- Winifred Mercer Pitkin, M.D. Assistant Professor of Neurology
Dr. Kiran Thakur is an inpatient neurologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, with clinical expertise in neuroinfectious diseases and neuroimmunology. Following her neurology residency training at the Harvard Neurology Residency Program of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she served as chief resident, Dr. Thakur completed post-doctoral fellowship training in neuroinfectious disease and neuroimmunology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Thakur serves a major teaching role as an inpatient neurologist, and is the recipient of the Lewis P. Rowland Teaching Award. In addition to her clinical work at CUIMC, Dr. Thakur works internationally treating patients, educating trainees, and performing clinical research. She has worked in eight countries throughout her career, and serves as a consultant for the World Health Organization, where she works to improve global access to neurological care. Dr. Thakur’s research focuses on clinical and translational studies which aim to improve our ability to detect and manage neuroinfectious diseases and neuroinflammatory conditions in the hospital setting. She leads the post-doctoral neuroinfectious disease clinical research fellowship for LIC and LMIC physician-scientists at Columbia. Her clinical areas of expertise include neuroinfectious diseases, neuroimmunology, emergency neurology, and community and global health.
Dr. Thakur's research is funded by the NIH, World Federation of Neurology, and American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Thakur received her Science of Clinical Investigation certification from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2014 and is currently receiving her Masters in Science in clinical trials through the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
- Department of Neurology
Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology
Education and Training
- MD, Tufts University School of Medicine
- Internship: Osler Medical Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Residency: Brigham & Women's Hospital - Harvard Medical School
- Fellowship: Johns Hopkins Hospital
Dr. Thakur co-leads the Community and Global Neurology Program at Columbia University Medical Center.
Committees / Societies / Memberships
American Academy of Neurology
American Neurological Association
Infectious Disease Society of America
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
World Neurology Foundation
Global Health Countries
- Dominican Republic
Global Health Activities
Dr. Thakur performs clinical research globally in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean on neuroinfectious diseases. She additionally serves as a neurology consultant in these regions.
Global Health Activities
Emergency Neurological Life Support Symposium, Columbia Global Center, Santiago, Chile
Clinical research, Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi
Clinical research, La Romana, Dominican Republic
Clinical research, Bihar, India and Dhaka, Bangladesh
Clinical research and Clinical Observor, Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Neurology Clerkship Director, Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Neurology Consultant, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Blantyre, Malawi), Kamuzu Central Hospital (Lilongwe, Malawi)
Clinical research, Rakai, Uganda
Honors and Awards
Lewis P. Rowland Teaching Award, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, 2016
Center for Disease Control Nakona Citation Award, 2014
- CNS infections
- Tuberculous meningitis
- Cerebral malaria
- Global epidemiological studies on neurological diseases
NIH NINDS K23 "Clinical Impact of Early Pathogen Identification in Acute Neurological Infections" July 1, 2018-July 1, 2023
CLINICAL IMPACT OF EARLY PATHOGEN IDENTIFICATION IN ACUTE NEUROLOGICAL INFECTIONS (Federal Gov)
Jul 1 2018 - Jun 30 2023
AN EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION TO CULTIVATE PATIENT-CENTERED COMMUNICATION AMONG ADULT NEUROLOGY RESIDENTS IN THE OUTPATIENT SETTING AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER (Private)
Jul 1 2017 - Jun 30 2018
FEASIBILITY OF AN INTERVENTION TO IMPROVE NEUROREHABILITATION IN PEDIATRIC SURVIVORS OF CEREBRAL MALARIA IN MALAWI (Private)
Sep 1 2015 - Aug 31 2017
GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME IN THE CONTEXT OF ZIKA SYNDROME (Private)
May 15 2017 - Jun 30 2017
GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME IN THE CONTEXT OF ZIKA SYNDROME (Private)
Jan 5 2017 - Feb 28 2017
INNOVATIVE PK/PD APPROACHES TO OPTIMIZE TBM TREATMENT IN CHILDREN (PATCH STUDY) (Federal Gov)
Jul 1 2015 - Jun 30 2016
SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS ON GUILLAIN-BARR SYNDROME (Private)
Mar 1 2016 - Mar 31 2016
ICD-11 CHAPTER ON DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEMS (Private)
Aug 27 2015 - Dec 19 2015
Samuel G, DiBartolo-Cordovano R, Taj I, Merriam A, Lopez JM, Torres C, Lantigua RA, Morse S, Chang BP, Gyamfi-Bannerman C, Thakur KT. A survey of the knowledge, attitudes and practices on Zika virus in New York City. BMC Public Health. 2018 Jan 2;18(1):98. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4991-3.
Ho NT, Hoang VMT, LE NNT, Nguyen DT, Tran A, Kaki D, Tran PM, Thompson CN, Ngo MNQ, Truong KH, Nguyen HT, Ha TM, Nguyen CVV, Thwaites GE, Thakur KT, Hesdorffer D, Baker S. A spatial and temporal analysis of paediatric central nervous system infections from 2005 to 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Oct 24:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S095026881700228X.
Thompson H, Thakur K. Infections of the Central Nervous System in Returning Travelers and Immigrants. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2017 Oct 3;19(11):45. doi: 10.1007/s11908-017-0594-5.
Mezochow A, Thakur K, Vinnard C. Tuberculous Meningitis in Children and Adults: New Insights for an Ancient Foe. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2017;17(11):85.
