Sailaja Golla, M.D., was drawn to medicine because it would give her the ability to help others, but it was her interest in the brain and how it develops that led to her career as a pediatric neurologist specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder. “I find this challenging work extremely rewarding,” says Dr. Golla. “Every day, I work to help change the life of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and develop plans to help successfully guide them into adulthood.”
As a pediatric neurologist, Dr. Golla manages a number of multidisciplinary clinics including the Rare Autism Variants clinic, Fragile X Syndrome clinic, a Post Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) clinic and the Pitt Hopkins Syndrome clinic, (Pitt Hopkins clinic is one of only three such clinics in the country). The Post-ECMO clinic is also one of the few in the nation and was uniquely developed by Dr. Golla at Children’s Health in collaboration with ICU and NICU physicians.
Dr. Golla earned her medical degree at Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Brooklyn Hospital Center and The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. She completed additional training in pediatric neurology and neurodevelopment disabilities training at UT Southwestern, where she won the Leon Weisberg Award for outstanding research manuscript as a resident. She is the first graduate from the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of only eight such training programs in the country. She is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in neurology with special qualification in child neurology.
Dr. Golla has lectured and presented on autism, genetics and pediatric neurology at numerous national conferences and meetings. She has also authored multiple textbook chapters on neurologic conditions. She has been invited to be a panel advisor for Rare Disease Research Network and serves on the International Affairs Committee at the Child Neurology Society.
Dr. Golla is an active researcher. She is a site investigator for national, multicenter clinical trials examining possible new medicines for autism and autism variants like Fragile X syndrome. She has published research on the molecular characteristics of autism mutations and mitochondrial disorders. As part of her management of the ECMO clinic, she is studying the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of children who received ECMO and children with congenital heart disease. She has been widely published, including in the Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease and Neurology Genetics.
“I strongly believe that the development of new medicines, new procedures and new technologies is possible only when you have a passion for research,” says Dr. Golla. “Without clinical research, we would not be able to know if these new treatments can help children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.”
Dr. Golla participates with many parent associations, including Autism Speaks and the Pitt Hopkins Foundation, helping teach parents and patients more about their conditions. She also supports community events like Stephanie’s Day, Autism Speaks Walk and the Fragile X Foundation.
Her expertise has earned her recognition, including the America’s Best Physician award from the National Consumer Advisory Board, the Texas Super Doctor Award and the She Mom-Approved Doctor Award for the DFW North Texas area.
In her free time, Dr. Golla enjoys dancing and cooking. She speaks English, Hindi, Telugu, and Kannada.
Education and Training
- Medical School
- Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (2000)
- Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (1999), Rotating
- UT Southwestern - Children's Medical Center (2008), Child Neurology
The Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo (2004), Pediatrics
Brooklyn Hospital Center (2003), Pediatrics
- UT Southwestern - Children's Medical Center (2010), Neurodevelopmental Medicine
- Board Certification
- American Board of Psy&Neurology/Child Neurology
Departments and Programs
- Autism and learning disabilities
- Cognitive disabilities in patients with Dystrophinopathies
- Dystrophinopathy in young girls
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Long term Neurodevelopmental sequelae in Neonates with Cardiac injury
- Long term Neurodevelopmental Sequelae of Patients exposed to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
