Research Professor of Neurology, Academic Institute
Full Research Member, Research Institute
Director, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Core, Research Institute
Dr. Masahiro Fujita is PET Core Director for the Translational Imaging Center and Chair of the Radiation Safety Committee at Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Fujita is a world-renowned expert on brain molecular imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) with expertise in the evaluation of PET tracers and kinetic analysis of brain PET. Using PET, Dr. Fujita aims to guide the development of novel therapies by bridging expertise in basic and clinical sciences.
Dr. Fujita earned MD and PhD from Osaka University, Japan, in 1987 and 1992, respectively. In Japan, he earned board certification in nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology and also obtained qualification as Type-1 Radiation Protection Supervisor. Prior to joining HMRI, Dr. Fujita held positions of Staff Scientist at National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health from 2002 to 2018 and Assistant Professor at Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine from 1999 to 2002.
Dr. Fujita has made significant contributions to advance knowledge on brain disorders by imaging and discovering pathological changes in brain molecules. Increasing number of basic studies have shown that neuroinflammation is a key player in many brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and major depressive disorder. Dr. Fujita has done pioneering research studies to detect neuroinflammation by imaging translocator protein using PET. Dr. Fujita has also discovered abnormalities in signal transduction inside of cells and its correction by antidepressant in major depressive disorder. By collaborating with clinical and basic scientists within and outside of Houston Methodist, Dr. Fujita visualizes molecules, which is used as a novel marker of disease status and therapeutic effect or as a target for novel therapy.