Tetsuo Ashizawa MD

Houston Methodist Research Institute

Tetsuo Ashizawa, MD received his medical degree from Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, and his neurology residency training and fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, where he became a tenured full Professor in 1997. He chaired two Neurology Departments, one at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston, Texas (2002-2009) and the other at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (2009-2015). He was appointed to be Executive Director of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida in 2010. Dr. Ashizawa has received almost uninterrupted federal grant funding for the past 20 years, including a series of NIH R01 grants to support his wet bench research on spinocerebellar ataxia 10 (SCA10) and the current U01 grant for his clinical research. The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF), the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), and the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation (MDF), among other granting agencies, supported his research. He has served on NIH review panels, including the CDIN study section and NSD-B study section as a regular member, and several special emphasis panels, chairing one of them. Dr. Ashizawa is a member of the Medical and Research Advisory Board of the NAF, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the MDF, and Scientific Advisory Committee of the NIH National Registry of the Myotonic Dystrophy and Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. He belongs to the Huntington Study Group (HSG), and the Muscle Study Group (MSG), through which he has participated in dozens of clinical trials, including those funded by NIH. He has led or participated in identifying expansion mutations of short tandem repeats responsible for neurological disorders, including SCA6, SCA10 and myotonic dystrophy 1. As a board-certified neurologist he has been taking care of patients with SCAs, Friedreich’s ataxia, Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy and other neurogenetic disorders. He founded the Ataxia Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine, UTMB and UF. In 2009 he started leading the Clinical Research Consortium for Spinocerebellar Ataxias (CRC-SCA), which involved major US institutions from coast to coast. The CRC-SCA belonged to the NIH Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN). Under the NIH U01 funding he leads the READISCA clinical trial readiness study in collaboration with two European consortia. He is also a founder of the International Myotonic Dystrophy Consortium (IDMC), which has been held every 2 years with support from NIH and other agencies since 1997. Dr. Ashizawa has nearly 300 publications including over 210 peer-reviewed original contributions. For educational activities Dr. Ashizawa has directed the Baylor College of Medicine Neurology Residency and Clerkship Programs and co-directed the UT Austin-UTMB MD/PhD Dual Degree Program. He mentored many junior researchers including those in a K12 program at UF. He is currently Professor of Neurology, Director of Neuroscience Research Program, and Harriet and Joe B. Foster Distinguished Chair in the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Neurological Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College.