Melodie R. Winawer, MD

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Dr. Winawer's clinical interests are in epilepsy and neurogenetics. Her research focuses on the genetics of epilepsy, working to identify susceptibility genes that play a role in human health and disease. She employs genetic epidemiology techniques to investigate the role of genes in raising risk for specific clinical epilepsy subtypes in human subjects, and also uses mouse models to identify genes that contribute to seizure susceptibility. She is the director of clinical neuroscience education for the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Clinical Neurology
  • General Neurology
  • Genetic Disorder

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Neurology (in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Director of Clinical Neuroscience Education, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • French
  • Spanish


  • Female

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710 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

Insurance Accepted


  • Aetna Signature Administrators
  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • NYP Employee Plan
  • NY Signature
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Student Health


  • EPO
  • Great West (National)
  • HMO
  • POS
  • PPO

Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield

  • EPO
  • HMO
  • PPO


  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Leaf (Exchange)
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

Local 1199

  • NYP Employee Plan

MagnaCare (National)

  • MagnaCare


  • Railroad
  • Traditional Medicare


  • Multiplan

Oxford Health Plans

  • Freedom
  • Liberty


  • Special Needs


  • Empire Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO


  • SelectHealth

*Please contact the provider’s office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Internship: Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Fellowship: Neurological Institute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital

Board Certifications

  • Neurology

Honors & Awards

  • National Headache Foundation, 2014 Seymour Diamond Lectureship Award



CURE foundation (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)  (PI: Elliott Sherr, UCSF)

Predictors of Neurodevelopmental and Epilepsy outcomes in cryptogenic Infantile Spasms

Goal: To identify clinical, electrographic, and genetic predictors of developmental and seizure outcomes in EPGP, the largest assembled cohort in the world with cryptogenic infantile spasms.

Role: Co-Investigator

Supplement to NIH/NINDS NS053998 (PI: Daniel L. Lowenstein, Subcontract PI: Melodie R. Winawer)

Centralization of The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) Cohort

Total Direct Costs: $150,000 (one year)

Goal: To centralize contact information and PHI at Columbia University for this large cohort of epilepsy participants with banked DNA to undergo sequencing via the EPI4K center without walls project.

Role: Subcontract Principal Investigator

Supplement to NIH/NINDS R01NS061991 (PI: Winawer)


Genetics of Mouse Seizure Susceptibility

Total Direct Costs: $27,699

Goal: Cryopreservation of Interval Specific Congenic Mouse Strains

Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NINDS R01NS061991 (PI: Winawer)


Genetics of Mouse Seizure Susceptibility

Total Direct Costs: $1,187,373

Goal: To identify gene variants contributing to mouse seizure susceptibility using QTL mapping and bioinformatics strategies. Candidate genes identified will be tested in a human epilepsy population.

Role: Principal Investigator

The Human Epilepsy Project (Multiple PIs: Kuzniecky, Lowenstein, Shinnar, Dlugos, French, Winawer) 4/1/12-3/30/17 Funded by the Epilepsy Consortium.

Total Costs: $5,000,000 (approximately $4.5M direct)

Goal: To identify clinical, genetic, metabolomic, imaging, and EEG predictors of outcome in a prospective study of new-onset epilepsy

Role: Principal Investigator; Chair, Comorbidity Core

NIH/NINDS NS053998 (PI: Daniel L. Lowenstein)

5/1/07 - 4/30/12 No-cost-extension 5/1/12-4/30/13

The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP)  

Total Direct Costs: $19,126,699  Subcontract Direct Costs to Columbia University: $492,256

Goal: A multi-institutional collaborative consortium for gene discovery in human epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

NIH U01 NS077367 (MPI: Berkovic/Ottman/Epstein/Cossette)

Epi4K: Gene Discovery in 4,000 Epilepsy Genomes.  5 of 7: Multiplex Families and Pairs 

Total direct costs: $944,946 (subcontract to Columbia University $159,096).

Goal:  To identify genetic variation influencing risk for epilepsy in a collaborative study using whole genome and whole exome sequencing in 4,000 epilepsy patients.  Project 5 will investigate genomes in multiplex families and affected relative pairs with epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

R01 NS078419 (Ottman) 04/01/12-03/31/16

Psychosocial Impact of Genetics in Epilepsy

Total Direct Costs: $1,486,607
Goal: To investigate psychosocial outcomes and their relations with genetic attributions and actual genetic test results in families containing multiple individuals with epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

Selected Publications