Eva-Maria Ratai, PhD

Professional Information


Associate Professor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant in Neuroscience, Massachusetts General Hospital


PhD Physical Chemistry, Westfaelische Wilhelms University, Muenster, Germany, 2000

Martinos Faculty


Mailing Address

149 Thirteenth Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

General Contact Information



The goals of my research are to advance the understanding of central nervous system (CNS) diseases through the application of advanced neuroimaging techniques, specifically, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MR spectroscopy MRS.
Currently, am active in a number of research projects related to brain tumors, hypoxic ischemic injury in neonates, neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and neuro-developmental disorders such as autism
  1. Atassi N, Xu M, Triantafyllou C, Keil B, Lawson R, Cernasov P, Ratti E, Long CJ, Paganoni S, Murphy A, Salibi N, Seethamraju R, Rosen B, Ratai EM. Ultra high-field (7tesla) magnetic resonance spectroscopy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. PLoS One. 2017; 12(5):e0177680. PMID: 28498852.
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  2. Rapalino O, Ratai EM. Multiparametric Imaging Analysis: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2016 Nov; 24(4):671-686. PMID: 27742109.
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  3. Prakkamakul S, Witzel T, Huang S, Boulter D, Borja MJ, Schaefer P, Rosen B, Heberlein K, Ratai E, Gonzalez G, Rapalino O. Ultrafast Brain MRI: Clinical Deployment and Comparison to Conventional Brain MRI at 3T. J Neuroimaging. 2016 09; 26(5):503-10. PMID: 27273370.
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  4. Mbugua KK, Holmes MJ, Cotton MF, Ratai EM, Little F, Hess AT, Dobbels E, Van der Kouwe AJ, Laughton B, Meintjes EM. HIV-associated CD4+/CD8+ depletion in infancy is associated with neurometabolic reductions in the basal ganglia at age 5 years despite early antiretroviral therapy. AIDS. 2016 Jun 01; 30(9):1353-62. PMID: 26959509; PMCID: PMC4864158 [Available on 06/01/17].
  5. Gerstner ER, Zhang Z, Fink JR, Muzi M, Hanna L, Greco E, Prah M, Schmainda KM, Mintz A, Kostakoglu L, Eikman EA, Ellingson BM, Ratai EM, Sorensen AG, Barboriak DP, Mankoff DA. ACRIN 6684: Assessment of Tumor Hypoxia in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Using 18F-FMISO PET and MRI. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Oct 15; 22(20):5079-5086. PMID: 27185374.
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  6. Rincon SP, Blitstein MB, Caruso PA, Gonzlez RG, Thibert RL, Ratai EM. The Use of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in the Evaluation of Pediatric Patients With Seizures. Pediatr Neurol. 2016 May; 58:57-66. PMID: 26948493.
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  7. Eichler F, Ratai E, Carroll JJ, Masdeu JC. Inherited or acquired metabolic disorders. Handb Clin Neurol. 2016; 135:603-636. PMID: 27432685.
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  8. Ratai EM, Gilberto Gonzlez R. Clinical magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the central nervous system. Handb Clin Neurol. 2016; 135:93-116. PMID: 27432661.
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  9. Robertson CE, Ratai EM, Kanwisher N. Reduced GABAergic Action in the Autistic Brain. Curr Biol. 2016 Jan 11; 26(1):80-5. PMID: 26711497.
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  10. Wu WE, Babb JS, Tal A, Kirov II, George AE, Ratai EM, Gonzalez RG, Gonen O. Early glial activation precedes neurodegeneration in the cerebral cortex after SIV infection: a 3D, multivoxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. HIV Med. 2015 Jul; 16(6):381-7. PMID: 25689120.
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  11. Robertson C, Hermann K, Ratai EM, Kanwisher N. GABA Measured in Visual Cortex using MRS Predicts Atypical Dynamics of Binocular Rivalry Associated with Autism. J Vis. 2015; 15(12):917. PMID: 26326605.
