Associate Director of Clinical Research
Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., is Director of the Office of Clinical Research (OCR). In this capacity, she oversees the clinical research programs funded by the Institute. The OCR fosters clinical research that increases our understanding of the cause, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neurological diseases and translates scientific discoveries into improved therapies for people living with neurological diseases worldwide.
Prior to joining NINDS, Dr. Kaufmann was a tenured associate professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York City. She earned her medical degree from the University of Bonn, Germany, and a master of science degree in biostatistics from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She completed an internship in medicine at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, and trained in neurology and clinical neurophysiology at Columbia University. She did a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology of mitochondrial diseases at Columbia’s H. Houston Merritt Center for Muscular Dystrophies and Related Diseases. While on the faculty of Columbia University, she worked clinically in the neuromuscular division, the electromyography laboratories, and the pediatric neuromuscular clinic. Her research focused on the clinical investigation of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and mitochondrial diseases.
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