"My residency training at UMass was vital to my career development as a Neurologist. I particularly enjoyed the friendly and supportive environment and the wonderful teaching by all the attendings." 

- Magdy Selim, MD, PhD
Resident 1997- 2000
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School 
Co-Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
Co-Director, Vascular Neurology Fellowship Training Program
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


The Faculty and Their Research

More than 50 faculty with diverse interests are involved in the residency program. We draw our faculty from the adult neurology and pediatric neurology departments, those with joint appointments in other departments, and others in private and HMO practices. The faculty are universally committed to an environment that emphasizes the teaching of clinical neurology; their relationship with residents is close, and individual faculty members serve as resident advisors. A semi-annual Resident-Faculty Research Dinner provides additional opportunities for department members to share mutual interests and serves to promote collaborative clinical and research projects. In the last few years, many of our residents have presented their work at the Cobb Assembly of the Boston Society of Neurology and Psychiatry, and some have published their studies in journals such as Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Stroke, and Muscle & Nerve.

See also, http://www.umassmemorial.org and scroll down to the heading Neurology Staff.


Residents may elect to rotate through departmental laboratories dedicated to basic neuroscience or the neurobiology of disease. These and additional labs in the medical school's basic science departments are integrated within an interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience.

Chair and Professor of Neurology

Robert J. Brown, Jr. (D.Phil., Oxford University, M.D., Harvard Medical School)
Dr. Robert H. Brown, Jr. is Professor and Chair of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Medical School.   He is also the Director of the Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University Of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Brown graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his doctoral training in neurophysiology at Oxford University. Dr. Brown trained in Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1984, The Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory was founded by Dr. Brown to investigate neuromuscular diseases, including Miyoshi myopathy and ALS.

Dr. Brown’s laboratory has focused on the identification of gene defects that elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of selected neuromuscular diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), muscular dystrophy, adrenoleukodystrophy, hereditary neuropathy and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis.  Knowledge of theses disease genes has facilitated the creation of mouse and cell-based models of these disorders.  In turn, these resources have allowed study of therapeutic strategies using conventional small molecule approaches and new modalities such as inhibitory RNAi.

Professor Emeritus

Elliott Marcus (M.D., Tufts University)
Dr. Marcus has major interests in the clinical and experimental aspects of epilepsy and in clinical neurophysiology. He is the author of a textbook of medical neurosciences.


David Chad [Neurology and Pathology] (M.D., McGill University)
Dr. Chad is a neuromuscular clinician, electromyographer, and educator. Special interests are in nerve and muscle histology and clinicopathological correlations for neuromuscular diseases. Dr. Chad is the Program Director for the Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Program.

David Drachman (M.D., New York University College of Medicine)
The Alzheimer and Related Disorders group carries out both clinical and basic research in the area of aging and dementing disorders. Therapeutic trials with experimental agents under study for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease are carried out with the assistance of a Clinical Trials Coordinator. We collaborate with an Epidemiology Group at Boston University, where a number of important studies (statins; estrogens) have assessed the role of these agents in large population databases. In collaboration with Dr. Edward Ginns we are studying the potential role of brain microvascular endothelium in Alzheimer's disease, using post-mortem tissue and laser capture microdissection - RNA analysis - microarray techniques. Alzheimer's disease and the other dementing disorders remain a critically important neurodegenerative disease; and research in this area is approaching some significant answers.

Marc Fisher (M.D., State University of New York, Syracuse)
Our Stroke Research Laboratory focuses on using imaging to evaluate stroke evolution and the effects of therapeutic interventions. We also participate in stroke therapy trials, for both acute therapy and stroke prevention.

Susan Billings-Gagliardi [Cell Biology] (Ph.D., Harvard University)
Dr. Billings-Gagliardi studies central nervous system white matter diseases in mutant mice. She leads an interdisciplinary group that is developing web-based curriculum on stroke for medical students.

Edward Ginns [Psychiatry, Neurology, Pathology] (M.D. Johns Hopkins; Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Dr. Ginns is the Director of the UMMS/UMMMC Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and the Lysosomal Disease Research and Treatment Center. He has special interest in clinical and molecular genetics of diseases affecting the nervous system. Dr. Ginns' research focuses on a "bench-to-bedside" approach to genotype-phenotype correlations, transgenic animal models of disease, and enzyme replacement and gene therapy.