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  12. Campbell JH, Ratai EM, Autissier P, Nolan DJ, Tse S, Miller AD, Gonzlez RG, Salemi M, Burdo TH, Williams KC. Anti-a4 antibody treatment blocks virus traffic to the brain and gut early, and stabilizes CNS injury late in infection. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Dec; 10(12):e1004533. PMID: 25502752; PMCID: PMC4263764.
  13. Oz G, Alger JR, Barker PB, Bartha R, Bizzi A, Boesch C, Bolan PJ, Brindle KM, Cudalbu C, Diner A, Dydak U, Emir UE, Frahm J, Gonzlez RG, Gruber S, Gruetter R, Gupta RK, Heerschap A, Henning A, Hetherington HP, Howe FA, Hppi PS, Hurd RE, Kantarci K, Klomp DW, Kreis R, Kruiskamp MJ, Leach MO, Lin AP, Luijten PR, Marjanska M, Maudsley AA, Meyerhoff DJ, Mountford CE, Nelson SJ, Pamir MN, Pan JW, Peet AC, Poptani H, Posse S, Pouwels PJ, Ratai EM, Ross BD, Scheenen TW, Schuster C, Smith IC, Soher BJ, Tkc I, Vigneron DB, Kauppinen RA. Clinical proton MR spectroscopy in central nervous system disorders. Radiology. 2014 Mar; 270(3):658-79. PMID: 24568703; PMCID: PMC4263653.
  14. Wu WE, Tal A, Zhang K, Babb JS, Ratai EM, Gonzlez RG, Gonen O. Structure-specific glial response in a macaque model of neuroAIDS: multivoxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging at 3 Tesla. AIDS. 2013 Oct 23; 27(16):2519-28. PMID: 23939235.
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  15. Caruso PA, Johnson J, Thibert R, Rapalino O, Rincon S, Ratai EM. The use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the evaluation of epilepsy. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2013 Aug; 23(3):407-24. PMID: 23928197.
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  16. Ratai EM, Zhang Z, Snyder BS, Boxerman JL, Safriel Y, McKinstry RC, Bokstein F, Gilbert MR, Sorensen AG, Barboriak DP. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy as an early indicator of response to anti-angiogenic therapy in patients with recurrent glioblastoma: RTOG 0625/ACRIN 6677. Neuro Oncol. 2013 Jul; 15(7):936-44. PMID: 23645534; PMCID: PMC3688017.
  17. Cohen-Adad J, Zhao W, Keil B, Ratai EM, Triantafyllou C, Lawson R, Dheel C, Wald LL, Rosen BR, Cudkowicz M, Atassi N. 7-T MRI of the spinal cord can detect lateral corticospinal tract abnormality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Muscle Nerve. 2013 May; 47(5):760-2. PMID: 23553571.
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  18. Wu WE, Tal A, Kirov II, Rusinek H, Charytonowicz D, Babb JS, Ratai EM, Gilberto Gonzalez R, Gonen O. Global gray and white matter metabolic changes after simian immunodeficiency virus infection in CD8-depleted rhesus macaques: proton MRS imaging at 3 T. NMR Biomed. 2013 Apr; 26(4):480-8. PMID: 23418159; PMCID: PMC3784644.
  19. Westmoreland SV, Annamalai L, Lentz MR, Ratai EM, Assaf B, Boisvert K, Huynh T, Vallender EJ, Miller GM, Madras BK, Gonzalez RG. Growth-associated protein-43 and ephrin B3 induction in the brain of adult SIV-infected rhesus macaques. J Neurovirol. 2011 Oct; 17(5):455-68. PMID: 21789725; PMCID: PMC3777635.
  20. Kim H, Catana C, Ratai EM, Andronesi OC, Jennings DL, Batchelor TT, Jain RK, Sorensen AG. Serial magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals a direct metabolic effect of cediranib in glioblastoma. Cancer Res. 2011 Jun 01; 71(11):3745-52. PMID: 21507932; PMCID: PMC3107375.
  21. Campbell JH, Burdo TH, Autissier P, Bombardier JP, Westmoreland SV, Soulas C, Gonzlez RG, Ratai EM, Williams KC. Minocycline inhibition of monocyte activation correlates with neuronal protection in SIV neuroAIDS. PLoS One. 2011 Apr 06; 6(4):e18688. PMID: 21494695; PMCID: PMC3071838.
