Zarife Sahenk, MD, PhD

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

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Zarife Sahenk, MD, PhD, is an attending neurologist at Nationwide Children's, Director of Clinical and Experimental Neuromuscular Pathology at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's and Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology and Neurology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Her laboratory plays an integral part in the preclinical studies and the gene therapy clinical trials that take place in the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. She has provided valuable analysis of muscle derived from the first clinical gene trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Limb Girdle muscular dystrophy, and follistatin gene therapy for Becker muscular dystrophy, and inclusion body myositis. A primary goal of her research program is to gain a detailed understanding of the anatomical and molecular basis of nerve degeneration and impaired regeneration in hereditary peripheral neuropathies. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of trophic factors secreted by Schwann cells in regeneration-associated myelination. The role of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in nerve regeneration in animal models of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) is currently being investigated and a gene therapy paradigm is being developed using AAV1.NT-3. In addition, a novel translational therapeutic approach that combines vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), a lentivirus vector and bone marrow derived dendritic cells for the treatment of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy is currently being developed in her laboratory.

Dr. Sahenk is named among the Best Doctors in America.

Academic and Clinical Areas
Awards, Honors & Organizations
  • Listed, Best Doctors in America

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital: 06/30/2005

Board Certifications
  • Neurology
Fellowship Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Date Completed: 06/30/1978
Residency Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Date Completed: 06/30/1975
Residency Hacettepe University Date Completed: 09/30/1972
Internship Hacettepe University Date Completed: 06/30/1972
Medical School Hacettepe University Date Completed: 07/31/1972
Professional Experience

2005 - Present The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Neuromuscular Program, Neuromuscular Pathology, Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Director

1999 - Present Department of Neurology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Professor of Neurology

1999 - 2005 Division of Neuromuscular Disease, Department of Neurology, Ohio State University Hospitals, Director of the Clinical and Experimental Neuromuscular Disease Laboratories

1983 - 1999 Department of Neurology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Associate Professor or Neurology

1986 - 1987 Bio-Architectonics Center, Case Western Reserve University, Visiting Scientist

1978 - 1983 Department of Neurology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Assistant Professor

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