Neuromuscular

Neuromuscular Division faculty and staff

The Neuromuscular Division (NMD) at the University of Iowa is an internationally recognized program that combines excellent clinical care and clinical research, serving as a model for translational care. The emphasis of the NMD is on genetic disorders of nerve and muscle.

Patients with inherited neuropathies are seen in the NMD’s Charcot Marie Tooth Clinic. This clinic is the lead site of the Inherited Neuropathies Consortium, a member of the NIH supported Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN). Patients travel from 49 states, 25 countries, and five continents at their own expense to attend this clinic.

NMD patients with ALS are seen in the division's ALS Clinic, an MDA ALS Center of Excellence, which is a member of the CReATe RDCRN consortia for ALS. The Myotonic Dystrophy Clinic collaborates nationally with other centers in the US and also receives NIH funding because of the special expertise in neuro-imaging, psychiatric evaluation, and multidisciplinary approach to care of patients with myotonic dystrophy. 

Our emphasis on genetic neuromuscular disorders has resulted in our hiring of three genetic counselors. All of our clinics are designated as MDA clinics and receive support from the Muscular Dystrophy AssociationMichael Shy has an externally funded laboratory focusing on cellular, animal, and human models of CMT. 

The NMD collaborates with other departments and divisions, including  physicians, basic scientists, psychologists, and therapists in neurogenetics, psychiatry, neuropsychology, pediatric neuromuscular disease, neuromuscular pathology, physiology, and rehabilitation. They have published over 50 manuscripts during the past five years and receive extramural support from the NIH, MDA, Charcot Marie Tooth Association, and industry. Nive Jerath received a two-year Clinical Research Training Grant in 2015-2016 from the Muscular Dystrophy Association; she was the only recipient of this award in the United States during this period.

Andrea Swenson developed and has maintained an ACGME accredited neuromuscular training fellowship program for the division. Michael Shy directs the training program for the entire RDCRN, a network of 22 consortia supported by NCATS to study rare diseases. Laurie Gutmann co-directs the NINDS training program for clinical trial design.

Members of the University of Iowa NMD division include:

  • Michael Shy, MD, professor and division head, director of CMT Clinic
  • Laurie Gutmann, MD, professor, director of Myotonic Dystrophy Clinic
  • Lud Gutmann, MD, professor
  • Andrea Swenson, MD, associate professor, director of ALS Clinic
  • Chris Nance, MD, associate professor, fellowship director
  • Nivedita Jerath, MD, assistant professor
  • Shawna Feely, CGC, genetic counselor
  • Tiffany Grider, CGC, genetic counselor
  • Janel Phetteplace, CGC, genetic counselor
  • Erin Springer, RN, MSN, clinical care nurse coordinator