  22. Ratai EM, Pilkenton S, He J, Fell R, Bombardier JP, Joo CG, Lentz MR, Kim WK, Burdo TH, Autissier P, Annamalai L, Curran E, O'Neil SP, Westmoreland SV, Williams KC, Masliah E, Gilberto Gonzlez R. CD8+ lymphocyte depletion without SIV infection does not produce metabolic changes or pathological abnormalities in the rhesus macaque brain. J Med Primatol. 2011 Oct; 40(5):300-9. PMID: 21463330; PMCID: PMC3272670.
  23. Ratai EM, Annamalai L, Burdo T, Joo CG, Bombardier JP, Fell R, Hakimelahi R, He J, Lentz MR, Campbell J, Curran E, Halpern EF, Masliah E, Westmoreland SV, Williams KC, Gonzlez RG. Brain creatine elevation and N-Acetylaspartate reduction indicates neuronal dysfunction in the setting of enhanced glial energy metabolism in a macaque model of neuroAIDS. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Sep; 66(3):625-34. PMID: 21381104; PMCID: PMC3139817.
  24. Wu WE, Kirov II, Zhang K, Babb JS, Joo CG, Ratai EM, Gonzlez RG, Gonen O. Cross-sectional and longitudinal reproducibility of rhesus macaque brain metabolites: a proton MR spectroscopy study at 3 T. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Jun; 65(6):1522-31. PMID: 21337426; PMCID: PMC3129633.
  25. Atassi N, Ratai EM, Greenblatt DJ, Pulley D, Zhao Y, Bombardier J, Wallace S, Eckenrode J, Cudkowicz M, Dibernardo A. A phase I, pharmacokinetic, dosage escalation study of creatine monohydrate in subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2010 Dec; 11(6):508-13. PMID: 20698808; PMCID: PMC3045755.
  26. Annamalai L, Bhaskar V, Pauley DR, Knight H, Williams K, Lentz M, Ratai E, Westmoreland SV, Gonzlez RG, O'Neil SP. Impact of short-term combined antiretroviral therapy on brain virus burden in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected and CD8+ lymphocyte-depleted rhesus macaques. Am J Pathol. 2010 Aug; 177(2):777-91. PMID: 20595631; PMCID: PMC2913382.
  27. Ratai EM, Bombardier JP, Joo CG, Annamalai L, Burdo TH, Campbell J, Fell R, Hakimelahi R, He J, Autissier P, Lentz MR, Halpern EF, Masliah E, Williams KC, Westmoreland SV, Gonzlez RG. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals neuroprotection by oral minocycline in a nonhuman primate model of accelerated NeuroAIDS. PLoS One. 2010 May 07; 5(5):e10523. PMID: 20479889; PMCID: PMC2866543.
  28. Liu S, Fleysher R, Fleysher L, Joo CG, Ratai EM, Gonzlez RG, Gonen O. Brain metabolites B1-corrected proton T1 mapping in the rhesus macaque at 3 T. Magn Reson Med. 2010 Apr; 63(4):865-71. PMID: 20373387; PMCID: PMC2917981.
  29. Ramadan S, Ratai EM, Wald LL, Mountford CE. In vivo 1D and 2D correlation MR spectroscopy of the soleus muscle at 7T. J Magn Reson. 2010 May; 204(1):91-8. PMID: 20206561; PMCID: PMC3741347.
  30. Andronesi OC, Ramadan S, Ratai EM, Jennings D, Mountford CE, Sorensen AG. Spectroscopic imaging with improved gradient modulated constant adiabaticity pulses on high-field clinical scanners. J Magn Reson. 2010 Apr; 203(2):283-93. PMID: 20163975; PMCID: PMC3214007.
  31. Wu CL, Jordan KW, Ratai EM, Sheng J, Adkins CB, Defeo EM, Jenkins BG, Ying L, McDougal WS, Cheng LL. Metabolomic imaging for human prostate cancer detection. Sci Transl Med. 2010 Jan 27; 2(16):16ra8. PMID: 20371475; PMCID: PMC2857699.
