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Melodie R. Winawer, MD, MS

  • Associate Professor of Neurology (in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at CUMC
  • Director of Clinical Neuroscience Education, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

This provider accepts new patients

Appointment Phone Number: (212) 305-6876

Melodie R. Winawer, MD, MS

Dr. Winawer's clinical interests are in epilepsy and neurogenetics. Her research focuses on the genetics of epilepsy, working to identify susceptibility genes that play a role in human health and disease. She employs genetic epidemiology techniques to investigate the role of genes in raising risk for specific clinical epilepsy subtypes in human subjects, and also uses mouse models to identify genes that contribute to seizure susceptibility. She is the director of clinical neuroscience education for the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Board Certifications

  • Neurology

Areas of Expertise

  • Genetic Disorder
  • General Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure Disorder

Languages Spoken

  • French
  • Spanish

Education & Training

  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Internship: Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: Neurological Institute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Fellowship: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


  • Neurological Institute of New York

    710 West 168th Street
    Floor: 2
    New York, NY 10032
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-6876

Centers / Institutes / Programs

  • Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • Aetna [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NY Signature, POS, PPO, Signature Administrators, Student Health]
  • Cigna [EPO, Great West, HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [Blue Priority, EPO, HMO, Medicare (Mediblue), NYP Employee Plan, Pathway (Exchange), POS, PPO]
  • Local 1199 [NYP Employee Plan]
  • MagnaCare [MagnaCare]
  • Multiplan [Multiplan]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty, Medicare Managed Care]
  • UnitedHealthcare [Columbia University Employee Plan, EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]

Contact Info

  • Office Phone: 212-305-6876

Committees / Societies / Memberships

  • American Neurological Association

Honors & Awards

  • National Headache Foundation, 2014 Seymour Diamond Lectureship Award


CURE foundation (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)  (PI: Elliott Sherr, UCSF)

Predictors of Neurodevelopmental and Epilepsy outcomes in cryptogenic Infantile Spasms

Goal: To identify clinical, electrographic, and genetic predictors of developmental and seizure outcomes in EPGP, the largest assembled cohort in the world with cryptogenic infantile spasms.

Role: Co-Investigator

Supplement to NIH/NINDS NS053998 (PI: Daniel L. Lowenstein, Subcontract PI: Melodie R. Winawer)

Centralization of The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) Cohort

Total Direct Costs: $150,000 (one year)

Goal: To centralize contact information and PHI at Columbia University for this large cohort of epilepsy participants with banked DNA to undergo sequencing via the EPI4K center without walls project.

Role: Subcontract Principal Investigator

Supplement to NIH/NINDS R01NS061991 (PI: Winawer)


Genetics of Mouse Seizure Susceptibility

Total Direct Costs: $27,699

Goal: Cryopreservation of Interval Specific Congenic Mouse Strains

Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NINDS R01NS061991 (PI: Winawer)


Genetics of Mouse Seizure Susceptibility

Total Direct Costs: $1,187,373

Goal: To identify gene variants contributing to mouse seizure susceptibility using QTL mapping and bioinformatics strategies. Candidate genes identified will be tested in a human epilepsy population.

Role: Principal Investigator

The Human Epilepsy Project (Multiple PIs: Kuzniecky, Lowenstein, Shinnar, Dlugos, French, Winawer) 4/1/12-3/30/17 Funded by the Epilepsy Consortium.

Total Costs: $5,000,000 (approximately $4.5M direct)

Goal: To identify clinical, genetic, metabolomic, imaging, and EEG predictors of outcome in a prospective study of new-onset epilepsy

Role: Principal Investigator; Chair, Comorbidity Core

NIH/NINDS NS053998 (PI: Daniel L. Lowenstein)

5/1/07 - 4/30/12 No-cost-extension 5/1/12-4/30/13

The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP)  

Total Direct Costs: $19,126,699  Subcontract Direct Costs to Columbia University: $492,256

Goal: A multi-institutional collaborative consortium for gene discovery in human epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

NIH U01 NS077367 (MPI: Berkovic/Ottman/Epstein/Cossette)

Epi4K: Gene Discovery in 4,000 Epilepsy Genomes.  5 of 7: Multiplex Families and Pairs 

Total direct costs: $944,946 (subcontract to Columbia University $159,096).

Goal:  To identify genetic variation influencing risk for epilepsy in a collaborative study using whole genome and whole exome sequencing in 4,000 epilepsy patients.  Project 5 will investigate genomes in multiplex families and affected relative pairs with epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator

R01 NS078419 (Ottman) 04/01/12-03/31/16

Psychosocial Impact of Genetics in Epilepsy

Total Direct Costs: $1,486,607
Goal: To investigate psychosocial outcomes and their relations with genetic attributions and actual genetic test results in families containing multiple individuals with epilepsy.

Role: Co-Investigator


For a complete list of publications, please visit