Tetsuo Ashizawa, MD

Harriet and Joe B. Foster Distinguished Chair in Neurosciences, Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology
Professor of Neurology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Member, Research Institute
Director, Neurosciences Research Program
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Tetsuo Ashizawa, MD, formerly the executive director of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida, organized and developed interdisciplinary neuroscience research programs involving multiple colleges and departments. He also chaired the neurology department at the University of Texas Medical Branch and at the University of Florida, where he supervised the clinical care of and research in a variety of neurological disorders.

As a physician-scientist, some of Dr. Ashizawa’s current research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. He is studying neurogenetic disorders caused by expansions of DNA sequences that are connected end-to-end and abnormally repeated, such as myotonic dystrophies, spinocerebellar ataxias, Friedreich’s ataxia, and Huntington’s disease.

Dr. Ashizawa received his medical degree from the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo. After moving to the U.S., he completed his neurology residency and Muscular Dystrophy Association fellowships in neurochemistry and clinical neuromuscular disorders at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Dr. Ashizawa is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He serves on multiple grant review panels, including NIH study sections, and on the scientific advisory boards of the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, the National Ataxia Foundation, and the Association Française contre les Myopathies.

Areas Of Expertise

Hereditary cerebellar ataxias Multiple system atrophy - cerebellar type Friedreich’s ataxia Myotonic dystrophy Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy Limb girdle muscular dystrophy Huntington’s disease Fragile X associated tremor ataxia syndrome Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Education & Training

Fellow , Baylor College of Medicine
Residency , Baylor College of Medicine
MD , Keio University School of Medicine

Nonmotor Symptoms in Patients with Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 10
Moro, A, Munhoz, RP, Moscovich, M, Arruda, WO, Raskin, S, Silveira-Moriyama, L, Ashizawa, T & Teive, HAG 2017, Cerebellum, pp. 1-7. DOI:

A Comparative Optical Coherence Tomography Study of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Types 3 and 10
Spina Tensini, F, Sato, MT, Shiokawa, N, Ashizawa, T & Teive, HAG 2017, Cerebellum, pp. 1-5. DOI:

Inheritance patterns of ATCCT repeat interruptions in spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10) expansions
Landrian, I, McFarland, KN, Liu, J, Mulligan, CJ, Rasmussen, A & Ashizawa, T 2017, PLoS ONE, vol 12, no. 4, e0175958. DOI:

RNA toxicity and foci formation in microsatellite expansion diseases
Nan, Z & Ashizawa, T 2017, Current Opinion in Genetics and Development, vol 44, 44, pp. 17-29. DOI:

The Initial Symptom and Motor Progression in Spinocerebellar Ataxias
Luo, L, Wang, J, Lo, RY, Figueroa, KP, Pulst, SM, Kuo, PH, Perlman, S, Wilmot, G, Gomez, CM, Schmahmann, JD, Paulson, H, Shakkottai, VG, Ying, SH, Zesiewicz, T, Bushara, K, Geschwind, M, Xia, G, Subramony, SH, Ashizawa, T & Kuo, SH 2016, Cerebellum, pp. 1-8. DOI:

ATXN2-AS, a gene antisense to ATXN2, is associated with spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Li, PP, Sun, X, Xia, G, Arbez, N, Paul, S, Zhu, S, Peng, HB, Ross, CA, Koeppen, AH, Margolis, RL, Pulst, SM, Ashizawa, T & Rudnicki, DD 2016, Annals of Neurology, vol 80, no. 4, pp. 600-615. DOI:

SPG7 and Impaired Emotional Communication
Zhang, L, McFarland, KN, Subramony, SH, Heilman, KM & Ashizawa, T 2016, Cerebellum, pp. 1-4. DOI:

(CAG)n loci as genetic modifiers of age-at-onset in patients with Machado-Joseph disease from mainland China
Chen, Z, Zheng, C, Long, Z, Cao, L, Li, X, Shang, H, Yin, X, Zhang, B, Liu, J, Ding, D, Peng, Y, Wang, C, Peng, H, Ye, W, Qiu, R, Pan, Q, Xia, K, Chen, S, Sequeiros, J, Ashizawa, T, Klockgether, T, Tang, B & Jiang, H 2016, Brain, vol 139, no. 8, pp. e41. DOI:

Ashizawa, T & Xia, G 2016, CONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology, vol 22, no. 4,MovementDisorders, pp. 1208-1226. DOI:

