Cigdem Isitan Alkawadri, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology


  • Director, Neuroimmunology/MS Fellowship

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Isitan treats patients with a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica, transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, neurosarcoidosis, autoimmune encephalitis, and other immune-mediated inflammatory conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord. Dr. Isitan also offers botulinum toxin injections for symptomatic management of spasticity and migraine headaches.

Education & Training

  • Fellow, Yale University, MS/Neuroimmunology
  • Resident, Boston University Medical Center, Internal Medicine/Neurology
  • MD, Yeditepe University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests 

  • Research/Clinical: MS and other immune-mediated diseases of the central nervous system; autoimmune encephalitis; neuro-imaging biomarkers of MS 
  • Education: Enhancing academic approach to medical education.

Board Certifications 

  • American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology: Neurology

Professional Organization Membership

  • American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 
  • Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS)

Honors & Awards

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award
  • American Academy of Neurology Fellow Scholarship Award
  • Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award American Academy of Neurology Safety and Quality Award
  • Multiple Sclerosis Masters Scholarship Award (Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis)

Selected Recent Publications

Isitan C, Yan Q, Spencer DD, Alkawadri R. Brief history of electrical cortical stimulation: A journey in time from Volta to Penfield. Epilepsy Res. 2020 Oct;166:106363. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2020.106363. Epub 2020 May 22. PMID: 32673971.

Ponath G, Lincoln MR, Levine-Ritterman M, Park C, Dahlawi S, Mubarak M, Sumida T, Airas L, Zhang S, Isitan C, Nguyen TD, Raine CS, Hafler DA, Pitt D. Enhanced astrocyte responses are driven by a genetic risk allele associated with multiple sclerosis. Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 17;9(1):5337. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07785-8. PMID: 30559390; PMCID: PMC6297228.

Isitan C, Ferree A, Hohler AD. Cefepime induced neurotoxicity: A case series and review of the literature. eNeurologicalSci. 2017 Aug 4;8:40-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ensci.2017.08.001. PMID: 29260037; PMCID: PMC5730896.

Alkawadri R, Burgess R, Isitan C, Wang IZ, Kakisaka Y, Alexopoulos AV. Yield of repeat routine MEG recordings in clinical practice. Epilepsy Behav. 2013 May;27(2):416-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.02.028. Epub 2013 Mar 29. PMID: 23541858.