Page B. Pennell, MD, FAES

Chair, Henry B. Higman Professor of Neurology

Page B. Pennell, MD, FAES, is the Henry B. Higman Professor of Neurology and currently serves as Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Since coming to the University of Pittsburgh, she continues her work as a volunteer Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and as a Visiting Scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts. Dr. Pennell has formerly served as President of the American Epilepsy Society and on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations, including the Epilepsy Foundation and the American Epilepsy Society. She has contributed over 15 book chapters and been guest editor of publications focusing on neurology illnesses and pregnancy.

A full list of Dr. Pennell's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Dr. Pennell is a clinician investigator with a focus on sex-specific outcomes in epilepsy – her current clinical studies focus on the effects of sex steroid hormones and other neuroactive steroids on seizure provocation, and treatment trials for catamenial epilepsy and pregnancy in women with epilepsy, with an emphasis of optimizing maternal and fetal outcomes. Her other research areas include pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics of anti-epileptic drugs, investigational drugs and device trials for medically refractory epilepsy. Her clinical interests extend to presurgical evaluation for medically-refractory epilepsy.

Dr. Pennell currently serves as the principal investigator on the study, "Physiological-based Pharmacokinetics Approach to Determine the Extent of Drug Exposure of Anti-seizure Medications During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding", focuses on anti-seizure medication (ASM) clearance and physiological factors determining blood concentrations in pregnant adult women with epilepsy and amounts of exposure to their unborn children and nursing infants; Arundhathi Jeyabalan, MD, serves as a co-investigator. The goal is to develop modeling of pharmacokinetic changes for these two ASMs during pregnancy and postpartum that can be used to adjust does in practice without obtaining frequent visits to the lab for therapeutic drug monitoring; and to predict exposure of less frequently prescribed ASM's in mothers and their infants to maintain the individualized target concentrations, thus protecting mothers from seizure worsening and minimizing fetal toxicity.

Board Certifications

  • Subspecialty Certification in Epilepsy, Diplomate, American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, 2018-Present
  • Maintenance of Certification, Diplomate, American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, 2015-Present
  • Licensed Physician, State of Massachusetts (#239039), 2009-Present

Professional Organization Membership

  • Therapeutics technology and Assessment Subcommittee and Quality Standards, 2018-Present
  • Member, Task Force of Women with Epilepsy, 2018-Present
  • Epilepsy Foundation, 1995-Present
  • American Epilepsy Society, 1993-Present
  • Founding Member, Pregnancy Outcomes, SIG, 2004-Present
  • American Academy of Neurology, 1990-Present
    • Neuroendocrinology Section, 2004
    • Epilepsy Section, 1999-Present

    Education & Training

  • MA, Harvard University, Honorary Degree
  • Fellow, PGY 5-6, University of Michigan, Neurophysiology/Epilepsy
  • Resident, PGY 2-4, University of Michigan, Neurology
  • Intern, PGY-1, University of Florida, Internal Medicine
  • MD, University of Florida
  • BS, Emory University
  • Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Fellow, 2020-2021
  • Senior Faculty Mentor Pillar Award, Brigham and Women's Hospital Physician Organization, 2019
  • Sperling Faculty Leadership Accelerator, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2019
  • Patient and Family Centered Care Physician Leadership Recognition Award, Brigham and Women's Physician Organization, 2019
  • Abstract of Distinction, 70th Annual American Academy of Neurology Meeting, 2018
  • Fellow, Epilepsy Society, FAES, 2017
  • Distinguished Clinician Award, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2017
  • Honoree, Annual Candlelight Diner, Epilepsy Foundation of New England, 2016
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Epilepsy Society, 2015
  • Partners in Excellence Award for Leadership and Innovation, Partners Healthcare, 2015
  • fellow, American Neurological Association, 2013
  • Nominee, A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, Harvard Medical School, 2013, 2014
  • Best Doctors Award, Boston Magazine, Excellence in Patient Care, 2010-2020
  • Best Doctors Award, Atlanta Magazine, Excellence in Patient Care, 2008-2009
  • Roger G. Schnell Award, Outstanding Skills in Neurology, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1989
  • Whitehead Medical Scholarship, Academic Scholarship, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1988