Sudha K. Kessler, MD, MSCE

Sudha K. Kessler, MD, MSCE
Sudha Kilaru Kessler, MD, MSCE, is a pediatric neurologist in the Division of Neurology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Epilepsy
Locations: Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX


Pediatrics - Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Neurology - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Epilepsy/EEG - Columbia University, New York, NY

Board Certification

Neurology and Child Neurology

Graduate Degree

Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) - Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

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

Departments and Services




Uohara MY, Beslow LA, Billinghurst L, Jones BM, Kessler SK, Licht DJ, Ichord RN: Incidence of Recurrence in Posterior Circulation Childhood Arterial Ischemic Stroke. JAMA Neurology January 2017 Notes: epub ahead of print.

Fitzgerald M, Kessler SK, Abend NS: Early discontinuation of anti-seizure medications in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Epilepsia April 2017.

Devinsky O, Cross JH, Laux L, Marsh E, Miller I, Nabbout R, Scheffer IE, Thiele EA, Wright S, for the Cannabidiol in Dravet Syndrome Study Group: Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizuresin the Dravet Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine 376(21), May 2017.

Kessler SK, Shinnar S, Cnaan A, Dlugos D, Conry J, Hirtz D, Hu F, Liu C, Mizrahi EM, Moshe SL, Clark P, Glauser TA.: Pretreatment Seizure Semiology in Childhood Absence Epilepsy. Neurology August 2017

Gaetz W, Kessler SK, Roberts TPL, Berman JI, Levy TJ, Hsia M, Humpl D, Schwartz ES, Amaral S, Chang B, Levin LS: Massive cortical reorganization is reversible following bilateral transplants of the hands: Evidence from the first successful bilateral pediatric hand transplant patient. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 2017 Notes: DOI 10.1002/acn3.501.


D'Angelo D, Lebon S, Chen Q, Martin-Brevet S, Snyder LG, Hippolyte L, Hanson E, Maillard AM, Faucett WA, Macé A, Pain A, Bernier R, Chawner SJ, David A, Andrieux J, Aylward E, Baujat G, Caldeira I, Conus P, Ferrari C, Forzano F, Gérard M, Goin-Kochel RP, Grant E, Hunter JV, Isidor B, Jacquette A, Jønch AE, Keren B, Lacombe D, Le Caignec C, Martin CL, Männik K, Metspalu A, Mignot C, Mukherjee P, Owen MJ, Passeggeri M, Rooryck-Thambo C, Rosenfeld JA, Spence SJ, Steinman KJ, Tjernagel J, Van Haelst M, Shen Y, Draganski B, Sherr EH, Ledbetter DH, van den Bree MB, Beckmann JS, Spiro JE, Reymond A, Jacquemont S, Chung WK; Cardiff University Experiences of Children With Copy Number Variants (ECHO) Study; 16p11.2 European Consortium; Simons Variation in Individuals Project (VIP) Consortium.: Defining the Effect of the 16p11.2 Duplication on Cognition, Behavior, and Medical Comorbidities. JAMA Psychiatry 73(1), January 2016.

Green Snyder L, D'Angelo D, Chen Q, Bernier R, Goin-Kochel RP, Wallace AS, Gerdts J, Kanne S, Berry L, Blaskey L, Kuschner E, Roberts T, Sherr E, Martin CL, Ledbetter DH, Spiro JE, Chung WK, Hanson E; Simons VIP consortium.: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental and Psychiatric Features in 16p11.2 Duplication. J Autism Dev Disord May 2016.

Williams RP, Banwell B, Berg RA, Dlugos DJ, Donnelly M, Ichord R, Kessler SK, Lavelle J, Massey SL, Hewlett J, Parker A, Topjian AA, Abend NS.: Impact of an ICU EEG monitoring pathway on timeliness of therapeutic intervention and electrographic seizure termination. Epilepsia 57(5), May 2016.

McGinnis E and Kessler SK: Lacosamide use in children with epilepsy: retention rate and effect of concomitant sodium channel blockers in a large cohort. Epilepsia epub, July 2016.

Steinman K, Spence S, Ramocki M, Kessler SK, Marco E, Snyder LA,Chung W, Sherr E, for the Simons Variations in Individuals Project: 16p11.2 Deletion and Duplication: Characterizing Neurologic Phenotypes in a Large Clinically-Ascertained Cohort. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. epub, July 2016.


Bearden D, Steenhoff AP, Dlugos DJ, Kolson D, Mehta P, Kessler S, Lowenthal E, Monokwane B, Anabwani G, Bisson GP: Early Antiretroviral Therapy is Protective against Epilepsy in Children with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Botswana. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr February 2015.

Kessler SK, McCarthy A, Cnnan A, Dlugos DJ: Retention rates of rufinamide in pediatric epilepsy patients with and without Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Epilepsy Research Page: 18-26, February 2015 Notes: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2015.02.003.

