Professor - Clinical
Department of Neurology
Division of Neuromuscular
395 W. 12th Avenue, 7th Floor
Columbus, OH 43210
I plan to work with my colleagues to ensure Ohio State will continue to be at the forefront of the new era of gene-modifying therapies for various genetic neuromuscular disorders by expanding the investigator-initiated research grants while collaborating with our wide network of prestigious national centers. That being said, I plan to capitalize on our experience using a collaborative team approach to ensure timely access of our patients to new groundbreaking therapies. Moreover, it is my goal to implement an innovative proactive multidisciplinary care model that maximizes the use of electronic medical records and virtual care strategies to address areas of unmet need in patients with neuromuscular disease.
I joined the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Medicine (OSUCOM) in 2005. I was promoted to Associate Professor - Clinical in 2012. Over the ensuing 14 years, I have sought to advance the academic mission through clinical service, education and research contributions.
For family reasons, in 2013, one year after my promotion to associate professor, I moved overseas and joined Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH). During that period, I demonstrated excellence in clinical service. I led efforts to standardize protocols in the clinical neurophysiology laboratory and helped to establish the local neuromuscular society while continuing my collaborations with my colleagues at Ohio State.
Since my return in the College of Medicine in 2017, my signature achievement has been to spearhead the establishment of a clinical care and research center for adults with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common genetic neuromuscular disorder that affects individuals of all ages. The care for patients with this disorder has undergone a profound change with the advent of new and very expensive gene modifying therapies.
Working in collaboration with OSUWMC hospital administration and a large multidisciplinary team, we established one of the first centers in the county to provide this transformational therapy a drug called Nusinerson (Spinraza) for adults with this disorder. As a result of these efforts, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center has been established as one of the leading centers in the country for treating adults with SMA. This program receives referrals from all over the region and despite the high price of the medication; the program has been fiscally responsible.
Also, it is important to note that Nusinersen is a first in class agent that will soon be followed by multiple other gene-based therapies for adult neuromuscular disorders. Our established program can, therefore, serve as a template for future therapies with the expectation that the Wexner Medical Center would become a leader in providing genetic therapies for these disorders.
Additionally, I have received research grants from both nonprofit organizations and industry to help optimize clinical care, and to develop both outcome measures and to establish biomarkers in this population in order to better understand the effect of current and future new therapies. In turn, our work is recognized both nationally and internationally. I have been invited to give talks, share data at several international meetings, and participate on advisory boards and expert committees.
During my tenure as the director of the EMG laboratory, we have consolidated and expanded our operation, revised and standardized laboratory protocols, and optimized specialized testing to provide services not available anywhere else in central Ohio. This initiative entails providing regular education programs and workshops for the faculty, technologist and trainees. We have six technologists and six faculty members who are board certified in neuromuscular medicine and/or clinical neurophysiology. In addition to increasing the number of available scheduling slots by more than 20%, we similarly expanded the lab offering of specialized services for autonomic and neuromuscular ultrasound testing. Since these services are unique and not offered elsewhere in central and southern Ohio, we receive referrals from other parts of Ohio and nearby states.
In summer 2018, I also assumed the directorship of the MDA Clinical Care Center at Ohio State. We have continued to maintain a national reputation and work to improve the patient experience. We have several ongoing projects to optimize multi-disciplinary clinical care and implement guidelines. In addition, we are using this opportunity to develop standards of care in areas of unmet need for this unique patient population. As of present, we are in the process of adding a cardiologist and a sleep medicine physician to our multidisciplinary team.
Furthermore, I am involved in a number of scholarly research activities in several neuromuscular disorders, in particular, SMA and myasthenia gravis. Currently, I serve as principal investigator and co-investigator on more than ten projects. Since my promotion to associate professor of Neurology, I have been an author and co-author on over twenty manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters along with several articles under review or planned for submission shortly.
As a committed educator, my records in teaching and mentoring are superior. As evidence, I received excellent evaluations from residents and students. In 2017, I helped initiate a weekend board review workshop for our neurology residents, with positive outcomes as reflected in both in- service and formal board scores. Hence, we plan to continue and to expand this program.
I'm the director of both the clinical neurophysiology and neuromuscular medicine fellowships. Both fellowships enroll pediatric and adult neurology residents; I work closely with my colleagues at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to create an optimal education environment and successfully recruit and expand the programs. In this role, I oversee the curriculum and didactics for both fellowships while maintaining active involvement in their day-to-day lectures and other educational activities. Over half of our program graduate fellows chose an academic career.
- Received a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
- Internship: Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
- Residency: Neurology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
- Fellowship: Clinical Neurophysiology with an emphasis in Neuromuscular, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center