- MELAS (Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes)
- Phelen Mc Dermid Syndrome
Evolution of EEG findings in children with autism spectrum disorder: A tertiary care centre’s clinical experience; Drew M Thodeson, Delaney Dowd, Sailaja Golla, Patricia Evans, Rong Huang and Deepa Sirsi. J Psychol Psychiatry, 2018 doi: 10.15761/JPP.1000111 Volume 2(2): 1-4
- Pitt Hopkins Syndrome: A Review of Current Literature, Clinical Approach, and 23-Patient Case Series. Goodspeed K, Newsom C, Morris MA, Powell C, Evans P, Golla S; J Child Neurol. 2018
- Identification of novel candidate disease genes from de novo exonic copy number variants.Gambin T, Yuan B, Bi W, Liu P, Rosenfeld JA, Coban-Akdemir Z, Pursley AN, Nagamani SCS, Marom R, Golla S,Stankiewicz P et al; Genome Med. 2017
- Intramyocellular lipid excess in the mitochondrial disorder MELAS: MRS determination at 7T; Golla S, Ren J, Malloy CR, Pascual JM. Neurology Genetics; May 2017
- Coagulation profile is not a predictor of acute cerebrovascular events in pediatric ECMO patients; Anton-Martin P, Journeycake J, Modem V, Golla S, Raman L, Tweed J, Darnell-Bowens C. ASAIO Journal 2017 Jul 3
- De novo and inherited mutations in the X-linked gene CLCN4 are associated with syndromic intellectual disability and behavior and seizure disorders in males and females; Palmer EE, Stuhlmann T, Weinert S, Haan E, Van Esch H, Holvoet M, Boyle J, Leffler M, Raynaud M, Moraine C, van Bokhoven H, Kleefstra T, Kahrizi K, Naimabadi H, Ropers HH, Delgado MR, Sirsi D, Golla S, et al., ; Molecular Psychiatry 2016 Aug 23
- Efficacy of Low-Dose Buspirone for Restricted and Repetitive Behavior in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Trial, Chugani DC, Chugani HT, Wiznitzer M, Parikh S, Evans PA, Hansen RL, Nass R, Janisse JJ, Dixon-Thomas P, Behen M, Rothermel R, Parker JS, Kumar A, Muzik O, Edwards DJ, Hirtz D J. Pediatr. 2015 Dec
- Molecular and clinical analyses of 16q24.1 duplications involving FOXF1 identify an evolutionarily unstable large minisatellite, Dharmadhikari AV, Gambin T, Szafranski P, Cao W, Probst FJ, Jin W, Fang P, Gogolewski K, Gambin A, George-Abraham JK, Golla S, Boidein F, Duban-Bedu B, Delobel B, Andrieux J, Becker K, Holinski-Feder E, Cheung S, Stankiewicz P BMC Med. Genet. 2014 Dec 15 1 128
- Neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral characteristics in males and females with CDKL5 duplications, Szafranski P, Golla S, Jin W, Fang P, Hixson P, Matalon R, Kinney D, Bock HG, Craigen W, Smith JL, Bi W, Patel A, Wai Cheung S, Bacino CA, Stankiewicz P Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 2014 Oct
- Assessments of Cerebral Blood Flow, Hemodynamics and Metabolism in Patients on ECMO Using TCD and NIRS, F. Tian, L. Raman, S. Golla, and H. Liu Biomedical Optics 2014 April 2014 BM3A.25.
- Corticosteroid therapy in regressive autism: Preliminary findings from a retrospective study, Golla S, Sweeney JA BMC Med 2014 12 1 79
- Dystrophinopathy in girls with limb girdle muscular dystrophy phenotype, Golla S, Agadi S, Burns DK, Marks W, Dev Batish S, del Gaudio D, Iannaccone ST J Clin Neuromuscul Dis 2010 Jun 11 4 203-8
- Metabolic and Genetic Causes of Autism. In Rosenberg's Molecular and Genetic Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disease, 2014, Golla S and Evans P (2014).
- Autism Spectrum Disorder-Clinical Considerations. In Rosenberg's Molecular and Genetic Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disease, Evans.P, Golla S and Morris MM (2014).
- The International Child Neurology Association (2017)
- National Fragile X Society (2012)
- National Autism Society (2010)
- Texas Medical Association (2010)
- Texas Neurological Society (2010)
- American Academy of Neurology (2006)
- Child Neurology Society (2006)
Awards and Honors
- Texas Top Doctors - USA Top Doctors (2018)
- Mom Approved Doctor - DFW North Texas Child Parent Magazine (2017)
- America's Best Physician - National Consumer Advisory Board (2015, 2016)
- America's Top Physicians: Neurology - Consumers Research Council of America (2015)
- Texas Super Doctor - Texas Monthly Magazine (2015)
- Americas Top Physicians - Consumers Research Council of America (2013)
- Hegi Research Scholarship Award - (2009)
- Leon Weisberg Award, Department of Neurology - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2009)
- Teva Neuroscience Award, Department of Neurology - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2007-2008)