Home | Directions | Find a Job | News | Lifeline | Video | Choose a Department

Neurology

Faculty & Research Interests


Our faculty comprises a wide range of backgrounds and interests with many holding dual certifications or other advanced degrees. In addition to providing hands-on, 24-hour department supervision and teaching, all faculty members share a commitment to creating an atmosphere that is conducive to the advancement of our specialty.

Faculty members also participate in regional and national professional organizations and research endeavors.

Michael Gruenthal, MD, PhD
Professor and Chairman

Michael Gruenthal, MD, PhD., co-director of the Neurosciences Institute and Bender Endowed Chair of Neurology, came to AMC from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky where he was the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Chair of Neurology and director of the Epilepsy Program.

Dr. Gruenthal is a nationally known authority on epilepsy and has directed numerous clinical trials including those aimed at finding ways to prevent harmful effects of seizures on the brain. His work led to the establishment of Kentucky's only "National Association of Epilepsy Centers" Certified Level 4 Epilepsy Center at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Gruenthal began his academic career in basic sciences before shifting to the clinical arena. After earning a Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis and completing a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropharmacology at Duke University, he entered medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating and completing his residency and fellowship training in neurophysiology and epilepsy at the University of Louisville, he joined the faculty there in 1994 as an assistant professor of neurology. In 2000, he was named an associate professor and in 2002, he became chair of neurology and director of the neurology residency-training program. We are pleased to have him head our Department of Neurology.

Column Amory, MD, MPH
Program Director

Colum Amory , MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Program Director. He received his MD degree from Albany Medical College followed by a medicine internship at Montefiore Medical Center. He completed his Neurology Residency  and fellowship in Stroke at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He is board certified in Neurology and Vascular Neurology.

PAIN MANAGEMENT
Charles Argoff, MDProfessor of Neurology, is an expert in pain management. Dr. Argoff comes to Albany Med from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, where he served as attending physician and director of the Cohn Pain Management Center. After earning his medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, Dr. Argoff performed his residency at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Following his residency, he was an assistant professor of neurology at the School of Medicine at the New York University Medical Center.  He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Pain Medicine. Dr. Argoff's special interests include the use of Botox in the management of chronic pain and the mechanisms and treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. He has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, among other publications, and serves on the editorial board for the Clinical Journal of Pain and Applied Neurology.

 NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE

Matthew Murnane, MD is an Associate Professor of Neurology. He received his MD degree from Albany Medical College and completed his neurology Residency and Fellowship in electromyography/ neuromuscular disease at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University. He is Board Certified in Neurology with special qualification in clinical neurophysiology; He is also certified by the American Board of  Electrodiagnostic Medicine. His special interests include muscle disease.
James Wymer, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neurology.  He received his MD/PhD degree from the University of Maryland.  He completed his gravis and electromyography. He completed his neurology residency followed by a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine  at Strong Memorial Hospital. He specializes in the diagnosis and management of neuromuscular diseases and neuropathic pain including ALS and peripheral neuropathies. He has extensive experience in clinical research on ALS, diabetic neuropathy and MS.  

EPILEPSY

Marjorie Bunch, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology specializing in the treatment of epilepsy and is part of Albany Med’s Adult Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, which is one of just six programs in the state to be granted membership into the prestigious National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). The program also holds the NAEC’s highest designation, Level 4, which is granted to only the best academic medical centers in the country. Dr. Bunch is fellowship trained in epilepsy at both Beth Israel Deaconess and New York University School of Medicine, where she also received fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology and served as chief during her residency training. She interned in internal medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital, an affiliate of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She received her medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Bridget Frawley, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Neurology. Her practice is primarily focused on the medical and surgical management of epilepsy and seizure disorders. Dr. Frawley received her medical degree from Albany Medical College. Her postgraduate work included a residency in neurology and a fellowship in neurophysiology at Albany Medical Center.
Michael Gruenthal, MD, PhD - see top of page
Timothy Lynch, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology. He received his MD degree from Brown University and completed his neurology training at  Washington University School of Medicine. Where he also completed fellowships in Epilepsy and  EMG/NCS.  He is Board Certified in Neurology, Electrodiagnostic medicine and Clinical Neurophysiology (Epilepsy Monitoring). His special interests are epilepsy and EEG monitoring.
Anthony Ritaccio, MD is the J. Spencer Standish professor of neurology and neurosurgery and director of the Epilepsy and Human Brain Mapping Program at Albany Med. He received his MD from  Albany Medical College. He completed his neurology training at  Albany Medical Center and a fellowship in Epilepsy and Neurophysiology at the University of  Pittsburgh Epilepsy Center. He is Board Certified in Neurology. Special interests: epilepsy, seizure disorders. Dr. Ritaccio recently has been awarded a $1.36 million grant from the United States Department of Defense to expand his work on a brain-computer interface (BCI) technology.

CHILD NEUROLOGY

Karen Powers, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, received her MD degree from St. George's University. She completed her adult neurology and pediatrics residencies at Albany Medical Center.  Subsequently, she completed her child neurology fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received the 2008 Outstanding Junior Member award from the Child Neurology Society.
Charles Nichter, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, received his MD degree from Temple University. He completed his residency in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Buffalo, a fellowships in  developmental pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the John F. Kennedy Institute in Baltimore. He completed his neurology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He is Board certified in Pediatrics and Neurology.
John Pugh, MD, one of the region’s few pediatric neurologists, joined Albany Medical Center in 2012. He treats children for conditions including seizure disorders, movement disorders, develop mental delays, and headaches. He is board certified in Child Neurology and completed a residency in Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology at Children's Hospital Medical Center.