Zucker J, Neu N, Chiriboga CA, Hinton VJ, Leonardo M, Sheikh A, Thakur K. Zika Virus-Associated Cognitive Impairment in Adolescent, 2016. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(6):1047-1048.
Rimmer K, Shah H, Thakur K. Expanding medicines for neurological disorders on the World Health Organization Model List. Neurology 2017;88(10):e87-e91.
Miller E, Becker Z, Shalev D, Lee C, Cioroiu C, Thakur K. Probable Zika virus-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome: Challenges with clinico-laboratory diagnosis. Journal of Neurological Sciences 2017;375:367-370.
Roth W, Tyshkov C, Thakur K, Vargas W. Encephalomyelitis Following Definitive Zika Virus Infection. Neurology Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation 2017;4(4):e349.
Merkler AE, Reynolds AS, Gialdini G, Morris NA, Murthy SB, Thakur K, Kamel H. Neurological Complications after Tuberculous Meningitis in a Multi-state cohort in the United States. J Neurol Sci. 2017;375:460-463.
Savic RM, Ruslami R, Hibma JE, Hesseling A, Ramachandran G, Ganiem AR, Swaminathan S, McIlleron H, Gupta A, Thakur K, van Crevel R, Aarnoutse R, Dooley KE. Pediatric tuberculous meningitis: model-based approach to determining optimal doses of the anti-tuberculosis drugs rifampin and levofloxacin for children. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Aug 11.
Thakur KT, Lyons JL, Smith BR, Shinohara RT, Mateen FJ. Stroke in HIV-infected African Americans: a retrospective cohort study. J Neurovirol. 2015 Jul 9
Saylor D, Thakur K, Venkatesan A. Acute encephalitis in the immunocompromised individual. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2015;28(4):330-6
Hardy SJ, Benavides DR, Thakur KT, Probasco JC, Pardo CA. A longitudinally extensive myelopathy in a patient with AIDS. Pract Neurol. 2015 Jun 2
Thakur KT, Mateyo K, Hachaambwa L, et al. Lumbar puncture refusal in sub-Saharan Africa: a call for further understanding and intervention. Neurology 2015;84(19):1988-90.
Thakur KT, McArthur JC, Venkatesan A. CNS Infections in 2014: guns, germs, and will. Lancet Neurology 2015;14(1):20-2.
Sutter R, Kaplan PW, Cervenka MC, Thakur KT, Asemota AO, Venkatesan A, Geocadin RG. Electroencephalography for diagnosis and prognosis of acute encephalitis. Clin Neurophysiol. 2014 Nov 15.
Lyons JL, Thakur KT, Lee R, et al. Utility of measuring (1,3) β-D-glucan in cerebrospinal fluid for the diagnosis of fungal central nervous system infection. J Clin Microbiol. 2014;53(1):319-22
Mikita K, Thakur K, Anstey N, et al. Quantification of Plasmodium Falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 in the cerebrospinal fluid from cerebral malaria patients. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2014;91(3):486-92
Nelson G, Fermo O, Thakur K, et al. Resolution of a fungal mycotic aneurysm after a contaminated steroid injection: a case report. BMC Research Notes 2014;7:327
Fugate JE, Lyons JL, Thakur KT, et al. Infectious causes of stroke-a review. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2014. S1473-3099(14);70755-8
Thakur K, Probasco JC, Hocker SE, et al. Ketogenic Diet for Adults in Super-Refractory Status Epilepticus. Neurology 2014;82(8):665-70
Berkowitz A, Thakur K. Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy Following Malaria: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Journal of Clinical Neurosciences 2014;21(4):704-6.
Kirsch H, Thakur K, Birbeck G. Central Nervous System infections in returning travelers. Current Infectious Disease Reports 2013.15(6):600-11
Litvintseva AP, Lindsley MD, Gade L, Smith R, Chiller T, Lyons JL, Thakur KT, Zhang SX, Grgurich DE, Kerkering TM, Brandt ME, Park BJ. Utility of (1-3)-β-D-glucan testing for diagnostics and monitoring response to treatment during the multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2013;58(5):622-30
Thakur K, Motta M, Asemota A, et al. Predictors of Outcome in Acute Encephalitis. Neurology 2013;81(9):793-800
Maynard BF, Bass C, Katanski C, Thakur K, Manoogian B, Leader M, Nichols R. Structure-Activity Relationships of FMRF-NH2 Peptides Demonstrate A Role for the Conserved C Terminus and Unique N-Terminal Extension in Modulating Cardiac Contractility. PLoS One 2013;8(9):e75502
Lyons J, Roos K, Marr K, Neumann H, Trivedi J, Kimbrough D, Steiner L, Thakur K, Harrison D, and Zhang S. Cerebrospinal fluid (1,3) β-D-glucan detection as an aid to diagnose iatrogenic fungal meningitis. J Clin Microbiol. 2013;51(4):1285-7
Thakur K, Zunt J. Neurologic parasitic infections in immigrants and travelers. Semin Neuro. 2011;31(3):231-44
Book chapters/non-peer reviewed manuscripts:
World Health Organization toolkit for the care and support of people affected by complications associated with Zika virus. World Health Organization 2017.
Identification and management of Guillain Barre syndrome in the context of Zika virus. Interim Guidance. World Health Organization 2016.
Assessment of infants with microcephaly in the context of Zika virus. Interim Guidance. World Health Organization 2016.
Thakur KT, Albanese E, Giannakopoulos P, Jette N, Linde M, Prince MJ, Steiner TJ, Dua T. Neurological disorders. Disease Control Priorities, World Bank 2016.
For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov