Melissa J Nirenberg

Melissa J Nirenberg, MD, PhD

  • PROFESSOR | Neurology

Melissa J. Nirenberg, MD, PhD, FAAN, is a Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she is involved in research and teaching at Mount Sinai Hospital and clinical practice in movement disorders at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.  Her research interests include non-motor manifestations of Parkinson’s disease, behavioral complications of dopamine agonist therapy, and clinicopathological and genetic studies of patients with neurodegenerative disorders.  She is known for her discovery of dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS), a severe drug withdrawal syndrome that can occur when patients taper a specific class of medications used for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome, and other disorders.

Dr. Nirenberg pursued her undergraduate education at Yale University, graduating magna cum laude with Distinction in English.  She subsequently received her MD and a PhD in neuroscience from the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program at Weill Cornell, where she was recognized with awards for the highest achievement in the graduating class in both medicine and pediatrics.  After medical school, Dr. Nirenberg completed a residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, followed by a fellowship in Movement Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center.  She is a recipient of several prestigious teaching awards, and previously served as Associate Director of the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program at Weill Cornell, and more recently as Associate Director of the NYU Neurology Residency program.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and a member of the Parkinson Study Group and International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Clinical Focus

  • Botulinum Toxin Injections
  • Cervical Dystonia
  • Chorea
  • Dystonia
  • Hemifacial Spasm

Education

MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine

Movement Disorders Fellowship, Columbia University Medical Center

Neurology Residency, University of California, San Francisco