  32. Liu S, Gonen O, Fleysher R, Fleysher L, Babb JS, Soher BJ, Joo CG, Ratai EM, Gonzlez RG. Metabolite proton T(2) mapping in the healthy rhesus macaque brain at 3 T. Magn Reson Med. 2009 Nov; 62(5):1292-9. PMID: 19780178; PMCID: PMC2917980.
  33. Ratai EM, Pilkenton SJ, Greco JB, Lentz MR, Bombardier JP, Turk KW, He J, Joo CG, Lee V, Westmoreland S, Halpern E, Lackner AA, Gonzlez RG. In vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals region specific metabolic responses to SIV infection in the macaque brain. BMC Neurosci. 2009 Jun 22; 10:63. PMID: 19545432; PMCID: PMC2711091.
  34. Ratai EM, Gonzlez RG. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine, edited by Scott W. Atlas. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and the Biochemical Basis of Neurologic Disease. 2009.
  35. Ratai E, Kok T, Wiggins C, Wiggins G, Grant E, Gagoski B, O'Neill G, Adalsteinsson E, Eichler F. Seven-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in adult X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Arch Neurol. 2008 Nov; 65(11):1488-94. PMID: 19001168; PMCID: PMC2829763.
  36. Lentz MR, Lee V, Westmoreland SV, Ratai EM, Halpern EF, Gonzlez RG. Factor analysis reveals differences in brain metabolism in macaques with SIV/AIDS and those with SIV-induced encephalitis. NMR Biomed. 2008 Oct; 21(8):878-87. PMID: 18574793; PMCID: PMC2562421.
  37. Liu S, Gonen O, Fleysher L, Fleysher R, Soher BJ, Pilkenton S, Lentz MR, Ratai EM, Gonzlez RG. Regional metabolite T2 in the healthy rhesus macaque brain at 7T. Magn Reson Med. 2008 May; 59(5):1165-9. PMID: 18429024; PMCID: PMC2562422.
  38. Ratai EM, Hancu I, Blezek DJ, Turk KW, Halpern E, Gonzlez RG. Automatic repositioning of MRSI voxels in longitudinal studies: impact on reproducibility of metabolite concentration measurements. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2008 May; 27(5):1188-93. PMID: 18425834; PMCID: PMC2679165.
  39. Gonen O, Liu S, Goelman G, Ratai EM, Pilkenton S, Lentz MR, Gonzlez RG. Proton MR spectroscopic imaging of rhesus macaque brain in vivo at 7T. Magn Reson Med. 2008 Apr; 59(4):692-9. PMID: 18302225; PMCID: PMC2562420.
  40. Lentz MR, Westmoreland SV, Lee V, Ratai EM, Halpern EF, Gonzlez RG. Metabolic markers of neuronal injury correlate with SIV CNS disease severity and inoculum in the macaque model of neuroAIDS. Magn Reson Med. 2008 Mar; 59(3):475-84. PMID: 18306400; PMCID: PMC2559955.
  41. Singhal AB, Ratai E, Benner T, Vangel M, Lee V, Koroshetz WJ, Schaefer PW, Sorensen AG, Gonzalez RG. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy study of oxygen therapy in ischemic stroke. Stroke. 2007 Oct; 38(10):2851-4. PMID: 17761914.
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  42. Gonzlez RG, Greco JB, He J, Lentz MR, O'Neil S, Pilkenton SJ, Ratai EM, Westmoreland S. New insights into the neuroimmunity of SIV infection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2006 Jun; 1(2):152-9. PMID: 18040781.
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  43. Williams K, Westmoreland S, Greco J, Ratai E, Lentz M, Kim WK, Fuller RA, Kim JP, Autissier P, Sehgal PK, Schinazi RF, Bischofberger N, Piatak M, Lifson JD, Masliah E, Gonzlez RG. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that activated monocytes contribute to neuronal injury in SIV neuroAIDS. J Clin Invest. 2005 Sep; 115(9):2534-45. PMID: 16110325; PMCID: PMC1187930.
  44. Ratai EM, Pilkenton S, Lentz MR, Greco JB, Fuller RA, Kim JP, He J, Cheng LL, Gonzlez RG. Comparisons of brain metabolites observed by HRMAS 1H NMR of intact tissue and solution 1H NMR of tissue extracts in SIV-infected macaques. NMR Biomed. 2005 Jun; 18(4):242-51. PMID: 15759297.
