Neuromuscular Diseases

The neuromuscular division at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurology provides care for neuromuscular patients including those seen in the affiliated Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic and MDA-ALS Center & ALSA Center of Excellence (UPMC Presbyterian campus).

David Lacomis, MD, division chief, is director of the MDA Care Center and Co-Director of the EMG Laboratory. As the Director of Clinical Research for the Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research, he oversees ALS research within the department and UPMC and in collaboration with basic science colleagues in the Brain Institute.

Tawfiq Al-Lahham, MD, is the Director of the MDA-ALS Center/ALSA Center of Excellence. In addition to treating patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neuromuscular diseases, he is the site principal investigator in the Healey Platform drug trials in ALS. Dr. Al-Lahham also performs electrodiagnostic testing.

Paula R. Clemens, MD, actively conducts a research program with an emphasis on human clinical research for drug development and clinical trial readiness for muscular dystrophies. Dr. Clemens has previously been the Study Chair for two major clinical trials: a multi-site program testing a first-in-class steroid for treatment of patients with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, and for an exon 53 skipping drug clinical trial that provided the pivotal data resulting in drug approval by FDA and PMDA using the accelerated approval pathway. Additionally, she’s involved in human clinical research testing enzyme replacement therapy, chaperone small molecule therapy and adeno-associated viral vector-delivered gene replacement therapy for patients with late onset Pompe disease. Dr. Clemens directs the University of Pittsburgh NeuroNEXT clinical study site (funded by NINDS) and pursues pre-clinical, translational research in collaboration with Dr. Dana Ascherman (Rheumatology), studying an animal model of inflammatory myopathy.

Fang Sun, MD, PhD, specializes in myasthenia gravis and genetic neuromuscular diseases and performs electrodiagnostic testing at the UPMC Presbyterian and Shadyside campuses.

The division trains fellows in clinical neurophysiology and was approved to start a neuromuscular medicine fellowship.