The Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Clinical Research Center

About the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Clinical Research Center

At the Pediatric SMA Clinical Research Center, a neurologist with expertise in SMA and pediatric neuromuscular disease conducts the SMA evaluation. The first step in being evaluated is to be examined by our team of physicians at the clinic. A thorough neurological examination will be conducted and previous tests reviewed. If indicated, additional diagnostic examinations (tests) may be recommended. The Pediatric SMA Clinical Research Center, which operates conjointly with the Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinic at Columbia University, is organized according to a team model. The clinic offers special expertise in SMA and other neuromuscular disorders, and provides access to highly skilled neurologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, physiatrists, orthopedists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, and therapists who work collaboratively to deliver the utmost compassionate, high quality care to each of the patients we serve. Our specialized SMA Clinic has been established, with the generous support of the SMA Foundation.

Clinical care at the clinic mirrors the published Standard of Care guidelines for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and related neuromuscular disorders.

Mission Statement

The Pediatric SMA Clinic is committed to providing comprehensive multidisciplinary patient care, supporting translational research into the cause and cure for spinal muscular atrophy, educating tomorrow's health care professionals, and reaching out to the community we serve. The SMA clinic offers expertise, education, resources, and guidance to families affected by SMA. We aim to facilitate access to state of the art comprehensive care by working with a network of specialists with expertise in pediatric neuromuscular disease. This multidisciplinary care will allow patients and their families to minimize trips to medical appointments. We will create a plan of care in a compassionate, child friendly environment with the goal of maintaining the highest level of independence and function possible.

SMA Clinical Care and Research Team

  • Michio Hirano, MD

    • Lucy G. Moses Professor of Neurology
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  • Claudia A. Chiriboga, MD

    • Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics (in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at CUMC
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  • Matthew B. Harms, MD

    • Associate Professor of Neurology
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  • Francesco Michelassi, MD, PhD

    • Assistant in Clinical Neurology
  • Andrei Constantinescu, MD

    • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Andrei Constantinescu, MD
  • Michael G. Vitale, MD

    • Ana Lucia Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery (in Orthopaedic Surgery and in Neurological Surgery)
    Michael G. Vitale, MD
  • Kristin Engelstad, MS, CGC

    • Lecturer in Genetic Counseling (in Neurology)
    Kristin Engelstad, MS, CGC
  • Rafael S. Rodriguez-Torres, PT, DPT

    • Physical Therapist
  • Carly Mueller, PT, DPT

    • Physical Therapist
  • Stephanie Hernandez

    • MDA Clinic Coordinator
  • Kimberly Berry

    • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Shanaz A. Mohammed

    • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Vincent Huynh

    • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Mauline M. Onsombi

    • Clinical Research Coordinator

SMA Basic Research Team

  • George Mentis, PhD

    • Associate Professor of Neurology (in Pathology and Cell Biology)
  • Umrao Monani, PhD

    • Darryl C. De Vivo Professor of Pediatric Neurology
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  • Livio Pellizzoni, PhD

    • Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology (in Neurology)

Emeritus SMA Center Founder

  • Darryl C. De Vivo, MD

    • Sidney Carter Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics
    Darryl C. De Vivo, MD
Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC)
Harkness Pavilion, Floor 5
180 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032-3791
United States