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Melodie R. Winawer, MD, MS

  • Associate Professor of Neurology (in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at CUMC
  • Director of Clinical Neuroscience Education, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Melodie R. Winawer, MD, MS

Dr. Winawer's clinical interests are in epilepsy and neurogenetics. Her research focuses on the genetics of epilepsy, working to identify susceptibility genes that play a role in human health and disease. She employs genetic epidemiology techniques to investigate the role of genes in raising risk for specific clinical epilepsy subtypes in human subjects, and also uses mouse models to identify genes that contribute to seizure susceptibility. She is the director of clinical neuroscience education for the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Multispecialty Neurology

Board Certifications

  • Neurology

Areas of Expertise

  • Genetic Disorder
  • General Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure Disorder

Languages Spoken

(in addition to English)

  • French
  • Spanish

Education & Training

  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Internship: Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Fellowship: Neurological Institute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital

Locations

  • Neurological Institute of New York

    710 West 168th Street
    Floor: 2
    New York, NY 10032
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-6876

Centers/Institutes/Programs

  • Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • Aetna [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NY Signature, POS, PPO, Signature Administrators, Student Health]
  • Cigna [EPO, Great West, HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [Blue Priority, EPO, HMO, Medicare (Mediblue), NYP Employee Plan, Pathway (Exchange), POS, PPO]
  • Local 1199 [NYP Employee Plan]
  • MagnaCare
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty]
  • POMCO
  • UnitedHealthcare [Columbia University Employee Plan, EPO, HMO, POS, PPO]

This provider accepts new patients

Appointment Phone Number: (212) 305-6876

Contact Info

  • Office Phone: 212-305-6876

Committees/Societies/Memberships

  • American Neurological Association

Honors & Awards

  • National Headache Foundation, 2014 Seymour Diamond Lectureship Award

Grants

CURE foundation (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)  (PI: Elliott Sherr, UCSF)

Predictors of Neurodevelopmental and Epilepsy outcomes in cryptogenic Infantile Spasms

Goal: To identify clinical, electrographic, and genetic predictors of developmental and seizure outcomes in EPGP, the largest assembled cohort in the world with cryptogenic infantile spasms.

Role: Co-Investigator

Supplement to NIH/NINDS NS053998 (PI: Daniel L. Lowenstein, Subcontract PI: Melodie R. Winawer)

Centralization of The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) Cohort

Total Direct Costs: $150,000 (one year)

Goal: To centralize contact information and PHI at Columbia University for this large cohort of epilepsy participants with banked DNA to undergo sequencing via the EPI4K center without walls project.

Role: Subcontract Principal Investigator

Supplement to NIH/NINDS R01NS061991 (PI: Winawer)

3/1/13-6/30/13

Genetics of Mouse Seizure Susceptibility

Total Direct Costs: $27,699

Goal: Cryopreservation of Interval Specific Congenic Mouse Strains

Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NINDS R01NS061991 (PI: Winawer)

7/1/08-6/30/13

Genetics of Mouse Seizure Susceptibility

Total Direct Costs: $1,187,373

Goal: To identify gene variants contributing to mouse seizure susceptibility using QTL mapping and bioinformatics strategies. Candidate genes identified will be tested in a human epilepsy population.

Role: Principal Investigator

The Human Epilepsy Project (Multiple PIs: Kuzniecky, Lowenstein, Shinnar, Dlugos, French, Winawer) 4/1/12-3/30/17 Funded by the Epilepsy Consortium.

Total Costs: $5,000,000 (approximately $4.5M direct)

Goal: To identify clinical, genetic, metabolomic, imaging, and EEG predictors of outcome in a prospective study of new-onset epilepsy

Role: Principal Investigator; Chair, Comorbidity Core

NIH/NINDS NS053998 (PI: Daniel L. Lowenstein)

5/1/07 - 4/30/12 No-cost-extension 5/1/12-4/30/13

The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP)  

Total Direct Costs: $19,126,699  Subcontract Direct Costs to Columbia University: $492,256

Goal: A multi-institutional collaborative consortium for gene discovery in human epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

NIH U01 NS077367 (MPI: Berkovic/Ottman/Epstein/Cossette)

Epi4K: Gene Discovery in 4,000 Epilepsy Genomes.  5 of 7: Multiplex Families and Pairs 

Total direct costs: $944,946 (subcontract to Columbia University $159,096).

