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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Brat received his MD and PhD from the Mayo Medical and Graduate Schools and then completed Residency in Anatomic Pathology and a Fellowship in Neuropathology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory University in 1999, spending 17 years on faculty before accepting the position of Magerstadt Professor and Chair of Pathology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Pathologist-in-Chief of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Brat directs a basic and translational research lab that investigates mechanisms of glioma progression, including the contributions of hypoxia, genetics, tumor microenvironment and stem cells. Glioma progression is characterized by tumor necrosis, severe hypoxia and angiogenesis. One project investigates mechanisms that cause hypoxia and has focused on vaso-occlusion and intravascular thrombosis that are thought to be initiated by tissue factor, a highly potent pro-coagulant. His lab is studying how the resulting altered micro-environment leads to accelerated tumor growth how the enrichment of glioma stem cells and influx of tumor associated macrophages may promote this. His lab also studies mechanisms that confer specialized biologic properties to glioma stem cells (GSC) in GBM, including their ability to divide asymmetrically and their ability to home to hypoxic micro-environments. The Drosophila brain tumor (brat) gene normally regulates asymmetric cellular division and neural progenitor differentiation in the CNS of flies and, when mutated, leads to a massive brain containing only neuroblastic cells with tumor-like properties. We study the human homolog of Drosophila brat, Trim3, for its role in regulating asymmetric cell division and stem-like properties in GSCs. We are currently investigating those gene products that antagonize the tumor promoting effects of Brat/Trim3 loss on brain tumor development and are focused on CDK5/p35. Dr. Brat has over 18 years of experience in brain tumor research and has written more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and reviews. In the laboratory setting, he has trained over 50 students, residents and fellows and has received major awards for mentoring.

Dr. Brat is Board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology. His clinical practice includes Surgical Neuropathology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and his expertise is on the diffuse gliomas, including glioblastoma. He has co-authored two textbooks in Neuropathology: Practical Surgical Neuropathology: A Diagnostic Approach, and Biopsy Interpretation of Central Nervous System. He has been involved with the WHO Classification of Brain Tumors since 2000 and co-authored 9 chapters in the 2016 edition. He has overseen the clinical training of over a 100 residents and fellows in Surgical Neuropathology and has also participated in over 50 CME courses nationally and internationally. Dr. Brat has served in leadership positions that oversee clinical practice and investigation in Oncology and Pathology, including the TCGA Glioblastoma and Lower Grade Gliomas (Co-Chair) Working Groups; the College of American Pathologists Glioma Guidelines Committee; the Executive Council of the American Association of Neuropathologists; the Board of Directors for the Society of Neuro-oncology; the WHO Committee for Classification of Brain Tumors; and the AJCC Expert Panel. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Training Experience

1997Residency, Johns Hopkins Hospital
1999Fellowship, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Education/Academic qualification

MD, Mayo Medical School

… → 1994

PhD, Mayo Medical School

… → 1994

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Glioma Medicine & Life Sciences
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Oligodendroglioma Medicine & Life Sciences

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Grants 2017 2023

Research Output 1992 2019

cIMPACT-NOW: a practical summary of diagnostic points from Round 1 updates

Louis, D. N., Ellison, D. W., Brat, D. J., Aldape, K., Capper, D., Hawkins, C., Paulus, W., Perry, A., Reifenberger, G., Figarella-Branger, D., von Deimling, A. & Wesseling, P., Jul 1 2019, In : Brain Pathology. 29, 4, p. 469-472 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Young Adult
1 Citation (Scopus)

DRAK/STK17a drives neoplastic glial proliferation through modulation of MRLC signaling

Chen, A. S., Wardwell-Ozgo, J., Shah, N. N., Wright, D., Appin, C. L., Vigneswaran, K., Brat, D. J., Kornblum, H. I. & Read, R. D., Jan 1 2019, In : Cancer Research. 79, 6, p. 1085-1097 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Myosin Light Chains

Effective nuclei segmentation with sparse shape prior and dynamic occlusion constraint for glioblastoma pathology images

Zhang, P., Wang, F., Teodoro, G., Liang, Y., Roy, M., Brat, D. J. & Kong, J., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Medical Imaging. 6, 1, 017502.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Cluster Analysis

Human Mesenchymal glioblastomas are characterized by an increased immune cell presence compared to Proneural and Classical tumors

Kaffes, I., Szulzewsky, F., Chen, Z., Herting, C. J., Gabanic, B., Velázquez Vega, J. E., Shelton, J., Switchenko, J. M., Ross, J. L., McSwain, L. F., Huse, J. T., Westermark, B., Nelander, S., Forsberg-Nilsson, K., Uhrbom, L., Maturi, N. P., Cimino, P. J., Holland, E. C., Kettenmann, H., Brennan, C. W. & 2 others, Brat, D. J. & Hambardzumyan, D., Jan 1 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : OncoImmunology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Calcium-Binding Proteins

Inhibition of extratumoral chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans stems glioma cell invasion

Logun, M., Simchick, G., Zhao, W., Mao, L., Zhao, Q., Mukherjee, S., Brat, D. J. & Karumbaiah, L., Jan 1 2019, Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition 2019: The Pinnacle of Biomaterials Innovation and Excellence - Transactions of the 42nd Annual Meeting. Society for Biomaterials, 1 p. (Transactions of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Biomaterials and the Annual International Biomaterials Symposium; vol. 40).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Stem cells
Stem Cells