Stephanie K Tankou, MD, PhD
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis
Research Topics:Autoimmunity, Immunology, Inflammation, Metabolomics, Microglia, Mucosal Immunology, Multiple Sclerosis, Proteomics
Stephanie K. Tankou, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai Health System, and sees patients at the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis, with a clinical focus in multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica, and neurosarcoidosis. Dr. Tankou has an established research lab focusing on identifying gut derived bacteria that regulate inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS), setting the goal to identify gut derived bacteria that can serve as biomarkers as well as disease modifying therapies for MS and other CNS autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Tankou received her Bachelor's in Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, graduating summa cum laude, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her MD/PhD degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where her graduate research revealed a mechanism by which cytomegalovirus interferes with the function of a susceptibility gene for mental illness called disrupted in schizophrenia-1. She completed her neurology residency at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and later completed her MS Clinical Research Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
She was awarded the NMSS-ABF MS Clinician-Scientist Development Award to investigate the gut microbiome in MS patients as well as in the MS mouse model in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Weiner at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tankou is a co-author on the first research article describing Alterations of the Human Gut Microbiome in Multiple Sclerosis patients, published in the 2016 edition of Nature Communications.
Dr. Tankou led a pilot probiotic trial in MS patients, documenting the first report on the effect of a probiotic on the gut microbiota composition and peripheral immune function in MS patients. She observed that it is possible to change the composition of the gut microbiota of MS patients as well as their peripheral immune response by probiotic supplementation. This work was published in Annals of Neurology, a leading journal in the field of clinical neurology.
Dr. Tankou is fluent in English and French. She offers telemedicine appointments when appropriate. Please call her office to schedule a video visit.
Dr. Tankou is registered to provide telehealth services in Florida.
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuromyelitis Optica
MD,PHD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Internship, Internal Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center
Residency, Neurology, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Fellowship, Multiple Sclerosis, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Mass General Hospital
Gut microbiome, Stool proteomics, Gut intestinal permeability, Neurodegeneration, Cognition, Blood brain barrier permeability
It is known that the gut microbiome has a broad influence on health and diseases including infection, atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory, metabolic and autoimmune diseases. Alterations in the gut microbiome of MS patients has been reported by several investigators. However, the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota contributes to the pathophysiology of MS remain poorly understood. My laboratory is interested in identifying gut derived bacteria that modulate neuroinflammation and to elucidate their mechanisms of action. This comprehensive analysis will lead to the identification of microbial derived pathways that suppress CNS inflammation. Identification of these bacteria could lead to the discovery of disease biomarkers as well as novel and more efficacious prevention strategies and therapies for relapsing-remitting as well as progressive MS.
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Dr. Tankou did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2022 and/or 2023: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
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