Majaz Moonis [Neurology and Psychiatry] (M.D., D.M., University College of Medical Sciences, India)
Dr. Moonis is Director of Stroke Services, Stroke Prevention Proram and Program Director of the Stroke Fellowship.

David Paydarfar [Neurology and Physiology] (M.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Our research is devoted to understanding the neural control of autonomic functions. Specific areas of interest are the genesis of respiratory rhythm, the coordination of breathing and swallowing and the maintenance of circulation during upright posture. We seek to understand how normal control mechanisms break down and lead to certain disease states, e.g. central apnea, neurogenic aspiration, and neurally mediated syncope. Neurophysiological techniques are used in experiments on animal models, healthy humans and patients.

Daniel Pollen (M.D., Harvard Medical School)
Our major interest is in defining some of the neural correlates of visual perception and the sense of self as necessary first steps towards trying to understand how such knowledge may ultimately lead to an explanation of perception, mind, behavior and our identity as sentient beings. One aspect of work in this respect has been to define the functional significance of and interactions between the feed forward and feedback projections in the primate visual system. Our work to date has been focused on the electrophysiological studies of the primate visual system, but we are planning to extend our interests to related fMRI work in human subjects with selected disturbances of higher visual functions such as parietal neglect syndromes, agnosias and hemiachromatopsia.

William Schwartz (M.D., University of California, San Francisco)
Our laboratory investigates the neural regulation of circadian rhythms by the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, using a number of molecular, genetic, anatomical, neurophysiological and behavioral approaches. We have also begun a neurotransplantation program to analyze the functional activity of neural stem cells using rodent hypothalamic models and mice with defined genetic deficiencies.

Thomas Smith [Pathology and Neurology] (M.D., Cornell University)
Dr. Smith studies the neuropathology of dementia and neuropsychiatric disorders, neoplasia, brain trauma, and nerve and muscle. He has a strong interest in clinicopathologic correlation and education.

Professors in Clinical Neurology

Peter Riskind (M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas, Southwestern)
Dr. Riskind is the Director of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinic and formerly the Chief of the NeuroImmunology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of the MS Clinic at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.  He specializes in multiple sclerosis and related neuroimmunologic disorders and is a member of the Clinical Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  The MS Clinic is a regional center for many diverse multicenter therapeutic trials and investigator-initiated studies in multiple sclerosis. 

Jane Sargent [Clinical Neurology and Clinical Surgery (Ophthalmology] (M.D., Hahnemann Medical School) Dr. Sargent is a general clinical neurologist, including neuro-ophthalmology, neuromuscular disease, and electromyography.

Associate Professors

Lawrence Hayward [Neurology and Physiology] (M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine)
The Neuromuscular Biophysics Laboratory employs biophysical approaches to investigate the molecular basis of neuromuscular disorders. We have used patch clamp methods to examine the electrophysiology of mutant Na+ channels in periodic paralysis and have extended this analysis by engineering a mouse model of the disorder. More recently, the lab is investigating biophysical and biochemical properties of mutant superoxide dismutases (SOD) that cause the age-related neurodegenerative disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

John Landers [Neurology] (Ph.D)

Paul Marshall [Pediatrics and Neurology] (M.D., Jefferson Medical College)
Dr. Marshall is interested in clinical pediatric neurologic problems especially seizure disorders and brain malformation.

Joan Swearer [Neurology and Psychiatry] (Ph.D., New School for Social Research)
Dr. Swearer is a clinical neuropsychologist. Research interests include clinical features and treatment of dementing illnesses, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Associate Professors in Clinical Neurology

Lloyd Alderson M.D., (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Dr. Alderson specializes in neurooncology in the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors and cancer-associated effects on the nervous system.

Ursula Anwer (M.D., Technical University, Munich, Germany)
Dr. Anwer is involved in the care of patients with sleep disorders, headache, and neurological problems of pregnancy.

Isabelita Bella (M.D., University of Pittsburgh)
Dr. Bella has a special interest in the clinical, electromyographic, and pathological aspects of neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Bella is the primary investigator at UMass for the multicenter study "Arrhythmias in Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy."

