Georgetown Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center

General Information

Click here to view a copy of our brochure at Georgetown Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center 

Click here to view the results of our Fall 2017 survey

Click here to view the results of our Practice Performance Data from 2017

OVERVIEW
The largest center of its kind in the mid-Atlantic, the Georgetown Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center offers diagnosis and treatment of neuroimmunological disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO), vasculitis, myasthenia gravis, neuro-sarcoidosis, Sjogren's disease, stiff person syndrome and other paraneoplastic syndromes. The Georgetown MS Center has an international reputation as a referral center and is known for clinical research and a comprehensive approach to patient care.

SPASTICITY CLINIC
We treat the spasticity caused by many neurological conditions using intrathecal baclofen pumps. The Center manages refills of the pump and coordinates any surgical or radiological interventions that may be necessary to repair or move the pump or attached tubes.

NEUROMYELITIS OPTICA (NMO) CLINIC
Our clinic specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with NMO, an autoimmune disease that causes optic neuritis or transverse myelitis.  Once thought to be a form of multiple sclerosis, NMO is now recognized as a separate neurologic disease that requires unique specialized treatments.  In addition, we are involved in clinical trials investigating new treatments for this rare neuroimmunologic disorder.

NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY CLINIC
The neuro-ophthalmology clinic specializes in the treatment of vision loss due to neurologic diseases such as optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis, NMO and myasthenia gravis.  Additionally, we see patients who suffer from pseudotumor cerebri (idiopathic intracranial hypertension), ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), giant cell arteritis and other rare forms of vision loss.  Our clinic performs visual field perimetry, optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus photography and other advanced diagnostic imaging.

Clinical Care

To make an appointment, please call (202) 444-8525 or use this online form.

Clinical Trials

We are currently recruiting new participants for seven clinical trials (details below). Please contact Alexis Ahmad for more information: asc73@georgetown.edu, 202-444-2658.

Intervention Studies Open to Recruitment:

Observational Studies Open to Recruitment:

There is no fee to participate in research and all study-related costs are covered by the research sponsor. 

Meet Our Team

Faria Amjad, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Director, Spasticity Clinic
Director, Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Research

Dr. Amjad is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her medicine internship at St. Agnes Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland followed by a neurology residency at Georgetown University Hospital. She then completed a two year clinical fellowship in multiple sclerosis at Georgetown. She is an attending physician in the Department of Neurology and Director of the Spasticity Clinic along with being the Director of MS Clinical Trials. She has a special interest in the use of intrathecal baclofen pumps and botulinum toxin for the treatment of spasticity.

Carlos A. Mora, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Director, Multiple Sclerosis Medical Education

Dr. Mora obtained his MD degree at Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia, before receiving training in neurology at Fundacion Instituto Neurologico de Colombia and The George Washington University Medical Center and before conducting basic and clinical research in neurovirology and neuroimmunology at the NIH-Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. A strong source of motivation leading Dr. Mora to focus his practice on the field of multiple sclerosis (MS) came up based on the resilience model of his native city (Medellin, Colombia) by “putting faith and having hope for recovery and healing when, and where, nobody else did”. More than three decades after having known how difficult it was to diagnose and treat MS in the early nineteen-eighties, Dr. Mora now feels strongly confident diagnosing and treating patients with novel and established therapies for MS and offering patients a realistic and positive panorama of what MS therapies offer nowadays. A believer in progress through team-work, Dr. Mora has been a member of the Georgetown MS Center since 2004.

Benjamin J. Osborne, MD
Associate Professor, Departments of Neurology and Ophthamology
Director, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Clinic
Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinic

Dr. Osborne has an interest in disorders of vision due to neurologic disease, such as multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, stroke, neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and pseudotumor cerebri.  Dr. Osborne completed his residency in neurology at Georgetown University Hospital and did a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Scheie Eye Institute.  He has been an attending physician at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital since 2006 and currently serves as Director of the Neuromyelitis Optica and Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinics.

Robert K. Shin, MD
Professor, Department of Neurology
Director, Georgetown Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center

Dr. Shin received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. He completed a neurology residency and a multiple sclerosis fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Scheie Eye Institute. Prior to joining the Georgetown MS Center, Dr. Shin was a faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (2002 to 2014), where he received multiple awards and commendations for his teaching and clinical excellence. Dr. Shin has a special interest in visual problems associated with multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating disorders, including optic neuritis and double vision.

Carlo Tornatore, MD
Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology
Executive Director, Multiple Sclerosis Patient Centered Specialty Home

Dr. Tornatore has been a part of the medical center at Georgetown for 35 years.  He graduated from the School of Medicine in 1986, following which he completed a Residency in Neurology at Georgetown in 1990.  During his residency, he received the Hugh Hussey award for medical student teaching on two separate occasions.  He subsequently pursued a neurovirology and neuroimmunology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health from 1990-1996, where he worked on the pathogenesis of several different viral and immunologic diseases of the brain and spinal cord.  He joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology at Georgetown in 1996 and is currently Professor and Chair, overseeing the research and clinical endeavors of the department and neurologists throughout the MedStar Health system. Dr. Tornatore is the director of the Neurology Clerkship, overseeing the neurologic education of both third and fourth year medical students.  He has been nominated for the Golden Apple medical student teaching award each year since 1997 and won the award in 2003, 2013, and 2014.  He is the originator of the Magis Society for Master Teachers at the School of Medicine. His clinical and research interests include autoimmune disorders of the brain and spine, such as multiple sclerosis, neurosarcoidosis, neurovasculitis and paraneoplastic disorders. Carlo met his wife Ellen while they were both medical students at Georgetown, the happiest moment in all his time at Georgetown.

Clinical Staff

Safia Abdillahi, BSN, MSN, NP
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University School of Nursing
Safia received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2002 from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and a Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University in 2006. Early in her career, she focused on a number of neurological diseases including cerebrovascular diseases and headaches.  In 2009, she joined the Georgetown MS Center becoming involved in clinical research with a focus on multiple sclerosis and interprofessional collaborative medicine in the care of MS patients. She also teaches at Georgetown University as an adjunct instructor. She is certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a member of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Washington, DC.

Erika Mitchell, DNP
Nursing Director, Georgetown Multiple Sclerosis and Neurimmunology Center
Erika has been with the Georgetown MS Center since 2004 and serves as its Nursing Director.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Nursing degree from George Mason University and received her Master of Science in Nursing in 2004 from George Mason University and George Washington University. Before joining the Georgetown MS Center, she spent many years in critical care and emergency medicine. She currently holds board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the ANCC and teaches part-time in the Georgetown University School of Nursing.  She is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau and the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN). Erika earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in December 2016 from Georgetown University.

Bethany Schreiber, NP
Nursing Director, Multiple Sclerosis Medical Education
Bethany joined the Georgetown MS Center in 2006 and currently serves as Nursing Director of MS Medical Education. She received a Bachelor of Science in Human and Organization Development degree from Vanderbilt University in 2000 and a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University in 2001. Bethany’s career has focused on adult critical care and care of the neurological patient. Currently, she specializes in evaluating and treating patients with multiple sclerosis. Bethany is certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a member of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN).

Cynthia I. Shuster, RN, MSN
Clinical Coordinator, Georgetown Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center

Susan Stuart, MSN, FNP-BC, MSCN
Nursing  Director, Multiple Sclerosis Patient Centered Specialty Home

Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Susan has 20 years of experience in the University of Virginia Health System. She started in the neuroscience intensive care unit and then teamed with a leading neurosurgeon, focusing on brain and complex spine pathology. Since coming to Northern Virginia in 2013, Susan has had the opportunity to care for a diverse community, providing home health services, then joined a private practice team led by an MS specialist, becoming a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse.  Susan joined the Georgetown MS Center in January 2016 and is focused on providing the highest level of care to MS patients as Nursing Director of the MS Patient Centered Specialty Home.

