; discussion E1772-3. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318217163c. PubMed PMID: 21389893.

  36. Piro JR, Harris BT, Supattapone S. In situ photodegradation of incorporated polyanion does not alter prion infectivity. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Feb 3;7(2):e1002001. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002001. PubMed PMID: 21304885; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033378.

  37. Graber DJ, Park PJ, Hickey WF, Harris BT*. Synthetic triterpenoid CDDO derivatives modulate cytoprotective or immunological properties in astrocytes, neurons, and microglia. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2011 Mar;6(1):107-20. doi: 10.1007/s11481-010-9240-9. Epub 2010 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 20809391.