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25 March 2014 Written by  Forward Times Staff

Empowering Women Who Empower Us All: Dr. Ericka Simpson

Ericka P. Simpson, M.D. is a native Houstonian and Director of The Neurology Residency Program at The Methodist Hospital. Dr. Simpson received a B.A. from Rice University, Houston, Texas, and also her M.D. from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, Texas.

Dr. Simpson is Co-director, MDA Neuromuscular Clinics and Director, ALS Clinical Research Division. Her clinical focus includes a wide range of neuromuscular disorders: Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Neuropathy, ALS, Inflammatory myopathy, mitochondrial and metabolic myopathy.

While completing her postdoctoral training, Dr. Simpson studied under the renowned Dr. Stanley Appel, the current chair of the Department of Neurology at The Methodist Hospital and the founder of the Methodist Neurological Institute. After completion of a fellowship in Dr. Appel’s laboratory, she became a tenure track Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Simpson is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Minority Medical Faculty Development Program. She joined the Methodist Hospital Physician Organization in 2005.

She is also education director of the Neurology residency program and Neuromuscular Medicine Fellowship Program. She has served as an writer for the American Academy of Neurology’s Residency In Service Training Examination Committee, and as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Part II Certification Board Exam. She currently serves as co-chair for the ALS/MND session of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and Sub-committee Chair of the Neurology Self-Assessment Examination (Annual Meeting Edition 2013).

Dr. Simpson has a passion for several major areas of research, which include, Neurology, ALS, biomarkers, dendritic cells, MCP-1, microglia, stem cells. Dr. Simpson’s research aims to characterize the peripheral immune inflammatory response in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and identify the potential markers that may reflect disease activity and progression. Her translational research seeks to identify and develop effective therapies that positively alter the natural progression of these diseases. Dr. Simpson’s research has demonstrated an apparent overreaction of the microglia cells that surround the motor neurons, thus providing a potential therapy in the form of homologous bone marrow-derived stem cell transplants.

Dr. Ericka P. Simpson is a wife and a mother who has proven to be one of Houston’s most empowering women.