Goal:  To identify genetic variation influencing risk for epilepsy in a collaborative study using whole genome and whole exome sequencing in 4,000 epilepsy patients.  Project 5 will investigate genomes in multiplex families and affected relative pairs with epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

R01 NS078419 (Ottman) 04/01/12-03/31/16

Psychosocial Impact of Genetics in Epilepsy

Total Direct Costs: $1,486,607
Goal: To investigate psychosocial outcomes and their relations with genetic attributions and actual genetic test results in families containing multiple individuals with epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

NIH Grants

  • DISCOVERY OF NOVEL MOLECULAR ABNORMALITIES UNDERLYING NON-LESIONAL FOCAL EPILEPSY (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2014 - Jul 31 2018

    EPI4K - PHENOTYPING AND CLINICAL INFORMATICS CORE (Federal Gov)

    Oct 1 2011 - Aug 31 2016

    PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPACT OF GENETICS IN EPILEPSY (Federal Gov)

    Apr 1 2012 - Mar 31 2016

    PROJECT 2 EPI4K: GENE DISCOVERY IN 4000 EPILEPSY GENOMES (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2011 - Aug 31 2014

    THE HUMAN EPILEPSY PROJECT (HEP) (Private)

    Jul 1 2013 - Jun 30 2014

    THE EPILEPSY PHENOME/GENOME PROJECT (EPGP) (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2007 - Apr 30 2014

    INFANTILE SPASMS: CLINICAL AND GENETIC PREDICTORS OF OUTCOMES (Private)

    Jun 1 2013 - Mar 31 2014

    GENETICS OF MOUSE SEIZURE SUSCEPTIBILITY (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2008 - Jun 30 2013

    THE EPILEPSY PHENOME/GENOME PROJECT (EPGP) (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2007 - Dec 31 2012

    A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO EPILEPSY GENETICS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2004 - Aug 31 2011

    HARLEM HOSPITAL AFFILIATION CONTRACT - GENERAL (NY Local Gov)

