Brenda Banwell, MD, Joins CHOP as Chief of Neurology

Published on in CHOP News

Banwell Brenda

Brenda Banwell, MD, Joins CHOP as Chief of Neurology

August 22, 2012 — Brenda Banwell, MD, joined The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as the new chief of the Division of Neurology, announced Alan Cohen, MD, physician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Banwell comes to CHOP from The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where she was a member of the Division of Neurology, director of the Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program and senior associate scientist in the Research Institute.

She received her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, and completed her training in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario and her training in Pediatric Neurology at the University of Toronto-The Hospital for Sick Children. After a fellowship in Neuromuscular research at the Mayo Clinic, Banwell joined the faculty of the University of Toronto, where she was professor of Pediatrics (Neurology), and on staff at Sick Kids.

Research focus on multiple sclerosis and other acquired demyelinating diseases

Banwell’s research focuses on multiple sclerosis and other acquired demyelinating diseases. She is the principal investigator of a 23-site, eight-year study to define the clinical, neuroimaging, genetic and immune factors associated with outcomes in multiple sclerosis. She is the research chair of the International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group, an organization with representatives from more than 40 countries that is focused on the clinical and research aspects of multiple sclerosis in children. 

Professional activities

She is a member of the National Institutes of Health Committee on Common Data Elements and the International Committee on Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis. Banwell is a member of the editorial board of Neurology, and is a founding and chief editor of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Dr. Banwell succeeds Dr. Gihan Tennekoon 

Banwell succeeds Gihan Tennekoon, MD.

“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Tennekoon, who has so ably served as chief of the Division of Neurology for the past 10 years,” Cohen says. “Under his leadership, the Division has more than doubled in size and has developed or vastly expanded clinical and research programs in epilepsy, stroke, brain injury, neurogenetics, neuromuscular disease, neuro-oncology and demyelinating disorders.

“The residency and fellowship training programs have been outstanding,” Cohen adds, “and in 2005 Dr. Tennekoon was awarded a K12 training grant in child neurology that has been successfully renewed and has supported the development of many of our outstanding junior faculty. He has managed every challenge with his well-known calm demeanor, quiet wisdom and deep commitment. We look forward to his continued contributions to the division and the department.”