Ahmed Tawakol is Director of Nuclear Cardiology and Co-Director of the Cardiac MR PET CT Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He obtained his medical degree from Stanford Medical School, then trained at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital for Internal Medicine, Cardiology, and at MGH for Nuclear Cardiology.
Dr. Tawakol is a pioneer in PET/CT imaging of atherosclerotic plaques. His group developed and validated molecular imaging as a tool to assess atherosclerotic plaque inflammation in humans. Using the technique, he’s led over a dozen multi-center PET/CT (or PET/MR) imaging trials to evaluate novel cardiovascular disease treatment strategies. Additionally, his work leverages cutting-edge multi-system imaging to elucidate mechanisms that incite systemic inflammation and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Using this multi-modality imaging, his group has developed and validated methods to study organ systems that participate systemic inflammation, including hematopoietic organs, lymphoid tissues, adipose tissue, and the brain. His team recently provided the first in-human observation linking brain activity (within the amygdala, the area of the brain determining stress) to subsequent CVD events, thus providing mechanistic insights into how psychosocial stress promotes CVD. He is principal investigator on multiple studies funded by the NIH, industrial sponsors, and foundations.