    Jul 1 2005 - Jun 30 2008

Publications

PUBLICATIONS

Original, Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Friedman D, Fahlstrom R; the EPGP Investigators. Racial and ethnic differences in epilepsy classification among probands in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP). Epilepsy Research. 2013 Oct 1.  [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24139856
  2. Peter Widdess-Walsh MB MRCPI, Dennis Dlugos MD MSCE, Robyn Fahlstrom MPH, Sucheta Joshi MD, MS, Renée Shellhaas MD, MS, Alex Boro MD, Joseph Sullivan MD, Eric Geller MD, & the EPGP Investigators Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome of unknown cause: Phenotypic characteristics of patients in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project. Epilepsia 2013 Oct 7 [Epub ahead of print]. PMD: 24116958.
  3. Epi4K and EPGP Investigators. De novo mutation in epileptic encephalopathies. Nature 2013 Aug 11n [Epub ahead of print]. PMD 23934111
  4. Catherine Shain, Sriram Ramgopal, Zianka Fallil, Isha Parulkar, Richard Alongi, Robert Knowlton, Annapurna Poduri & the EPGP Investigators. Polymicrogyria Associated Epilepsy: a multi-center phenotypic study from the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project Epilepsia (in press).
  5. The EPGP Collaborative. The epilepsy phenome/genome project.  Clinical Trials 2013 Aug; 10(4):568-86.
  6. Distler M, Gorfinkle N, Wuenschell G, Termini J, Escayg A, Winawer MR, Palmer AA.  Glyoxalase 1 and its substrate methylglyoxal are novel regulators of seizure susceptibility. Epilepsia. 2013 Feb 14.
  7. Connors R, Winawer MR*, and the EPGP Investigators.   Evidence for a Shared Genetic Susceptibility to Migraine and Epilepsy. Epilepsia 2013 Jan 7.
  8. Nesbitt G, McKenna K, Mays V, Carpenter A, Miller K, Williams M, and the EPGP Investigators.  The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) Informatics Platform. The International Journal of Medical Informatics 2012 May 10.
  9. Misiewicz S, Winawer MR*.  Recruitment for Genetic Studies of Epilepsy.  Epilepsy Research 2012 Aug.101(1-2):122-8.).
  10. *Winawer MR, Gildersleeve SS, Phillips AG, Rabinowitz D, Palmer AA.  Mapping a Mouse Limbic Seizure Susceptibility Locus on Chromosome 10.  Epilepsia  52(11): 2076-2083, 2011.
  11. Santoro B, Lee JY, Seal S, Englot D, Piskorowski R, Siegelbaum SA, Winawer MR, Blumenfeld H.  Neurological phenotype and increased seizure susceptibility of HCN1 knock-out mice.  Epilepsia. 2010 Aug;51(8):1624-7).
  12. Kinirons P, Rabinowitz D, Gravel M, Long J, Winawer MR, Senechal G, Ottman R, Cossette P. Phenotypic concordance in 70 families with IGE-implications for genetic studies of epilepsy.  Epilepsy Res. 2008 Nov;82(1):21-28.
  13. Winawer MR,  Makarenko N, McCloskey DP, Hintz TM, Nair N, Palmer AA, Scharfman HE. Acute and Chronic Responses to the Convulsant Pilocarpine in DBA and A/J mice. Neuroscience 2007 Oct 26;149(2):465-75.
  14. *Winawer MR, Kuperman R, Niethammer M, Sherman S, Rabinowitz D, Plana-Guell I, Ponder CA, Palmer AA.   Use of chromosome substitution strains to identify seizure susceptibility loci in mice.  Mammalian Genome 2007 Jan;18(1):23-31.
  15. Choi H, Winawer MR, Kalachikov S, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R.  Classification of partial seizure symptoms in genetic studies of the epilepsies. Neurology 2006;66;1648-1653.
  16. *Winawer MR. Phenotype Definition in Epilepsy.  Epilepsy and Behavior 2006 May;8(3):462-76.
  17. Winawer MR, Marini C, Grinton BE, Rabinowitz D, Berkovic SF, Scheffer IE, Ottman R.  Familial clustering of seizure types within the idiopathic generalized epilepsies. Neurology 2005;65(4): 523-528.
  18. Ottman R, Winawer MR, Kalachikov S, Barker-Cummings C, Gilliam CT, Pedley TA, Hauser WA. LGI1 mutations in autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features.  Neurology 2004;62:1120-1126.
  19. Winawer MR, Rabinowitz D, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R.  Genetic influences on myoclonic and absence seizures.  Neurology 2003;61:1576-1581. 
  20. Winawer MR, Rabinowitz D, Barker-Cummings C, Scheuer M, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R.  Evidence for distinct genetic influences on generalized and localization-related epilepsy.  Epilepsia 2003;44(9):1176-1182.
  21. Kalachikov S, Evgrafov O, Ross B, Winawer MR, Barker-Cummings C, Martinelli Boneschi F, Morozov P, Das K, Teplitskaya E, Yu A, Cayannis E, Penchaszadeh G, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R, Gilliam TC.  Mutations in LGI1 cause autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features.  Nature Genetics 2002;30(3):335-341.
  22. Winawer MR, Martinelli Boneschi F, Barker-Cummings C, Lee JH, Liu J, Mekios C, Gilliam TC, Pedley TA, Hauser WA, Ottman R.  Four new families with autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features: clinical description and linkage to chromosome 10q24.  Epilepsia 2002;43(1):60-67.
  23. Winawer MR, Ottman R, Rabinowitz D.  Concordance of disease form in kindreds ascertained through affected individuals.  Statistics in Medicine 2002;21:1887-1897
  24. Winawer MR, Ottman R, Hauser WA, Pedley TA.  Autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features: defining the phenotype.  Neurology 2000;54:2173-2176.
  25. Potsic WB, Winawer MR, Marsh R.  Tympanoplasty for the anterior-superior perforation in children.  American Journal of Otology 1996  17:115-118.

