Neuromuscular Medicine

The H. Houston Merritt Center For Neuromuscular and Mitochondrial Disorders

  • Michio Hirano, MD, Chief, Division of Neuromuscular Medicine
    Molecular biology of neuromuscular disorders. Identification of causative mutations in autosomal disorders affecting the mitochondria. Mouse models of mitochondrial diseases. Development of therapies for mitochondrial diseases.
  • Salvatore DiMauro, MD
    Biochemical and DNA investigations of human metabolic myopathies, including disorders of glycogen metabolism, lipid metabolism, and mitochondrial function.
  • Eric A. Schon, PhD
    Molecular genetic studies of neuromuscular disorders. Current work includes analysis of respiratory chain genes (cytochrome c oxidase), mutations of mitochondrial DNA in human disease, and in vitro gene therapy.

To learn more about our research, please visit diagnostic services for mitochondrial disorders and metabolic myopathies website.

The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center

  • Neil Shneider, MD, PhD, Director, The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center
    Molecular, cellular and genetic  studies of disease mechanisms in ALS. Expertise in ALS clinical care.
  • Matthew Harms, MD
    Genomic studies of ALS and inherited neurological disorders.  Expertise in the care of patients with neuromuscular disease.
  • Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD
    Innovative therapeutic clinical trials, basic and clinical research, and expertise in palliative and biomedical care.

To learn more about our research, please visit the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center web site.

Motor Neuron Center

  • Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD
    Serge Przedborski has pioneered the investigation of molecular mechanisms of neuronal death in the MPTP model of Parkinson's disease (PD) and in the mutant superoxide dismutase model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He has demonstrated the importance of the cascade of deleterious events - oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis - in the demise of nigral dopaminergic neurons in PD and of spinal cord motor neurons in ALS. Learn more at the Przedborski lab web site.

To learn more about our research, please visit Columbia Motor Neuron Center

SMA Clinical Research Center

To learn more about our research, please visit Pediatric SMA Clinical Research Center

Peripheral and Autonomic Neuropathies

In collaboration with neurologists, endocrinologists, other physicians, and basic scientists, the Columbia Neuropathy Research Center is committed to basic and human research designed to improve our understanding and effective treatment of peripheral and autonomic neuropathies of all types.

  • Thomas H. Brannagan, MD
    Dr. Brannagan is the director of the Columbia Neuropathy Research Center (CNRC) and co-director of the Electromyography Laboratory for the Columbia University Department of Neurology and for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He has over a decade of experience in therapeutic clinical trials, as well as the neurophysiologic investigation of nerve and muscle function. His research has focused on the development of new diagnostic techniques and new therapies for neuropathy, including diabetic neuropathies, painful neuropathies, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) and other autoimmune neuropathies.
  • Louis Weimer, MD
    Dr. Weimer is Co-Director of the CNRC and additionally directs the Clinical Autonomic Laboratory, where he provides clinical evaluation of central and peripheral causes of dysautonomia and autonomic failure, including autonomic neuropathy, multiple system atrophy, and orthostatic intolerance. Techniques include cardiovascular reflex testing, heart rate variability, tilt-table testing, power spectral analysis, and sudomotor estimation. Quantification of small somatic pain and temperature nerve fiber function in peripheral neuropathy and selective small fiber neuropathy. Other special interests include neuropathy from medications and toxins, entrapment neuropathies, and the myopathy of critical illness. Dr. Weimer has participated in numerous clinical trials of various neuromuscular disorders, including diabetic and HIV-related neuropathy, Lou Gehrig's disease, and others. He has published over 90 peer reviewed papers, invited reviews, book chapters, and meeting abstracts to date.

The CNRC is funded exclusively by donor support and research grants.