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S. Ali Fatemi, M.D.
Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: (443) 923-9150
S. Ali Fatemi, MD, is a pediatric neurologist at the Division of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, and an investigator at the Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger. Dr. Fatemi is also an assistant professor of neurology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Fatemi received his medical degree from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria in 1999. After graduation, he served as a researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Medical Chemistry in Vienna and completed an internship in pediatrics at the Vienna General Hospital. He was recruited by Dr. Hugo W. Moser as a post-doctoral fellow in neurogenetics and neuroimaging research at Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2001. During this initial period at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dr. Fatemi collaborated with a team of scientists and developed new imaging methods in patients with leukodystrophies, a group of rare genetic diseases that affect the brain's white matter and coordinated an internet-2 based imaging network for these diseases. He then left Kennedy Krieger Institute to train in general pediatrics and then completed a child neurology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, in Boston. Dr. Fatemi has returned to the Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2008 as a faculty member.
He is a member of the Child Neurology Society, the International Child Neurology Association, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Academy of Neurology and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. He has served as ad hoc reviewer for the Journals Child Development and American Journal of Neuroradiology.
At the Kennedy Krieger outpatient center, Dr. Fatemi evaluates children with a variety of neurologic problems. His greatest interest is in genetic and acquired conditions that affect the brain's white matter in newborns and infants, these include white matter injury associated with extreme prematurity (also referred to as periventricular leukomalacia), as well as leukodystrophies
The brain's white matter consists of axons, the "cables" that build up a complex network of connections between different neurons, these axons are wrapped by oligodendrocytes, cells that produce a thick membrane, referred to as myelin, which is important for the isolation and protection of axons. Another group of cells, referred to as astrocytes, are also important constituents of white matter and serve as gatekeepers for nutrients that enter the brain and play a role in brain metabolism. Disorders of white matter can either affect the axon, the oligodendrocyte, or the astroycte. Perinatally acquired white matter injury is the leading cause of cerebral palsy and other neuropsychiatric conditions in children born prematurely.
Dr. Fatemi is a member of the neuroscience laboratory and the F.M. Kirby Research Center for functional Brain Imaging. He collaborates closely with a multi-disciplinary group of scientists at the Hugo W. Moser Research Institute and at Johns Hopkins to study the molecular mechanism involved in white matter development and injury in mouse models for cerebral palsy and perinatal white matter injury. Dr. Fatemi and his colleagues utilize different molecular, histological and advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to examine rodents.
In addition, there is a strong effort at the neuroscience laboratory to use animal models as a test bed for cell-based therapeutic approaches. Stem cells and progenitor cells are derived from mouse embryos and Dr. Fatemi and his colleagues are currently evaluating if transplanted cells are able to survive in the injured animals, migrate to the desired site, and eventually restore white matter injury either by differentiation into more mature cells or by providing support to the injured tissue.
Dr. Fatemi is also a member of the Neurogenetics Research Center at Kennedy Krieger and is involved in clinical and imaging research studies of patients with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.