Neurology News

In December, Dr. Clemens Scherzer was in the BWH Bulletin for the article “Parkinson’s Disease and Cognitive Decline: Genetic Link Revealed”. It is about his basic/clinical research about the link between Parkinson’s Disease and memory loss. Read it here.

Dr. Carolyn Bernstein visited a classroom of 27 fourth-grade students at the Tobin School in Mission Hill with resident Emily Ferenczi, MD, PhD. They both taught them three fun, hands-on science experiments. The students learned new scientific terms, conducted hypotheses and the differences between blinded and non-blinded experiments. Click here to read more.

Dr. Jennifer Lyons spoke with Michaeleen Doucleff from NPR on the story “Beyond Lyme: New Tick-Borne Diseases On The Rise In U.S.”, part of a four part series on killer viruses. Dr. Lyons and her patient, Tucker Lane spoke about how his tick bites turned into a severe inflammation of his brain. Click here to listen.

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Department Announcements

The AAN Brain Health Fair takes place on Friday, April 21st during the AAN Conference in Boston at the BCEC Convention Center. Please consider volunteering and where they need the most help at the Cranial Nerve Stations. Interested volunteers can email Brittany Behrendsen at and should indicate the area they are interested in volunteering in and their availability for the day.

Awards, Gifts, Publications & Recognition

The Distinguished Clinician Award is designed to recognize the most valued clinicians of our Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) community. This honorific title is reserved for the most accomplished and most widely recognized practicing physicians on the BWH staff. Recipients were nominated by their chairs and then elected by the committee. Congratulations to the following Neurology faculty members for being chosen as part of the Brigham and Women's Distinguished Clinicians:

They join our inductees from last year who were: Dr. Anthony Amato, Dr. Don Bienfang, Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, Dr. Kirk Daffner, Dr. Barbara Dworetzky, Dr. Steven Feske, Dr. Galen Henderson, Dr. Elizabeth Loder, Dr. David Pilgrim, Dr. Allan Ropper, Dr. Lewis Sudarsky, Dr. Thomas Walshe and Dr. Patrick Wen.

In November, Dr. Charness was awarded the Mark Keller Honorary Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism “for significant and long-term contributions to our understanding of alcohol’s effects on the body and mind.” The links to the NIH and other press releases follow: NIH press release, Office of Research & Development Press Release

In January, Dr. Barbara Dworetsky was elected a Fellow Member of the American Academy of Neurology. The FAAN designation (Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology) will now appear behind her name, along with other credentials, in the Academy's membership directory.

Dr. Clemens Scherzer was awarded a distinguished Michael J. Fox Consortium grant designed to build a biomarkers tool kit to start a new era of clinical trials for PD: biomarkers-guided, precision medicine trials targeting GBA.

One of the inpatient services DMD2, was modified to SKF, naming it after Dr. Steven Feske. This now makes the two services noticeably different both in spirit and scheduling and is a huge honor. The Neurology department is very happy for Dr. Feske. Congratulations!

Dr. Anthony Amato was awarded a grant that will be used in the BTM as a multidisciplinary clinic for muscular dystrophy patients.

Dr. Aaron Berkowitz received the Donald O’Hara Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard Medical School. This award recognizes his exceptional teaching in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School in both the New Pathway and Pathways.

Welcome to New Faculty

On behalf of Dr. Samuels and the entire leadership of our Department, please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Brigham Neurology faculty:

Dr. Matthew Bevers – Division of Neuro-Critical Care
Dr. Bevers graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, completed his residency at Partners Neurology and completed his critical care fellowship and Partners Neurology. Clinically he’ll be working as part of our Neuro-ICU Intensivist team, and Matt’s research includes imaging based outcomes after stroke.