Research Staff

Alexis Ahmad, BA
Director of Clinical Trials, Multiple Sclerosis Center and Movement Disorders Center
As the Director of Clinical Trials for the Georgetown University Department of Neurology, Lexy is responsible for the oversight and management of over 30 clinical trials in the department. Lexy manages a team of six team members who conduct study visits and manage all data and clinical trial activities. Prior to joining the MS Center in 2015, Lexy worked as a Clinical Trials Coordinator at the Georgetown University Huntington Disease Clinic and was a teaching assistant with the Graduate Program for Regulatory Science and Medicine. As a Georgetown graduate (COL ’13), Lexy is enthusiastic and committed to the ongoing research at Georgetown. Her primary research interest is patient-reported outcomes in neurodegenerative disease.

Madeline Foley, BA
Clinical Trials Coordinator
Madeline is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Washington D.C. in 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in Biology, from Georgetown University in 2017. As a recent graduate, she is excited to be a part of the clinical research team. 

Sean Montague
Clinical Trials Coordinator
Originally from St. Louis Missouri, Sean moved to Washington DC in 2010. Sean Started at Georgetown University Hospital Department of Neurology in 2015 as a Patient Registration Associate and joined the Clinical Trials team in September 2016.

Alexandria Oliver, BS
Clinical Trials Manager
Allie earned her bachelor’s degree in biology, with a minor in photography, from The College of New Jersey in 2010.  She joined the Georgetown MS Center in 2015 and is the lead coordinator on ten clinical trials. She is in charge of administering cognitive testing, managing data, coordinating visit schedules, and administering assessments, including spirometry and ECG. Prior to joining the MS Center she spent several years working at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, studying cognitive control and decision making using fMRI. 

Zsofia Parragh, MS
Regulatory Coordinator

Sonya Powell
Clinical Trials Manager
Born and raised in the DC area, Sonya joined the clinical trials team July 2017 after working in the Neurology and Neurosurgery departments at Georgetown University Hospital. Passionate about patient care, her current role has her managing the MS Clinic team’s transformation into a patient centered specialty practice, the first in the nation. Sonya aspires to continue her educational goals at Georgetown University. 

Sasha Warren, BS
Clinical Trials Manager
Sasha joined the Georgetown MS Center in 2014. She received her bachelor's degree in biobehavioral health from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. Sasha assists the MS Center clinicians, administers cognitive testing, coordinates visit schedules, and manages data for the research trials. 

ADMINISTRATIVE Staff

Priscilla Leach

Executive Assistant to Dr. Carlo Tornatore

Ximena Lopez
Administrative Assistant to Drs. Mora & Shin

Michelyn Bouknight
Adminstrative Assistant to Drs. Faria Amjad & Benjamin Osborne

Benjamin Edwards
Pre-Certification Associate

Derika Ashley, LPN
Program Coordinator

MS Patient Education Day 

The MS Center held its first MS Patient Education Day at Georgetown University on November 19, 2016. Recordings of the topics presented are viewable below:

Introduction to the MS-Patient Centered Specialty Home Program
Carlo Tornatore, MD

Current MS Treatment Options
Robert K. Shin, MD

Recent Breakthroughs in MS Research and New Therapies
Carlos A. Mora, MD

Treatment of MS Spasticity
Faria Amjad, MD

Vision and MS
Benjamin Osborne, MD

Exercise and Nutrition
Susan Stuart, NP

Question & Answer Session
Moderated by Bethany Schreiber, NP
 

Make a Gift

Private gifts make our research and community service efforts possible, and are entirely tax-deduvtible. Please follow these instructions to support the Multiple Sclerosis Center with your online gift:

  • Visit the Georgetown University Medical Center Giving website
  • Under Direct your gift, choose Other (Please indicate the department, program, or other designation)
  • In the Other box, type Neurology Department - Multiple Sclerosis Center
  • Complete the form

If you have any trouble using the website, please call 202-784-6671 for additional assistance, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Please email Priscilla Leach (Priscilla.Leach@gunet.georgetown.edu) to notify us of your donation.