I am a physician-scientist with more than 20 years of clinical and basic science research experience focusing on rare neurogenetic disorders. I did my medical doctor and doctorate training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and completed my research thesis in the laboratory of Bert O’Malley, MD, working with the mifepristone-inducible gene system. I then completed a fellowship in pediatric neurology at the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, followed by a clinical fellowship in neurogenetics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Next, I worked as a staff neurologist with the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at NIH prior to moving to Cedars-Sinai.
As a pediatric neurologist, I have focused my clinical work on rare neurogenetic disorders in order to better understand basic mechanisms of neural function, neurodevelopment and pathophysiologic features of neurological disease. As a researcher, I have focused on discovery of new neurogenetic disorders and generation of cellular models of neurogenetic disease with an emphasis on developing therapeutic interventions. My laboratory develops patient-derived cellular models (e.g., induced pluripotent stem cells) of rare neurogenetic disorders in order to better understand their disease mechanisms and develop therapeutic interventions. To this end, I am the director of the Cedars-Sinai Pediatric Neurogenetic and Neuromuscular Clinic and the pediatric lead for the Center for the Undiagnosed Patient.
The Diana and Steve Marienhoff Fashion Industries Guild Endowed Fellowship in Pediatric Neuromuscular Diseases and the Fashion Industries Guild Endowed Fellowship in Undiagnosed Diseases provide financial support for work in the Neurogenetics and Neuromuscular Clinic and the Pierson Laboratory.