Dr Tanuja Chitnis
Dr. Tanuja Chitnis a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Senior Scientist within the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at BWH where she created the Translational Neuroimmunology Research Center focused on bringing bench discoveries to clinical trials for multiple sclerosis and related diseases. She is a board-certified neurologist specializing in multiple sclerosis (MS) with a dual appointment at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. In addition, she serves as the Director of the CLIMB Natural History of MS study at the Partners MS Center, which is located within the Neurosciences Center at BWH. CLIMB follows over 2400 MS patients longitudinally. Here she oversees a team of analysts and postdoctoral fellows working to understand the causes, heterogeneity and response to treatment in MS patients, including immune mechanisms, sex differences and the effects of hormones on MS risk and disease course. Her interest in children with MS led her to start the Partners Pediatric MS Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children where she serves as the Director. Between 2010-2018, she served as the elected Chair of the International Pediatric MS Study Group, where she has led several initiatives in the study of MS in children including the launch of the first clinical trials in this population, leading to the first FDA-approved therapy for this disease. She has authored over 200 publications and reviews related to MS and demyelinating disorders, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Neurology and Journal of Neuroscience. She and serves on the advisory board and steering committee of several MS-related organizations and studies including ACTRIMS, U.S. Network of Pediatric MS Centers, and the National MS Society. She receives grant funding from the Department of Defence, NIH, National MS Society, Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation, and is the co-PI of a large study of SysteMS biology in MS sponsored by Verily. Throughout her career, her primary scientific contributions have been in immune mechanisms in MS, sex differences in autoimmune disorders, pediatric MS research and clinical trials, the CLIMB observational cohort study, and Neuromyelitis Optica spectrum disorders (NMO-SD). She is the recipient of several awards including the Joseph Martin Award for Clinical Research in 2019 from the Scientific Advisory Council at MGH, and the 2018 Milestones Award from the National MS Society.