Reviews and editorials

  1. Preclinical Therapy Discovery: Issues related to symptomatic and disease-modifying treatments affecting cognitive and neuropsychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy.  Brooks-Kayal AR, Bath KG, Berg A, Galanopoulou AS, Holmes GL, Jensen, FE, Kanner AM, O’Brien, TJ, Whittemore VH, Winawer MR, Patel M, and Scharfman HE. Epilepsia, 54(Suppl. 4):44–60, 2013 PMID: 23909853
  2. *Winawer MR.  Book Review: Harrison’s Neurology in Clinical Medicine, 2nd Ed.  The Neurologist (in press).
  3. *Winawer MR.  Epilepsy Genetics.  In: UpToDate, Rose, BD, (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, (in press).
  4. *Winawer MR, Hesdorffer D.  Partners in Crime: Migraine, epilepsy, and psychiatric comorbidity.   Neurology. 2010 Apr 13;74(15):1166-8
  5. *Winawer MR.  New Evidence for a Genetic Link between Epilepsy and Migraine.  Neurology 2007;68;1969-1970.
  6. Winawer MR, Shinnar S.  Genetic epidemiology or What do we tell families?  Epilepsia 2005 46(Suppl 10):24-30.
  7. *Winawer MR, Hesdorffer D.  Turning on the Heat: The Search for Febrile Seizure Genes.  Neurology 2004;63:1770-1771.
  8. *Winawer MR.  Epilepsy Genetics.  The Neurologist 2002;8:133-151.
  9. *Winawer MR.  Epilepsy Genetics: A guide for patients and families.  Web article: www.healthology.com.   June 2000.

Chapters         

  1. Ottman R, Winawer MR.  Genetic epidemiology. In: Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook, 2nd ed.  Engel J and Pedley TA, editors.  Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 2008, pp 161-170.
  2. Winawer MR, Ottman R. The Genetics of Epilepsy.  In: Women with Epilepsy: A Handbook of Health and Treatment Issues.  Morell MJ,MD and Flynn K, Eds.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 2003, pp 47-56.

