Kristina Simonyan, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Investigator
Neurology, Mass General Research Institute
Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
Harvard Medical School
brain imaging; focal dystonia; laryngeal dystonia; neuroscience; speech disorders

Kristina Simonyan received her medical degrees (M.D. and Dr. med.) from Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia and Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany, as well as a PhD degree in Neurobiology from TiHo University of Hannover, Germany.

She completed her medical residency in otolaryngology and clinical research fellowship in movement disorders, neurolaryngology and neuroimaging. Dr. Simonyan studies the neural mechanisms of normal and diseased speech production and other complex voluntary motor behaviors.

Her clinical research program is focused on focal dystonia, a debilitating neurological movement disorder causing involuntary muscle spasms in different body regions.

Her methodological approach bridges brain imaging, computational neuroscience, genetics and clinical trials for identification of objective diagnosis, prediction of risk, and treatment of dystonia. Her recent studies have mapped the large-scale neural architecture underlying speech production and its impairments in focal dystonias.

This work has led to identification of potential neural markers of laryngeal dystonia (or spasmodic dysphonia) as well as the assessment of new therapeutic options for the treatment of this disorder. Her research is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD and NINDS), Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and Amazon Web Services.