Genome Therapy of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 iPS Cells for Development of Autologous Stem Cell Therapy
Gao, Y, Guo, X, Santostefano, K, Wang, Y, Reid, T, Zeng, D, Terada, N, Ashizawa, T & Xia, G 2016, Molecular Therapy. DOI:

Sensory and motor cortex function contributes to symptom severity in spinocerebellar ataxia type 6
Kang, N, Christou, EA, Burciu, RG, Chung, JW, DeSimone, JC, Ofori, E, Ashizawa, T, Subramony, SH & Vaillancourt, DE 2016, Brain Structure and Function, pp. 1-14. DOI:

Rare neurological channelopathies-networks to study patients, pathogenesis and treatment
Jen, JC, Ashizawa, T, Griggs, RC & Waters, MF 2016, Nature Reviews Neurology, vol 12, no. 4, pp. 195-203. DOI:

Emerging therapies in Friedreich's ataxia
Aranca, TV, Jones, TM, Shaw, JD, Staffetti, JS, Ashizawa, T, Kuo, SH, Fogel, BL, Wilmot, GR, Perlman, SL, Onyike, CU, Ying, SH & Zesiewicz, TA 2016, Neurodegenerative disease management, vol 6, no. 1, pp. 49-65. DOI:

Depression and clinical progression in spinocerebellar ataxias
Lo, RY, Figueroa, KP, Pulst, SM, Perlman, S, Wilmot, G, Gomez, C, Schmahmann, J, Paulson, H, Shakkottai, VG, Ying, S, Zesiewicz, T, Bushara, K, Geschwind, M, Xia, G, Yu, JT, Lee, LE, Ashizawa, T, Subramony, SH & Kuo, SH 2016, Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, vol 22, pp. 87-92. DOI:

Emerging therapies in Friedreich's ataxia
Aranca, TV, Jones, TM, Shaw, JD, Staffetti, JS, Ashizawa, T, Kuo, SH, Fogel, BL, Wilmot, GR, Perlman, SL, Onyike, CU, Ying, SH & Zesiewicz, TA 2016, Neurodegenerative disease management, vol 6, no. 1, pp. 49-65. DOI:

High Serum GFAP Levels in SCA3/MJD May Not Correlate with Disease Progression
Shi, Y, Wang, C, Huang, F, Chen, Z, Sun, Z, Wang, J, Tang, B, Ashizawa, T, Klockgether, T & Jiang, H 2015, Cerebellum, vol 14, no. 6, pp. 677-681. DOI:

Successful aging: Advancing the science of physical independence in older adults
Anton, SD, Woods, AJ, Ashizawa, T, Barb, D, Buford, TW, Carter, CS, Clark, DJ, Cohen, RA, Corbett, DB, Cruz-Almeida, Y, Dotson, V, Ebner, N, Efron, PA, Fillingim, RB, Foster, TC, Gundermann, DM, Joseph, AM, Karabetian, C, Leeuwenburgh, C, Manini, TM, Marsiske, M, Mankowski, RT, Mutchie, HL, Perri, MG, Ranka, S, Rashidi, P, Sandesara, B, Scarpace, PJ, Sibille, KT, Solberg, LM, Someya, S, Uphold, C, Wohlgemuth, S, Wu, SS & Pahor, M 2015, Ageing Research Reviews, vol 24, pp. 304-327. DOI:

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 in Chinese Han
Wang, K, McFarland, KN, Liu, J, Zeng, D, Landrian, I, Xia, G, Hao, Y, Jin, M, Mulligan, CJ, Gu, W & Ashizawa, T 2015, Neurology. Genetics, vol 1, no. 3, pp. e26. DOI:

SMRT sequencing of long tandem nucleotide repeats in SCA10 reveals unique insight of repeat expansion structure
McFarl, KN, Liu, J, Landrian, I, Godiska, R, Shanker, S, Yu, F, Farmerie, WG & Ashizawa, T 2015, PLoS ONE, vol 10, no. 8, e0135906. DOI:

Ataxia-telangiectasia - A historical review and a proposal for a new designation: ATM syndrome
Teive, HAG, Moro, A, Moscovich, M, Arruda, WO, Munhoz, RP, Raskin, S & Ashizawa, T 2015, Journal of the Neurological Sciences, vol 355, no. 1-2, pp. 3-6. DOI: