Berge A. Minassian, M.D., is a pediatric neurologist who practices at Children’s Health℠. Dr. Minassian specializes in the expert diagnosis, care and study of children who have epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases and neurogenetic conditions.
Dr. Minassian leads the Neurosciences Center at Children’s Health and is Chief of the Pediatric Neurology Division at UT Southwestern. He also serves on the faculty of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern.
During much of his career, Dr. Minassian has been fascinated with neurogenetics, the role of genes in the development and function of the nervous system.
His special interests include Lafora disease, a severe form of epilepsy for which Dr. Minassian’s lab discovered the genes. He also has a special interest in adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD), a rare condition which affects the nervous system.
Dr. Minassian earned his medical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal and performed a neurology residency at West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He then completed clinical and postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, where he focused on pediatric neurology, epileptology, and molecular genetics and neurogenetics.
Dr. Minassian is a neurology fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has received many professional honors including the Jacob's Ladder 2014 Norman Saunders International Research Prize for Outstanding Scientist and the American Academy of Neurology 2007 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award.
Dr. Minassian with colleague Dr. Steven Gray is leading the development of a Gene Therapy Program at UT Southwestern in collaboration with Children’s Health. This transformative program will aim to bring gene replacement therapy to numerous genetic brain diseases of children.
Education and Training
- Medical School
- McGill University (1992)
- University of Toronto (1993), Internal Medicine
- University of California, Los Angeles (1996), Neurology
- University of Toronto (1998), Pediatric Neurology
- Board Certification
- Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons Canada
Departments and Programs
- Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsy
- Lafora Disease
- Gene Therapy
- Nitschke F, Sullivan MA, Wang P, Zhao X, Chown EE, Perri AM, Israelian L, Juana-López L, Bovolenta P, Rodríguez de Córdoba S, Steup M, Minassian BA. Abnormal glycogen chain length pattern, not hyperphosphorylation, is critical in Lafora disease. EMBO Mol Med. 2017 May 23. pii: e201707608.
- Dad R, Malik U, Javed A, Minassian BA, Hassan MJ. Structural annotation of Beta-1,4-N-acetyl galactosyltransferase 1 (B4GALNT1) causing Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia 26. Gene. 2017 May 20. pii: S0378-1119(17)30387-6.
- Munteanu I, Kalimo H, Saraste A, Nishino I, Minassian BA. Cardiac autophagic vacuolation in severe X-linked myopathy with excessive autophagy. Neuromuscul Disord. 2017 Feb;27(2):185-187.
- Mishra N, Wang P, Goldsmith D, Zhao X, Xue Y, Christians U, Minassian BA. Everolimus does not prevent Lafora body formation in murine Lafora disease. Neurol Genet. 2017 Jan 9;3(1):e127.
- Han C, Alkhater R, Froukh T, Minassian AG, Galati M, Liu RH, Fotouhi M, Sommerfeld J, Alfrook AJ, Marshall C, Walker S, Bauer P, Scherer SW, Riess O, Buchert R, Minassian BA, McPherson PS. Epileptic Encephalopathy Caused by Mutations in the Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor DENND5A. Am J Hum Genet. 2016 Dec 1;99(6):1359-1367.
- de Lange IM, Helbig KL, Weckhuysen S, Møller RS, Velinov M, Dolzhanskaya N, Marsh E, Helbig I, Devinsky O, Tang S, Mefford HC, Myers CT, van Paesschen W, Striano P, van Gassen K, van Kempen M, de Kovel CG, Piard J, Minassian BA, Nezarati MM, Pessoa A, Jacquette A, Maher B, Balestrini S, Sisodiya S, Warde MT, De St Martin A, Chelly J; EuroEPINOMICS-RES MAE working group., van 't Slot R, Van Maldergem L, Brilstra EH, Koeleman BP. De novo mutations of KIAA2022 in females cause intellectual disability and intractable epilepsy. J Med Genet. 2016 Dec;53(12):850-858.
- American Academy of Neurology
- American Academy of Neurology, Neurogenetics Section
- Canadian Medical Association
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
- Ontario Medical Association
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada
Awards and Honors
- The Norman Saunders “Jacob's Ladder International Research Prize” for Outstanding Scientist
- Leadership Award in E-Infrastructure in recognition of outstanding leadership in research and innovation in Ontario, The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION).
- Keynote Speaker, Benjamin Boshes Memorial Lectureship, Israeli Neurological Association Annual Meeting
- Sanofi Pasteur Research Award, for excellence in Canadian child health research, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award for Independent contribution to epilepsy research, American Academy of Neurology
- Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Neurogenetics
- John Stobo Prichard Award, International Child Neurology Association