Jenny J. Linnoila MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Linnoila is an autoimmune neurologist based in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital. Autoimmune diseases are increasingly identified in neurology. Dr. Linnoila’s expertise in this field spans from the laboratory to the clinic. Dr. Linnoila graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Scientist Training (M.D./PhD.) program, where she studied protein signaling pathways at the neuro-muscular junction (NMJ). Autoimmune diseases targeting the NMJ, such as myasthenia gravis and Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, have been well known for over half a century. Dr. Linnoila is an MGH neurology residency program alumnus. Towards the end of her residency training, she spent time in Dr. Josep Dalmau’s laboratory, one of the world’s experts in autoimmune neurology. Together, they wrote a review article on autoimmune encephalitides. After residency, she completed the Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, where she gained experience in interpreting patients’ autoantibody profiles and in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune disorders. Dr. Linnoila has successfully obtained funding for her research at each stage of her training and career - while an M.D./Ph.D. student, she secured funding through a T32 departmental grant and an individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) grant. As a resident and fellow, she received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R25 grant, spending 80% of her time in a laboratory developing a rodent model of autoimmune encephalitis and 20% of her time building an autoimmune neurology practice. Most recently, she was awarded an NIH K-08 grant through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, with Dr. Dalmau as a co-mentor, to continue this work. Dr. Linnoila has published peer-reviewed articles, review articles, and book chapters in autoimmune neurology. She has delivered lectures locally in Boston, as well as nationally and internationally. She actively participates in local and international working groups to outline guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune neurologic disorders. She has established an Autoimmune Neurology Interest Group, which holds monthly lectures. She serves as a resource to colleagues on challenging autoimmune neurologic cases and as a consultant on clinical research projects. She has advised trainees interested in careers in autoimmune neurology. Dr. Linnoila is delighted to serve as the chair of the Autoimmune Neurology Special Interest Group session at the annual American Neurological Association meeting this year.