Dr. Neil Vasdev is the Scientific Director and Chief Radiochemist of the Brain Health Imaging Centre and the inaugural Director of the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is the endowed Azrieli Chair in Brain and Behaviour, and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Radiochemistry and Nuclear Medicine. In addition, he is a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Vasdev has been featured on Global National News, CTV, CNN, New York Times, Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail for his innovative research program.
Prof. Vasdev started his radiochemistry and neuroimaging training while obtaining his Bachelor degrees (summa cum laude) in chemistry and psychology at McMaster University. He concurrently gained valuable experience working as a chemist at two major pharmaceutical companies: Astra Pharma and Glaxo-Wellcome, as well as a Nuclear Pharmacy. He completed his PhD dissertation in chemistry, while supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). He continued training with a NSERC postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Functional Imaging at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. He began his independent faculty career in radiopharmaceutical sciences at CAMH/University of Toronto in 2004. Prof. Vasdev built his academic research program in Toronto for 7 years and was subsequently recruited to build a new radiopharmaceutical chemistry program and join the leadership of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. From 2011-2017 he served as the director of radiochemistry and associate centre director at the Massachusetts General Hospital and joined the faculty of Medicine as an associate professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, where he maintained a faculty appointment from 2011-2022. He was recruited back to CAMH and the University of Toronto in November 2017.
Dr. Vasdev was elected as a fellow of the American Chemical Society (2020), Royal Society of Chemistry (2020), and Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (2021) for his outstanding achievements and contributions to science, the profession and the societies.
Areas of Research
His research focuses on developing and translating new PET imaging agents to use in various brain-based illnesses. Current targets under investigation are the tau protein, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease; traumatic brain injuries; brain inflammation in mental illnesses; and cell signaling pathways. Several of the radiotracers developed by his laboratory are in preclinical use worldwide, and many of these compounds have been used for first-in-human neuroimaging studies. Dr. Vasdev has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, and has received numerous scholarly awards throughout his career.
- Director, Brain Health Imaging Centre, CAMH, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Director, Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry, CAMH, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Radiochemistry and Nuclear Medicine, Canada
- Azrieli Endowed Chair of Brain and Behaviour, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Chief Radiochemist, Brain Health Imaging Centre, CAMH, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Co-Founder, MedChem Imaging, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Honours and Awards
- 2021: Fellow, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI)
- 2020: Fellow, American Chemical Society (ACS)
- 2020: Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry
- 2017-: Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Radiochemistry and Nuclear Medicine
- 2017-: Azrieli Endowed Chair of Brain and Behaviour, University of Toronto
- 2009: Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
- 2006: Newly Established Researcher Award (The John M. Cleghorn Award), Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
- 2006: Canadian Society of Nuclear Medicine’s Young Investigator Award
- 2006: First Place, Young Investigator Award, Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council), SNMMI
- 2005: Moissan Fellowship, Division of Fluorine Chemistry, ACS
View Dr. Vasdev's publications on PubMed.