Brenda L. Banwell, MD

Brenda L. Banwell, MD, is chief of the Division of Neurology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

  • Background

    Dr. Banwell graduated with a degree in medicine from The University of Western Ontario in 1991. She pursued a residency in pediatrics at The Hospital of Western Ontario, University of Western Ontario, from 1991-1994 and a pediatric neurology residency at The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto from 1994-1997. Dr. Banwell then spent two years completing a neuromuscular disease fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. In 1999, Dr. Banwell was appointed as an assistant professor of paediatrics (neurology) at the Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto. She was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and full professor in 2012. As of July 1, 2012, Dr. Banwell has taken on the role of chief of neurology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

    Dr. Banwell’s clinical and research interests are in pediatric multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory brain disorders. She remains the lead investigator of the Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program, which has now partnered with the pediatric demyelinating disease program in Philadelphia. Here at CHOP, Dr. Banwell is the director of the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic dedicated to children with multiple sclerosis and other acquired demyelinating diseases. Her clinical studies focus on the cognitive and neuroimaging features of pediatric multiple sclerosis, while the basic science work focuses on T and B-cell autoimmunity studies, MRI imaging, and studies of viral triggers. Dr. Banwell is the principal investigator of a 23 site, eight year study of acute demyelination in children from every pediatric health care facility in Canada and now CHOP (funded by the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation and CHOP). She holds CIHR Investigator Grants, operating grants from the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society, and has been successfully funded for over 12 years. Dr. Banwell has more than 100 manuscripts published in high impact journals (including JAMA, Lancet Neurology and Nature Medicine), as well as 11 book chapters. She has over 100 invited lectureships or visiting Professorships in Canada, the United States and Europe.


  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    MD - University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario


    Pediatrics - University of Western Ontario-Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, London, Ontario


    Pediatrics - University of Western Ontario-Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
    Pediatric Neurology - University of Toronto - The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario (Chief Resident)


    Neuromuscular Research - Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

    Board Certification


  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Chief, Division of Neurology

    Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Departments and Services