Nancy Fontneau (M.D., University of Massachusetts)
Dr. Fontneau is a general clinical neurologist with special interests in electromyography, stroke rehabilitation, spasticity management and BOTOX therapy.

Neeta Garg (M.D. SMS Medical College, India)  Dr. Garg specializes in the care of patients with multiple sclerosis, with research interests focused on the analysis of autoantibodies and vitamin D metabolism in multiple sclerosis. 

Ann Mitchell (M.D., Mount Sinai Medical School)
Dr. Mitchell is the Neurology Residency Program Director and Neurology Clinic Physician Director with clinical interests in sleep and memory disorders.

Catherine Phillips (M.D., University of California, San Francisco)
Dr. Phillips specializes in the management of refractory seizures, surgical treatment of epilepsy, and in all aspects of electroencephalography and epilepsy.

Paula Ravin (M.D., Wayne State University)
Our Movement Disorder Center is involved in clinical trials involving neuroimaging of Parkinsonian disorders and in new drug therapies for Parkinson's disease.

Assistant Professors

Daryl A. Bosco (Ph.D, Brandeis University)

Mark Gibson (M.D. Mayo Clinic)  Dr. Gibson is a general clinical neurologist with special interests in genetics, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases and sleep medicine. 

Wiley Hall (M.D. MCP Hahnemann)  Dr. Hall is a neurointensivist caring for critically ill patients, including those with intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral edema, traumatic brain injury and neuromuscular disorders. 

Carolina Ionete (M.D., Ph.D. Carol Davila University School of Medicine, Romania)  Dr. Ionete is a clinical neurologist in the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, with research interests that include clinical trials in multiple sclerosis, virus-related demyelinating diseases, and neuro-HIV. 

Jane Morris (M.D., University of Arizona)   Dr. Morris specializes in cerebrovascular diseases and inpatient hospital care.

Susanne Muehlschlegel (M.D., Dr. Med., Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany) Dr Muehlschlegel is a neurointensivist with clinical interests including cerebral vasoconstriction syndromes and vasospasm, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage and traumatic brain injury.

Shashidhara Nanjundaswamy (M.D., Bangalore Medical College, India)  Dr. Nanjundaswamy cares for patients suffering from dementia, neuromuscular disorders, sleep disorders and stroke. 

Jaishree Narayanan (M.D., University of Madras, India; Ph.D., University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign)  Dr. Narayanan is involved in the treatment of patients with intractable epilepsy, including their surgical management, and all aspects of EEG and intraoperative monitoring.   Her research interest is in the molecular mechanisms of drug-resistent epilepsy and status epilepticus. 

Peter Novak (M.D., Komensky University Faculty of Medicine, Slovak Republic; Ph.D., Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic) As Director of the Autonomic Testing Laboratory, Dr. Novak's clinical and research interests are focused on autonomic and movement disorders. 

Lan Qin (M.D., The Capital Medical Institute, China; Ph.D., Indiana University)
Dr. Qin is a general clinical neurologist with special interests in neurophysiology, electrodiagnosis, neuromuscular disease and epilepsy.

Muhammad Ramzan (M.D., Liaquat Medical College, University of Sindh, Pakistan)
Dr. Ramzan is a general clinical neurologist with special interests in neurophysiology, electrodiagnosis, neuromuscular disease, cerebrovascular disease and epilepsy.

Ellen Salurand (M.D., Albany Medical College)
Dr. Salurand is a general clinical neurologist with special interest in dementia.

Naren Sodha (M.D., Grant Medical College, India)
Dr. Sodha has special interest in electrodiagnosis and neuromuscular diseases.

Mikhail Vydrin (M.D., Ph.D., First Moscow Medical Institute, Russia)
Dr. Vydrin is a general clinical neurologist with special interests in memory impairment, insomnia, geriatric neurology and psychosomatic disorders.

Assistant Professor in Clinical Neurology

Brian Dessureau [Clinical Neuropsychology] (Ph.D., Clark University)
Dr. Dessureau has clinical interests in the neuropsychological assessment of adults and children; geriatric neuropsychology, and life-span developmental psychology.

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