Abstracts

  1. Dugan P, Devinsky O, Kuzniecky R, Fahlstrom R, the EPGP Investigators. Auras in generalized epilepsy. 66th American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting: Submitted June 2012.
  2. Madou MR, Yuskaitis CJ, Howell KB, the EPGP Investigators. Infantile spasms of unknown etiology: Phenotypic features of a large cohort. 66th American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting: Submitted June 2012.
  3. Shain C, Ramgopal S, Parulkar I, Poduri A, the EPGP Investigators. Concordance of epilepsy in patients with polymicrogyria enrolled in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project. 66th American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting: Submitted June 2012 (in press).
  4. *Weisenberg JL, Thio LL, Fahlstrom R, Rabinowitz D, Winawer MR, the EPGP Investigators. Familial concordance of status epilepticus in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP). 66th American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting: Dec 2012 (in press).
  5. *Winawer, MR, Connors R, The EPGP Investigators. Evidence for a shared genetic susceptibility to migraine and epilepsy in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project. 66th American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting:  Dec 2012.
  6. Familial clustering suggests genetic contribution to common epilepsy-related EEG patterns.  Knoth J, Winawer M, Godt U, von Spiczak S, Muhle H, Neubauer B, Stephani U, Ottman R, Rabinowitz D, Helbig I.  29th IEC, Rome 2011.
  7. Knoth J, Winawer M, Godt U,von Spiczak S, Muhle H, Neubauer B, Stephani U, Ottman R, Rabinowitz D, Helbig I.  The genetic basis of common EEG patterns based on family studies.  Presented at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Austrian, Swiss and German Epilepsy Societies, Graz, Austria, June 2011.
  8. *Phillips, AG, Winawer, M.  Genetic effects on partial-onset electroconvulsive seizures in inbred mouse strains. Abstract No. 3.011.  2011 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, www.aesnet.org.
  9. Ottman R, Crockford G, Wang Y, Winawer MR, Choi H, and Hauser W. (Genome-wide linkage analysis in ADPEAF families without mutations in LGI1.  American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Abstract No. 3.314 2010, www.aesnet.org.
  10. *Concordance of Seizure Semiology and Pharmacosensitivity in Sibling Pairs from the Epilepsy Phenome-Genome Project.  Winawer MR, Fahlstrom R, Rabinowitz D, and the EPGP Senior Investigators. American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Abstract No. 3.316, 2010, www.aesnet.org.
  11. *Recruitment of Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy for Genetic Studies Misiewicz, SN, Winawer MR. American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Abstract No. 3.319 2010. www.aesnet.org.
  12. Winawer, MR, Phillips, AG, Buono, RJ, Ferraro, TN.  A QTL on mouse chromosome 1 contributes to pilocarpine-induced seizure susceptibility.  Epilepsia 50( Suppl 11): 362-3, 2009.
  13. *Seal S, Phillips AG, Palmer AA , Winawer MR.  Mapping Mouse Limbic Seizure Susceptibility Loci on Chromosomes 10 and 18.  Epilepsia 50 (Suppl 11):361-2, 2009.
  14. Cristofaro S, Schardein K, and the EPGP Investigators.  The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome project: initial recruitment findings. Epilepsia Suppl. 2008.
  15. Dlugos D, Knowlton R, Winawer M, Sherr E, Epstein M, Freyer C, Cristofaro S, Schardein K,  Nesbitt G, Williams M, and the EPGP Senior Investigators.  The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project.  American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Abstract No. 2.345, 2008, www.aesnet.org.
  16. *Winawer M, Marcuse L, Freyer C, Cristafaro S, Dlugos D, and The EPGP Senior Investigators.  The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project - Diagnostic Interview.  American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Abstract No. 2.346, 2008, www.aesnet.org.
  17. Santoro B, Lee JY, Seal S, Englot D, Piskorowski R, Siegelbaum SA, Winawer MR, Blumenfeld H.  Neurological phenotype and increased seizure susceptibility of HCN1 knock-out mice.  American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Abstract and Platform Presentation, 2008, www.aesnet.org.
  18. Winawer MR, Makarenko N, Hintz TM, Kamel, SM, McCloskey DP, Nair N, Palmer AA, Scharfman HE. Pilocarpine-Induced Seizures in A/J and DBA/2J Mice: A Foundation for Mapping Limbic Seizure Susceptibility Genes in Sequenced Mouse Strains. Epilepsia 2006; 47 Suppl. 4:330.
  19. *Winawer MR, Kuperman, R, Niethammer, M, Sherman, S, Rabinowitz D, Plana-Guell I, Ponder CA, Scharfman HE, Palmer AA.   Use of chromosome substitution strains to identify seizure susceptibility loci in mice.  Epilepsia 2006; 47 Suppl. 4 :329-330.
  20. Ottman R, Winawer MR, Choi H, Kalachikov S.  Prediction of LGI1 mutations in familial epilepsies.  Epilepsia 2004;45 Suppl. 7:224-225.
  21. Winawer MR, Marini C, Rabinowitz D, Berkovic SF, Scheffer IE, Ottman R.  Independent confirmation of distinct genetic effects on myoclonic and absence seizures.  Epilepsia 2003;44 Suppl. 9:73.
  22. Ottman R, Winawer MR, Barker-Cummings C, et al.  Three new missense mutations in LGI1 in families with Autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features.  Neurology 2003; 60(Suppl 1):A90
  23. Winawer MR, Rabinowitz D, Ottman R.  Genetic influences on myoclonic and absence seizures.  Epilepsia 2002; 43 Suppl 7: 125-126.
  24. Winawer MR, Ottman R.  Shared and distinct genetic influences on generalized and localization-related epilepsies.  Neurology 2000; 54(7) Suppl 3:A146
  25. Winawer MR, Rabinowitz D, Ottman R.  Within-family concordance as evidence for shared and distinct genetic influences on generalized and localization-related epilepsy.  Epilepsia 2000;41(Suppl 7):70.

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov