Caterina Mainero, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Dr. Mainero is a neuroscientist with a background in clinical neurology, specializing in the translation of novel multimodal imaging techniques for investigating structure, function and pathology within the brain and spinal cord of different neurological conditions, with a particular emphasis on multiple sclerosis and migraine.

The Multiple Sclerosis Imaging Laboratory that Dr. Mainero directs at the Martinos Center focuses on using advanced imaging modalities to investigate the heterogenous aspects of multiple sclerosis pathology that include neuroinflammation, demyelination, neurodegeneration, and tissue repair. The goal is to integrate novel imaging methods with clinical and biological markers of the disease to investigate the brain mechanisms underlying disease activity and progression, and to define the most sensitive neuroimaging tools for improving disease diagnosis and monitoring.

Dr. Mainero’s group was the first to image and characterize in vivo, using ultra high field 7 Tesla MRI, the different types of cortical multiple sclerosis lesions described by neuropathology, and to show that the cortical lesion load assessed at 7 Tesla is an independent and main predictor of disease progression. For her pioneering work on imaging cortical lesions in MS, Dr. Mainero has been awarded the “2020 Distinguished Investigator Award” from the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research.


MGH Claflin Distinguished Award

2020 Distinguished Investigator Award, Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research

Select Publications

See PubMed for a list of Dr. Mainero’s publications.


Multiple Sclerosis Imaging Laboratory