Shinnar S, Cnaan A, Hu F, Clark P, Dlugos D, Hirtz DG, Masur D, Mizrahi EM, Moshé SL, Glauser TA; Childhood Absence Epilepsy Study Group.: Long-term outcomes of generalized tonic-clonic seizures in a childhood absence epilepsy trial. Neurology August 2015.


Taub KS, Kessler SK, Bergqvist AGC: Risk of seizure recurrence after achieving initial seizure freedom on the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia 55(4): 579-83, April 2014.


Kranick SM, Campen CJ, Kasner SE, Kessler SK, Zimmerman RA, Lustig RA, Phillips PC, Beslow LA, Ichord R, Fisher MJ: Headache as a risk factor for neurovascular events in pediatric brain tumor patients Neurology 80(16): 1452-6, April 2013.

Pensirikul AD, Beslow LA, Kessler SK, Sanchez SM, Topjian AA, Dlugos DJ, Abend NS: Density Spectral Array for Seizure Identification in Critically Ill Children. J Clin Neurophys 30(4): 371-375, August 2013.

Kessler SK, Minhas P, Woods AJ, Rosen A, Gorman C, Bikson M: Dosage Considerations for Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Children: A Computational Modeling Study. PLoS ONE  8(9): e76112, September 2013.

Sanchez S, Carpenter J, Chapman KE, Dlugos DJ, Gallentine W, Giza CC, Goldstein JL, Hahn C, Kessler SK, Loddenkemper T, Riviello JJ, Abend, NS: Pediatric ICU EEG Monitoring: Current Resources and Practice in the United States and Canada. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology 30(2): 156-160, 2013.


Abend NS, Topjian AA, Kessler SK, Gutierrez-Colina AM, Berg R, Nadkarni V, Dlugos DJ, Clancy RR, Ichord RN: Outcome prediction by motor and pupillary responses in children treated with therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 13(1), January 2012.

The Simons VIP Consortium: Simons Variation in Individuals Project (Simons VIP): A genetics-first approach to studying autism spectrum and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Neuron 73(6): 1063-1067, March 2012.

Kessler SK, Turkeltaub P, Benson JG, Hamilton RH: Differences in the experience of sham and active transcranial direct current stimulation. Brain Stimulation 5(2): 155-62, April 2012.

Beslow LA, Vossough A, Dahmoush HM, Kessler SK, Stainman R, Favilla CG, Wusthoff CJ, Zelonis S, Licht DJ, Ichord RN, Smith SE: Modified Pediatric ASPECTS Correlates with Infarct Volume in Childhood Arterial Ischemic Stroke. Frontiers in Neurology 3: 122, July 2012.

Campen CJ, Kranick SM, Kasner SE, Kessler SK, Zimmerman RA, Lustig R, Phillips PC, Storm PB, Smith SE, Ichord R, Fisher MJ: Cranial Irradiation Increases Risk of Stroke in Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors. Stroke 43(11): 3035-40, September 2012.

Zufferey F, Sherr EH, Beckmann ND, Hanson E, Maillard AM, Hippolyte L, Macé A, Ferrari C, Kutalik Z, Andrieux J, Aylward E, Barker M, Bernier R, Bouquillon S, Conus P, Delobel B, Faucett WA, Goin-Kochel RP, Grant E, Harewood L, Hunter JV, Lebon S, Ledbetter DH, Martin CL, Männik K, Martinet D, Mukherjee P, Ramocki MB, Spence SJ, Steinman KJ, Tjernagel J, Spiro JE, Reymond A, Beckmann JS, Chung WK, Jacquemont S; Simons VIP Consortium; 16p11.2 European Consortium: A 600 kb deletion syndrome at 16p11.2 leads to energy imbalance and neuropsychiatric disorders. J Med Genet 49(10): 660-8, October 2012.


Kessler SK, Topjian AA, Gutierrez-Colina AM, Ichord RN, Donnelly M, Nadkarni V, Berg R, Dlugos DJ, Clancy RR, Abend NS.: Short-term outcome prediction by electroencephalographic features in children treated with therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest.   Neurocritical Care 14(1): 37-43, February 2011

Kessler SK, Gallagher PR, Shellhaas RA, Clancy RR, Bergqvist AGC: Early EEG improvement after ketogenic diet initiation. Epilepsy Research 94(1-2): 94-101, March 2011 Notes: doi:10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2011.01.012

Wusthoff CJ, Kessler SK, Vossough A, Ichord R, Zelonis S, Halperin A, Gordon D, Vargas G, Licht D, Smith SE. : Risk of Later Seizure Following Perinatal Arterial Ischemic Stroke: A Prospective Cohort Study. Pediatrics 127(6): e1550-7, June 2011.

Abend NS, Beslow LA, Kessler SK, Smith SE, Vossough A, Mason S, Agner S, Licht DJ, Ichord, RN : Seizures as a presenting symptom of acute arterial ischemic stroke in childhood. The Journal of Pediatrics 159(3): 479-483, Sept 2011.

