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Department Faculty

Paula R. Clemens, MD

Professor of Neurology, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Human Genetics and Pediatrics,
Chief, Neurology Service, Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System
Phone: (412) 648-3299
Clinical Appointments: (412) 692-4920

Specialized Areas of Interest

Inherited muscle and nerve disorders; duchenne muscular dystrophy; other muscular dystrophies; late-onset Pompe disease; mitochondrial encephalomyopathies.


Dr. Clemens’ activities include patient care, with a specific emphasis on inherited myopathies, clinical research in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and late-onset Pompe disease and basic laboratory research. She directs the neurology service of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System. She is actively involved in both graduate and medical education.

Dr. Clemens has clinical trials open for enrollment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She is study chair for a multi-center clinical study testing pharmacological agents on pulmonary and cardiac outcome measures in wheelchair-confined Duchenne muscular dystrophy adolescents. She is involved in an enzyme replacement treatment study for late-onset Pompe disease that is now closed for enrollment.

Dr. Clemens directs an active basic research laboratory focused on gene transfer for the treatment of skeletal muscle diseases. The principal disease models studied in her laboratory are Duchenne muscular dystrophy and muscle cachexia. Her laboratory pursues studies of in utero gene transfer to muscle using both intramuscular and systemic delivery approaches. Her laboratory has long-standing interest in the immunology of gene transfer for muscle disease. The current direction of this research is to characterize the role of regulatory T cells in the muscle pathology of the mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, with particular emphasis on the setting of therapeutic dystrophin gene transfer.

Dr. Clemens co-directs a second year medical student course, Integrated Case Studies. This is a unique course based on selected clinical cases and is designed to serve as a bridge from the pre-clinical to the clinical years of medical school. Students meet in small groups with a faculty facilitator and work through the cases that are presented on a computer-based platform maintained by the Laboratory for Educational Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Clemens' publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Board Certifications

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Presbyterian
Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System

Professional Organization Membership

American Academy of Neurology
American Neurological Association
American Society of Gene Therapy

Editorial Service:

• Ad Hoc Reviewer:

Gene Therapy
Human Gene Therapy
Molecular Therapy
Muscle and Nerve
Neuromuscular Disorders

Dr. Clemens

Dr. Clemens