Dr. Shamik Bhattacharyya – Divisions of Hospital Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases
Dr. Bhattacheria graduated from Johns Hopkins University, completed his residency at Partners Neurology and most recently a Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship at BWH with the MS Division. He is now a key faculty member with clinical and research interest in Neuro-inflammation. He is practicing clinically on the ward service with the Neuro-Hospitalist Division, and in the outpatient arena within Rheumatology @ BWH, our MS Center, and also within the BWFH Spine Center.

Dr. Amar Dhand - Divisions of Hospital Neurology and Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease
Dr. Dhand trained at Dartmouth College, Harvard Medical School, Oxford University, and University of California, San Francisco. He has expertise in general neurology, stroke syndromes, rehabilitation medicine, itch, diagnostic reasoning, and social interactions in medicine. He has built novel patient education tools such as the NeuroBoard, a dry erase map of the brain. His research interests involve social networks and health outcomes in neurology patients. His goal is to understand and harness social networks to improve patients’ lives.

Dr. Ranbir S. Dhillon – Foxboro Neurology
Dr. Dhillon is a community-based General Neurologist who will be working part-time with Brigham Neurology seeing General Neurology patients at our Foxboro campus.

Dr. Claudio Melo De Gusmao – Division of Movement Disorders and Transitional Neurology Program

Dr. De Gusmao graduated from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and completed his Pediatrics Residency at Instituto de Pediatria Martagao Gestira and Neurology Residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami. He completed a Movement Disorders Fellowship at MGH/BWH (Adult) and Children’s Hospital Boston (Pediatrics).

Claudio is jointly recruitment by BWH Neurology and CHB Neurology within the Divisions of Movement Disorders, and will initiate a new “Transitional Neurology” program. Whereby leading the efforts for transitioning patients from pediatric neurology at CHB to adult neurology at BWH within the sub-specialty areas of Movement Disorders, Epilepsy, and others. Claudio began working with us and Children’s as of September 1st.

Dr. Saef Izzy – Division of Neuro-Critical Care
Dr. Izzy graduated from University of Baghdad College of Medicine; he completed his residency at University of Massachusetts and completed a Critical Care fellowship at Partners Neurology. Clinically, he’ll be working as part of our Neuro-ICU Intensivist team, and Saef’s research interest includes the study of biological markers and patient outcomes after traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Jami H. Johnsen – Divisions of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms and South Shore Neurology
Dr. Johnsen graduated from Boston University School of Medicine, completed her residency at BU School of Medicine, and completed a Sleep Fellowship at BU School of Medicine. Jami will be working mainly in a clinical capacity working between our SSH and BWFH campus holding sleep clinics for our patients. She has an interest in process improvement that has lead to better patient care and clinical outcomes.

Dr. Vikram Khurana – Division of Movement Disorders
Dr. Khurana graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, completed his Residency with Partners Neurology, and a Movement Disorders Fellowship at MGH/BWH. He will be working clinically at BWH with the Movement Disorders Division, and his research interest lies in basic research focused on stem cell development for the treatment and repair of neurogenerative diseases.

Dr. Christopher Stephen – Performing Arts Program
Dr. Stephen graduated from the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine, completed his Residency at BIDMC. He will be employed by MGH and working part-time as part of our Saturday Performing Arts Clinic led by Dr. Michael Charness and with Martha Neagu, MD.

Dr. Ivana Vodopivec – Divisions of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases & Hospital Neurology

Dr. Vodopivec graduated from the University of Zagreb School of Medicine in Croatia, she completed her Residency with Partners Neurology, and completed an Advanced General Neurology Fellowship at MGH and a Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship with MEE/BWH. She has started as an Attending physician with us as of August 1st.

Clinically, she will be working in the outpatient arena seeing Neuro-Ophthalmology and General Neurology patients, and participating on the inpatient DMD and MAS services providing direct patient care and teaching in the acute Neurology setting.

Ivana’s clinical and academic interests lie in clinical Neuro-Immunology and cross-disciplinary patient-centered care and integration of clinical practices established in rheumatology, infectious diseases, and ophthalmology into neurology and neuro-ophthalmology.

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