BEHAVIORAL NEUROLOGY

Dzintra Celmins, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology. She received her MD degree from the Riga Medical Institute. She completed her neurology residency followed by a fellowship in movement disorders/behavioral neurology at Albany Medical College. She is Board Certified in Neurology. Her special interests include movement disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

Earl  Zimmerman, MD is Professor and Clinical Director of the Alzheimer's Center and Director of Clinical Research for the Neurosciences Institute at AMC. Dr. Zimmerman is a neurologist who specializes in dementia, Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disease. His clinical research programs are centered on identifying a biomarker for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, referred to as mild cognitive impairment.

 STROKE AND NEUROCRITICAL CARE

Gary L. Bernardini, MD, PhD,  Director of Stroke and Neurocritical Care, Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery joined Albany Medical Center in January 2000 as the Director of Stroke and Neurocritical Care. His areas of specialty include neurointensive care management of subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage patients and comprehensive care of ischemic stroke patients including treatment with thrombolytic therapy and secondary prevention therapies. He is a Principal Investigator in multiple clinical trials. He is Co-chair of the American Stroke Association's Capital Region Stroke Task Force. He was awarded the Edith M. Hellman Endowed Chair in Cerebro-vascular Disease. He is Board certified in Neurology and Vascular Neurology.
Colum Amory, MD, MPH  - see top of page 
Kathleen Ward, DO, Assistant Professor of Neurology, is a graduate of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency training in Neurology at Albany Medical College, followed by a fellowship in Vascular Neurology at the same institution.

 MOVEMENT DISORDERS

Jennifer Durphy, MD  is an Assistant Professor of Neurology.  She received her MD degree from Indiana University, followed by her neurology residency at Georgetown University.  She completed her movement disorders fellowship at Albany Medical Center. Dr. Durphy is Board Certified in Neurology.
Eric Molho, MD is the Riley Family Chair of Parkinson’s Disease and professor of neurology. He is a graduate of the Albany Medical Center neurology training program. He did a fellowship in movement disorders under the direction of Dr. Factor at AMC. He is co-director of the Tardive Dyskinesia Clinic and the Huntington's Disease testing and comprehensive care program. Dr. Molho is board certified in neurology and is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Movement Disorders Society.
Era Hanspal, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology.  She received her MD degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, followed by completion of her neurology residency at Thomas Jefferson University. She recently completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at Columbia University. Her clinical interests include Parkinson's disease, myoclonus and dystonia.
Adolfo Ramirez Zamora, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology. He received his MD degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. He completed his neurology residency training at Loyola University (Chicago) and a movement disorders fellowship at UC San Francisco. Dr. Ramirez Zamora is Board Certified in Neurology. His clinical interests are Parkinson's disease, tremors, gait disorders, and and use of deep brain stimulation.

GENERAL NEUROLOGY

Mary Ann McKee, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, received her MD degree from the University of Toronto.  She completed residency training in internal medicine at the Mayo Medical School and neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons followed by a fellowship in neurogenetics at the Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center. Dr. McKee is Board certified in Neurology. She provides expertise in the evaluation and treatment of the entire spectrum of neurological disorders.
Allen Gerber, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, received his MD degree from the University Del Noreste (Tampico, Mexico).  He completed his neurology residency at St. Vincent's Medical Center in NYC followed by a fellowship in Movement Disorders (neural transplant program) at Yale University.  Dr. Gerber is Board certified in Neurology. His area of special interest is multiple sclerosis.

SAMUEL STRATTON VA MEDICAL CENTER

Donald Higgins, Jr., MD is a professor of neurology and Chief of the Neurology Service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  He received his medical degree from SUNY Stonybrook and completed his neurology training at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). He then completed a fellowship in Movement and Inherited Neurologic Disorders at the University of Rochester. Dr. Higgins has co-authored several articles and book chapters and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Movement Disorder Society, Society for Neuroscience, and other professional organizations. Dr. Higgins is an active researcher and has several ongoing studies in Huntington's Disease.
Arnulf Koeppen, MD, Professor of Neurology and Neuropathology, attended Medical School at the University of Goettingen, Germany. He completed his neurology residency at Montefiore Hospital & Medical Center (Bronx) and Northwestern University School of Medicine and Fellowship in Neuropathology and Neurochemistry. He is Board Certified in Neurology and Neuropathology. His research interests include normal and pathological brain iron; hereditary ataxia.
Richard Tomasulo, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, received his MD degree from University Of Miami. He completed his neurology residency and fellowship (Electromyography /Neuromuscular Disease) at the University of Maryland. He is Board Certified by the ABPN. Research interests include electrophysiology of the hippocampus.
Farrukh Shaikh, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology received her MD from Liaquat Medical University in Pakistan. She completed her neurology residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina where she also was a Fellow in Clinical Neurophysiology.  Special interests include EMG/nerve conduction, EEG and botox administration.