Surgical Planning Laboratory - Brigham & Women's Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts USA - a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

Surgical Planning Laboratory

Rivka Colen M.D. (September 2008-March 2011)


Dr. Colen is currently finishing her fellowship in Neuroradiological Image-guided Therapy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She graduated from Ponce School of Medicine and completed her residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, becoming the first medical student from Puerto Rico to enter a Harvard residency. She went on to complete her fellowship in Neuroradiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Dr. Colen’s scientific research interests are both translational and clinical which capitalize on image guided therapy solutions and MRI in neuroradiology to improve treatment for brain tumor patients. Dr. Colen’s research leverage image-guided minimally invasive and non-invasive solutions such as intraoperative MR in neurosurgery which allows more complete and safer tumor resection and MR guided focused ultrasound to non-invasively treat brain tumors. In intraoperative MRI, Dr. Colen is working on ways to enhance tumor resections, increase diagnostic yield in biopsies, and predict genomic composition using MRI. In MRgFUS, Dr. Colen is pursuing targeted drug delivery through the blood-brain barrier to enhance delivery of drug to the targeted tumor using Temozolomide and Bortezomib. Dr. Colen’s third major work includes her focus on qualification and validation of MRI as a biomarker and imaging surrogate. She performs research radiogenomics specifically in brain tumors, a new field, which link MRI radiophenotypes to genomics. She forms part of the TCGA Imaging Group and, recently, published the first-of-its kind radiogenomics paper in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Dr. Colen is validating MRI biomarkers to predict genomic composition of tumors, determine patients who are candidate for the particular gene targeted therapy, and determine response and non-response to chemotherapy. Dr Colen is also involved in investigating and validating multiparametric MRI techniques as predictive marker for targeted drug therapy in neurooncology in order to enhance personalized medicine in brain cancer.

Dr. Colen has appeared in numerous US and Latin media outlets, including TV, radio, and print. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and has appeared on ABC discussing Nanotechnology and Cancer. Dr. Colen has written multiple patient educational medical pamphlets and writes a regular column in BREIFS. She is also a contributor to the “Friends of AMIGO” newsletter and has produced multiple videos to increase public awareness about the innovation and importance of image- guided therapy.


Harvard Business School, Boston, MA September 2011-

  • HBS - Partners HealthCare Curriculum

Ponce School of Medicine, Ponce, PR. May 2003

  • Doctor of Medicine degree
  • Salutatorian of the Class of 2003, Summa Cum Laude

InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, San German, PR June 1998

  • Bachelor of Science, Major in Biomedical Sciences
  • Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude


Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 2009- present

  • Fellow, Neuroradiological Image Guided Therapy Program

Massachusetts General Hospital,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 2007- 2009

  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Fellow, Neuroradiology Fellowship

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 2004- 2008

  • Resident, Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program

Saint Luke’s Memorial Hospital, Ponce School of Medicine Consortium, 2003-2004

  • Ponce, PR
  • Resident, Transitional Year Residency Program


E-mail: rrcolen at

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