Berge Minassian, M.D.

Berge Minassian, M.D.

Chief, Division of Child Neurology

  • Jimmy Elizabeth Westcott Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Neurology
  • Neurology

Biography

Berge A. Minassian, M.D., is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Minassian is a pediatric neurologist whose clinical specialties are epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and neurogenetic conditions.

The Chief of Child Neurology at UT Southwestern, he also leads the Neurosciences Center at Children’s Health in Dallas. He serves on the faculty of the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, as well.

Dr. Minassian has been active in neurogenetics research for his entire career. Two of his primary interests have been Lafora disease, for which his lab discovered the genes, and adult polyglucosan body disease.

He has published more than 120 scholarly articles and authored or contributed to 10 books.

Dr. Minassian is a Fellow (Neurology) of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a founding member of the American Academy of Neurology’s Neurogenetics Section.

Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2016, he was a Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto, a pediatric neurologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, and a senior scientist in genetics and genome biology at the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute.

Dr. Minassian earned his medical degree at McGill University Faculty of Medicine and performed a residency in adult neurology at the Veterans Administration West Los Angeles Medical Center.

He then completed a clinical fellowship in pediatric neurology and epileptology, as well as postdoctoral research fellowships in both molecular genetics and molecular neurogenetics at the University of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Minassian’s many professional honors include the Jacob's Ladder 2014 Norman Saunders International Research Prize for Outstanding Scientist, the American Academy of Neurology 2007 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award, the Canadian Paediatric Society 2008 Sanofi Pasteur Research Award, and the American Epilepsy Society 1996 Young Investigator Award.

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Meet Dr. Minassian

Pediatric Neurologist Specializing in Epilepsy in Dallas

Pediatric neurologist Dr. Berge Minassian has special expertise in caring for patients with epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and neurogenetic conditions.

A physician-scientist, Dr. Minassian has spent much of his 20 years of research seeking the underlying genetic causes of epilepsy. He works closely with Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern.

“I’ve been working to piece together the brain’s genetic underpinnings – to help us better understand both how the brain works overall and how faulty genes can lead to electrical problems in the brain in conditions such as epilepsy,” he says.

Board certified and fellowship trained, Dr. Minassian serves as Chief of Pediatric Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and leads the Neurosciences Center at Children’s Health in Dallas.

“One of the main reasons I came to UT Southwestern was to develop a gene therapy program aimed at curing various types of epilepsy,” he says. “I really want to help make a fundamental difference in families’ lives by altogether eliminating the problem in as many cases as we can.”

He also serves on the faculty of the Children’s Health Epilepsy Center, which he notes is “one of the top centers of its kind in the country, if not the world. Everyone who works here does a fantastic job of caring for our patients.”

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Education & Training
  • Internship - University of Toronto Hospitals, Canada (1992-1993), Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship - University of Toronto, the Hospital for Sick Children (1997-1998), Neurogenetics
  • Fellowship - University of Toronto, the Hospital for Sick Children (1996-1997), Pediatric Neurology
  • Residency - West Los Angeles VA Medical Center (1993-1996), Neurology
  • Medical School - McGill University Faculty of Medicine (1988-1992)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada
  • Ontario Medical Association
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • American Academy of Neurology, Neurogenetics Section - Founding Member
  • American Academy of Neurology
Honors & Awards
  • Gertrude and Charles Clark Cancer Research Fellow 1987, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University
  • Young Investigator Award 1996, American Epilepsy Society
  • Certificate of Appreciation 1995-1998, Canadian Angleman Syndrome Society
  • Ted Hall Award, Best Biology Paper 2005, Microscopy Society of America, Annual Meeting
  • John Stobo Prichard Award 2006, International Child Neurology Association
  • Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Neurogenetics 2006
  • Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award 2007, American Academy of Neurology, for Independent contribution to epilepsy research
  • Canadian Paediatric Society Sanofi Pasteur Research Award 2008, For excellence in Canadian child health research
  • Benjamin Boshes Memorial Lectureship, Keynote Speaker 2011, Israeli Neurological Association Annual Meeting
  • Leadership Award in E-Infrastructure 2013, Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), in recognition of outstanding leadership in research and innovation in Ontario
  • “Jacob's Ladder International Research Prize” for Outstanding Scientist 2014, Norman Saunders
Books & Publications
Research
  • X-linked myopathy and excessive autophagy
  • Other human and canine disease genes
  • Lafora disease
  • Infantile Parkinson's disease
  • Genes for the commonest epilepsies