Neuromuscular Medicine 

Our ACGME-accredited neuromuscular medicine fellowship program has been training outstanding clinical and academic leaders for 40 years. Our clinical sites, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, allow the fellows to be involved in the evaluation and care of adults and children who have a broad range of neuromuscular disorders.

In addition to our general neuromuscular clinics at all three sites, Penn has several signature neuromuscular clinics:

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania serves as one of the few sites in the US that is designated as a GBS/CIDP Center of Excellence by the GBS/CIDP Foundation International.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at HUP provides advanced care for people who have acquired and inherited disorders of muscle, as well as myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton syndrome. The teams at HUP and CHOP work together to provide lifespan care for their patients with these disorders.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in partnership with the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA) sponsors a CMT Center of Excellence at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, one of seven such centers in North America.

The Comprehensive Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, which is the largest in the region, specializes in multidisciplinary, comprehensive care of ALS patients, including the opportunity to participate in advanced clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of ALS.

CHOP is home to one of the largest pediatric MDA clinics in the US.

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) are performed by members of the Neuromuscular Division at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), as well as Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH) and the VAMC. The primary EMG training site is at HUP where over 2500 patients undergo electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) each year. The lab has achieved the highest level of accreditation “with exemplary status” by the AANEM. In addition to highly specialized studies, like single-fiber EMG and focused autonomic testing, we have added capacity for small-fiber neuropathy evaluations with QST (quantitative sensory testing) and skin biopsy (for epidermal nerve fiber density measurement).

Fellowship Curriculum

Providing fellows a strong background in clinical neuromuscular neurology is our primary objective. This is done by involving them in the care of adults and children who have a broad range of neuromuscular disorders, mostly in an outpatient setting. The program is based at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), but there are strong ties to the neuromuscular activities at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (the site of their MDA Clinic) and Pennsylvania Hospital (the site of the ALS clinic). In addition to the general neuromuscular disease clinics at HUP, there are also rotations through the myasthenia gravis clinic, the adult MDA clinic and the peripheral nerve/CMT clinic. Electrodiagnosis (nerve conduction studies and EMG) is emphasized and the fellow spends up to half of the clinical time in the EMG lab. Muscle/nerve pathology and neurogenetics also have important roles.

Neurologists who complete this ACGME-approved Neuromuscular Medicine fellowship will have the experience necessary to take the ABPN examination for added qualifications in neuromuscular medicine. Most of our fellows also take the EMG boards through the ABEM.

Fellows are expected to spend at least 7-8 half-days/week in supervised clinical work, organize weekly conferences, and participate in an introductory course on research methods. Formal supervised research projects may be done within the medical center. Individuals with a commitment to basic or clinical research may be eligible for a second fellowship year, where 80% effort is spent on academic pursuits, but funding for the second year is not guaranteed as part of the fellowship.


Graduates of our neuromuscular fellowship program have been successful in their clinical and academic neuromuscular careers. Many hold leadership positions in neuromuscular medicine and research.

Application Process

Applicants must be board-eligible or certified in neurology when the fellowship begins.

Our program is committed to abiding by the fellowship application process - interview offers will not be made before March 1st of the year prior to the fellowship start date. Fellowship positions will not be offered before June 1st of the year prior to the fellowship start date. Violations of this will result in removal of our institution from the AANEM NM Fellowship Portal. More information about our program and how to apply to our program through the new portal system will be available soon. Watch for more information. 
In past years applications have included a letter of interest and curriculum vitae, as well as letters of reference from three individuals who know your abilities and accomplishments.
Send applications to:
Chafic Karam, M.D.
Program Director
3400 Spruce Street, 3 West Gates Bldg.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Neuromuscular Faculty

Shawn J Bird, MD

Chief, Neuromuscular Division
Professor of Neurology
Faculty Profile

Steven Scherer, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology

Defne Amado, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology 

Eric Lancaster, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Colin Quinn, MD 

Associate Professor of Neurology

Lauren Elman, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology
Faculty Profile

Chafic Karam, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology 

Raymond Price, MD 

Associate Professor of Neurology

John Brandsema, MD

Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology
Faculty Profile

Sabrina Yum, MD

Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology
Faculty Profile


Contact Information

Department of Neurology
3 Gates, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Frances E. Jensen, MD, FACP
Chair of Neurology