Alison Leston, M.D., Ph.D.

Alison Leston, M.D., Ph.D.

Section Head, General Neurology

  • Neurology
  • Aerospace Neurology
  • Headaches


Alison Leston, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in aviation neurology.

Dr. Leston earned her medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she then completed her residency in neurology and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology. She also holds a doctoral degree in neurobiology from the University of Chicago.

Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in neurology and clinical neurophysiology, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014.

As an expert in diagnosing and treating neurological conditions suffered by pilots, Dr. Leston has extensive knowledge of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She sees pilots from all over the country – both those who work for commercial airlines as well as recreational private pilots – who need to submit neurology evaluations to the FAA. She is also a neurology consultant to the FAA and serves on an FAA panel that determines whether a pilot is fit to fly from a neurological standpoint. She regularly delivers talks focused on neurology and the aerospace sector.

In addition to aviation neurology, Dr. Leston’s practice focuses on general neurology referrals from within UT Southwestern. She is Director of the General Neurology Access Clinic and a UT Southwestern Clinically Affiliated Physicians (UTSCAP) liaison. She also teaches practice management to neurology residents in their final year of residency and has participated in clinical trials related to the treatment of headaches.

Dr. Leston is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the Civil Aviation Medical Association, and the Aerospace Medical Association.

Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (2005-2006), Neurophysiology
  • Residency - Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (2001-2005), Neurology
  • Medical School - Washington University School of Medicine (1997-2001)
  • Other Post Graduate Training - The University of Chicago (1990-1997)
  • Graduate School - The University of Chicago (1990-1997), Neurobiology
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Academy of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine
  • Aerospace Medical Association
  • Civil Aviation Medical Association
  • International Aerospace Neurology Consortium
Honors & Awards
  • Best Doctors in America 2011-2013
  • Merit Award 1990, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Chicago
  • James Scholar 1987-1990, University of Illinois
  • Illinois State Scholar 1987-1990
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon Honor Society 1990
  • Valedictorian 1987
  • Neurologic Disorders in Commercial Airline Pilots

Clinical Focus

  • Aerospace Neurology
  • Headaches
  • General Neurology

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