We see patients with undiagnosed and very rare disorders who have struggled to learn more about their conditions.

EDUCATION

Medical School

  • St. Petersburg Pediatric Medical Academy , 1984 , St. Petersburg , Russia

Internship

  • St. Petersburg Pediatric Medical Academy , 1985 , St. Petersburg , Russia

Internship

  • St. Petersburg Pediatric Medical Academy , 1986 , St. Petersburg , Russia

Residency

  • University of Massachusetts Medical Center , 1995 , Worcester , MA

Fellowship

  • New England Medical Center , 1998 , Boston , MA

Philosophy of Care

As a child, I always knew I wanted to be a physician. I found my passion for child neurology during my last years of medical school in Saint Petersburg, Russia. After immigrating to the United States, I continued training in child neurology, finally joining the Neurology Department at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1998.

I always had an interest in genetic and hereditary disorders, but later developed a special interest in mitochondrial diseases. The complexity and variability of these disorders presents a challenge, but it is also an exciting field with many innovative studies currently underway. As Director of the Mitochondrial Program, I apply the latest techniques to help our patients and their families manage their disorders. One of my top concerns is improving the quality of life for patients through the study and development of new drugs and therapies.

My interest in neurometabolic and neurodegenerative disorders led me to develop a joint Neurometabolic Program with the Division of Metabolism. We see patients with undiagnosed and very rare disorders who have struggled to learn more about their conditions. New diagnostic methods allow us to provide answers for many of these families, as well as genetic counseling and special or experimental treatments.

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

Irina A. Anselm, MD, is Director of the Mitochondrial Program and Co-Director of the Neurometabolic Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. A pediatric neurologist with special interest in genetics and hereditary disorders, she cares for children with neurometabolic, neurodegenerative, and mitochondrial disorders. She serves as the Department of Neurology's clinical expert for Boston Children's Precision Medicine Service. Her research focuses on the genetics, diagnosis, and management of these disorders, which range from mild to devastating. She is the Principal Investigator of a study investigating the use of experimental drug dichloroacetate (DCA) as a treatment for chronic elevation of blood lactate levels resulting from mitochondrial disorders. She is a Co-investigator on a multicenter trial for treatment of patients with mitochondrial disorders with intractable seizures. She also is a Co-investigator on a natural history study of patients with creatine transporter deficiency. She has a special interest in disorders of neurotransmitter metabolism and works closely with a company that developed gene therapy for one of these disorders. Major publications include 35 original reports in peer-reviewed journals and 4 chapters, and she is a reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric Neurology, Current Pediatric Reviews, and the Journal of Child Neurology.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child and Adolescent Neurology