Kristina Simonyan, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. med.

Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Director of Laryngology Research

Research Summary

Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary 

Dr. Simonyan studies the neural mechanisms of normal and diseased speech motor control and other complex voluntary motor behaviors. Her clinical research program is focused on focal dystonias, with a special emphasis on spasmodic dysphonia, and includes the use of multimodal brain imaging, neuropathological evaluations, genetic analysis, and clinical trials for identification of the causative pathophysiology of this disorder and novel opportunities for its objective diagnosis, prediction of risk, and treatment. Dr. Simonyan’s recent studies have mapped the large-scale neural architecture underlying speech production and its impairments in focal dystonia. This work has led to identification of potential neural markers of dystonia as well as the assessment of new therapeutic options for the treatment of this disorder.

Most Recent Publications 

Comprehensive genetic analysis of TUBB4A in a multiethnic dystonia cohort. Vulinovic F, Schaake S, Domingo A, Kumar K, Defazio G, Mir P, Simonyan K, Ozelius L, Brüggemann N, Chang SJ, Lohmann K, Klein C. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2017. In press. 

Connectome-wide phenotypical and genotypical associations in focal dystonia. Fuertinger S, Simonyan K. Journal of Neuroscience. 3 July 2017;0384–17.

Phenotype- and genotype-specific structural alterations in spasmodic dysphonia. Bianchi S, Battistella G, Huddleston H, Scharf R, Fleysher L, Rumbach A, Simonyan K. Movement Disorders. 2017 Apr;32(4):560–568.

Neural correlates of dystonic tremor: A multimodal imaging study of voice tremor in spasmodic dysphonia. Kirke DN, Battistella G, Kumar V, Rubien-Thomas E, Choy M, Rumbach A, Simonyan K. Brain Imaging and Behavior. 2017 Feb;11(1):166–175.

Isolated focal dystonia as a disorder of large-scale functional networks. Battistella G, Termsarasab P, Ramdhani R, Fuertinger S, Simonyan K. Cerebral Cortex. 2017; Feb 1;27(2):1203–1215.

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