Goldberg EM, Taub KS, Kessler SK, Abend NS: Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis presenting with focal non-convulsive status epilepticus in a child. Neuropediatrics 42(5): 188-190, October 2011.

Skjei KL, Kessler SK, Abend NS: Stimulus-induced rhythmic, periodic, or ictal discharges in a 13 year old girl after an overdose and respiratory arrest. Pediatric Neurology 45(5): 350-351, November 2011.


Kilaru S and Bergqvist AGC: Current treatment of myoclonic astatic epilepsy: clinical experience at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Epilepsia 48(9): 1703-7, September 2007.




Kessler SK, Licht DJ, Abend NS: Approach to Acute Encephalopathy and Coma. Pediatric Neurocritical Care Abend NS and Helfaer MA (eds.). Demos, Page: 1-16, 2013.  


Kessler SK and Dlugos DJ: Generalized Seizures in Young Children. Medical and Surgical Treatment of Pediatric Epilepsy, in press. Cross, Duchowny, Glauser, Hirsch and Arzimanoglou (eds.). McGraw-Hill, 2011.


Abend NS,Kilaru S,Licht D.: Pediatric Coma: Evaluation and Prognosis. Rogers Textbook of Pediatric Critical Care, 4th Ed. DG Nichols, AD Ackerman, JA Carcillo, HJ Dalton, N Kissoon (eds.). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2008.

Posters and Presentations


Ambron E, White N, Faseyitan O, Kessler SK, Medina J, Coslett HB. Magnifying the View of the Hand Changes Its Cortical Representation. A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study. J Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Aug;30(8):1098-1107. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Abend NS, Xiao R, Kessler SK, Topjian AA. Stability of Early EEG Background Patterns After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest. J Clin Neurophysiol. 2018 May;35(3):246-250.

Gaetz W, Kessler SK, Roberts TPL, Berman JI, Levy TJ, Hsia M, Humpl D, Schwartz ES, Amaral S, Chang B, Levin LS. Massive cortical reorganization is reversible following bilateral transplants of the hands: evidence from the first successful bilateral pediatric hand transplant patient. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2017 Dec 6;5(1):92-97. eCollection 2018 Jan.

Ortiz-González XR, Tintos-Hernández JA, Keller K, Li X, Foley AR, Bharucha-Goebel DX, Kessler SK, Yum SW, Crino PB, He M, Wallace DC, Bönnemann CG. Homozygous boricua TBCK mutation causes neurodegeneration and aberrant autophagy. Ann Neurol. 2018 Jan;83(1):153-165. 


Gaetz W, Jurkiewicz MT, Kessler SK, Blaskey L, Schwartz ES, Roberts TPL. Neuromagnetic responses to tactile stimulation of the fingers: Evidence for reduced cortical inhibition for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and children with epilepsy. Neuroimage Clin. 2017 Jun 23;16:624-633. eCollection 2017.

Kessler SK, Shinnar S, Cnaan A, Dlugos D, Conry J, Hirtz DG, Hu F, Liu C, Mizrahi EM, Moshé SL, Clark P, Glauser TA; Childhood Absence Epilepsy Study Group. Pretreatment seizure semiology in childhood absence epilepsy. Neurology. 2017 Aug 15;89(7):673-679. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Boorady T, Martinez A, O’Brien M, Hagopian S, Hardacker S, Minnick J, Melamed S, Dlugos D, Marsh E, Kessler SK. Poster 3.293. Effects of CBD on cortical excitability in pediatric patients with epilepsy. American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Dec. 2017, Washington, D.C.

Fitzgerald MP, Massey SL, Fung F, Kessler SK, Abend NS. Seizures and developmental outcomes in neonates with HIE. American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Dec. 2017, Washington, D.C.

Witzman SM, Massey SL, Kessler SK, Dlugos DJ, Abend NS. Epic for standardized pediatric and neonatal ICU reporting. American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, Dec. 2017, Washington, D.C.

Editorial and Academic Positions


2011 -   Ad hoc reviewer, Epilepsy Research

2010 -   Ad hoc reviewer, Pediatric Neurology

2009 -   Ad hoc reviewer, Neuropediatrics

Academic and Institutional Committees:

2011 -   Member, Child Neurology Residency Interview Committee

2011 -   Division of Neurology representative, Graduate Medical Education Committee, Department of Pediatrics

2008 -   Member, Patient Oriented Research Committee, Department of Neurology

Leadership and Memberships

Membership in Professional Organizations
International Societies

2007-present, Society for Neuroscience

National Societies

2018-present, American Epilepsy Society, Chair, Self-Assessment Committee

2017-2018, American Epilepsy Society, Vice Chair, Self-Assessment Committee

2017, Epilepsy Study Consortium, Board Member

2011-present, Child Neurology Society

2008-present, American Epilepsy Society

2003-present, American Academy of Neurology