I strive to maintain enthusiasm, optimism, and rigorous science as I design and lead studies to translate the genetic origins of neuromuscular disease into effective treatments for the infants and children in my care.

EDUCATION

Medical School

  • University of Athens Medical School , 1977 , Athens , Greece

Internship

  • University of Athens Hospital , 1979 , Athens , Greece

Residency

  • Nassau County Medical Center, Clinical Campus SUNY at Stony Brook , 1982 , Stony Brook , NY

Fellowship

  • Tufts Medical School, New England Medical Center , 1985 , Boston , MA

Fellowship

  • Yale University School of Medicine , 1988 , New Haven , CT

Philosophy of Care

During my childhood in Greece, my parents instilled in me intellectual curiosity, the ambition to excel, and personal values focused on service. My approach to care reflects my interest in the genetic basis of neurological disease and my desire to practice on the forefront of clinical care and research.

I was born and raised in Greece and was strongly influenced by a number of doctors in my family. One of my uncles would let me watch him treat patients and help him give immunizations in schools.

I earned my country's highest marks on nationwide tests to be admitted to medical school, and graduated from Athens University School of Medicine at the top of my class. But I became frustrated by the system that controlled access to further training in pediatrics (I was required to wait three to four years), so I came to the U.S. for my residency. I had planned to return to Greece, but stayed in the U.S. due to the enormous opportunities here to do research and care for patients at the highest possible level.

I am motivated to find cures for children with neuromuscular disorders. I have trained and published extensively as a basic scientist, but was not fulfilled by researching and diagnosing patients alone without helping to improve their lives and outcomes. As a result, I've become very active in clinical research and am excited to be practicing and researching at a time in the field when powerful new resources are at our disposal.

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

Dr. Darras serves as an expert for the Department of Neurology for Boston Children's Hospital Precision Medicine Service. For more information about the Precision Medicine Service please visit bostonchildrens.org/precisionmed.

I focus in my practice on treating children with neuromuscular diseases, which present as problems of motor development and function.

I am Associate neurologist-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital and hold the Joseph J. Volpe Chair in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. I am the Chief of the division of clinical neurology in the Department of Neurology at the hospital. For 11 years, I ran the hospital's neurology residency training program and I was twice voted teacher of the year by neurology residents.
  
My special focus is in the care of children with neuromuscular conditions originating from inherited or acquired conditions of the motor unit. These include patients with complex muscle diseases like muscular dystrophies and congenital or metabolic myopathies, neuromuscular transmission defects, neuropathies, motor neuronopathies, and also inflammatory muscle or nerve conditions. Further, I see patients with general neurological problems such seizures when I attend on the inpatient neurology services.
   
Following medical school in Greece and residencies in pediatrics and child neurology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Tufts Medical Center, respectively. I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale in genetics, which gives me a unique lens through which I approach problems of childhood motor development.

When I was training in neurology, I gravitated toward neuromuscular cases. The fact that many have a genetic basis appealed to me. I felt that there was a higher probability of finding a treatment if we could understand the pathogenesis of the diseases.

At Boston Children's Hospital, I am proud to be involved with two innovative multi-disciplinary clinical programs. I direct the Neuromuscular Program, which provides diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic services for children with neuromuscular diseases and is one largest of its kind in the country; and the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Clinical Research Program, which seeks to improve medical care of children with SMA and discover new treatments for this devastating motor neuron disease.

Through my clinical and research experience, as well as my hospital leadership roles, I have influenced care in the field of pediatric neuromuscular diseases both nationally and internationally.

 

 

CERTIFICATIONS

  • American Board of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child and Adolescent Neurology
  • American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Clinical Genetics