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  45. Kim JP, Lentz MR, Westmoreland SV, Greco JB, Ratai EM, Halpern E, Lackner AA, Masliah E, Gonzlez RG. Relationships between astrogliosis and 1H MR spectroscopic measures of brain choline/creatine and myo-inositol/creatine in a primate model. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2005 Apr; 26(4):752-9. PMID: 15814917.
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  46. Lentz MR, Kim JP, Westmoreland SV, Greco JB, Fuller RA, Ratai EM, He J, Sehgal PK, Halpern EF, Lackner AA, Masliah E, Gonzlez RG. Quantitative neuropathologic correlates of changes in ratio of N-acetylaspartate to creatine in macaque brain. Radiology. 2005 May; 235(2):461-8. PMID: 15798152.
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  47. Greco JB, Westmoreland SV, Ratai EM, Lentz MR, Sakaie K, He J, Sehgal PK, Masliah E, Lackner AA, Gonzlez RG. In vivo 1H MRS of brain injury and repair during acute SIV infection in the macaque model of neuroAIDS. Magn Reson Med. 2004 Jun; 51(6):1108-14. PMID: 15170829.
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  48. Fuller RA, Westmoreland SV, Ratai E, Greco JB, Kim JP, Lentz MR, He J, Sehgal PK, Masliah E, Halpern E, Lackner AA, Gonzlez RG. A prospective longitudinal in vivo 1H MR spectroscopy study of the SIV/macaque model of neuroAIDS. BMC Neurosci. 2004 Mar 05; 5:10. PMID: 15070430; PMCID: PMC385227.
  49. Cramer C, Gao Y, Brunklaus S, Ratai E. Ion Dynamics in Mixed Alkali Borate Glasses. Zeitschrift fr Physikalische Chemie. 2004; 218(12):1413-1428 .
  50. Cramer C, Brunklaus S, Ratai E, Gao Y. New mixed alkali effect in the ac conductivity of ion-conducting glasses. Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Dec 31; 91(26 Pt 1):266601. PMID: 14754075.
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  51. Ratai E, Augustine MP, Kauzlarich SM. Synthesis and Characterization of the Mg2SixGe1-x Solid Solution. J. Phys. Chem. B. 2003; 107(46):12573-12577.
  52. Ratai E.-M.; Janssen M.; Epping J.D.; Chan J.C.C.; Eckert H. . Local and medium range order in alkali borate glasses: an overview of recent solid state NMR results. Physics and Chemistry of Glasses. 2003; 44(2):45-53.
  53. Baldwin RK, Pettigrew KA, Ratai E, Augustine MP, Kauzlarich SM. Solution reduction synthesis of surface stabilized silicon nanoparticles. Chem Commun (Camb). 2002 Sep 07; (17):1822-3. PMID: 12271626.
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  54. Ratai E, Chan JCC, Eckert H. Local Coordination and spatial distribution of cations in mixed-alkali borate glasses. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 2002; 4(14):3198-3208.
  55. Ratai E, Bruins P, Hernandez CJ, Kauzlarich SM, and Augustine MP. Magnetic Resonance Study of a Series of Phosphorus-Containing Zintl Compounds: Ca14AlP11, Ca14MnP11, and Eu14MnP11. Chemistry of Materials. 2002; 14(6):2467-2475.
  56. Schoo U, Cramer C, Ratai E, Mehrer H. Diffusion in single and mixed-alkali borate glasses. Diffusion in single and mixed-alkali borate glasses. Diffusion in single and mixed-alkali borate glasses. 2001; 194-199:925-933.
  57. Ratai E, Janssen M, Eckert H. Solid State Ionics. Spatial distributions and chemical environments of cations in single- and mixed alkali borate glasses: evidence from solid state NMR. 1998; 105(1-4):25-37.
  58. Kanert O, Kuchler R, Peters J, Volmari A, Jain H, Eckert H, Ratai E. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids. Structural basis of low-frequency excitations in silicophosphate glasses. 1997; 222:321-328.