Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Tracy S Gertler, MD, PhD

Tracy S Gertler, MD, PhD

Instructor of Pediatrics (Neurology and Epilepsy)

Focus of Work

Bio

Dr. Gertler completed her undergraduate degree in molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton University, her medical school degree at Northwestern University Feinberg school of medicine, her graduate degree studying neuromodulation in altered dopamingeric states in the basal ganglia at Northwestern University in the lab of Dr. D. James Surmeier, and her pediatrics/child neurology residency at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Academic Focus

The goal of my basic science research is to understand the mechanisms by which genetic ion channel variants identified in patients with early-onset epilepsy translate to altered channel biophysics when isolated in an expression system, to abnormal intrinsic neuronal excitability when studied in patient-derived neurons (made from induced pluripotent stem cell lines), and to circuit-level disruption resulting in epileptogenesis in transgenic animal models. This three-pronged approach shares a comm...[Read full text]The goal of my basic science research is to understand the mechanisms by which genetic ion channel variants identified in patients with early-onset epilepsy translate to altered channel biophysics when isolated in an expression system, to abnormal intrinsic neuronal excitability when studied in patient-derived neurons (made from induced pluripotent stem cell lines), and to circuit-level disruption resulting in epileptogenesis in transgenic animal models. This three-pronged approach shares a common pathophysiologic protein, and is intended to identify new therapeutic targets by complementary ion channel, neuronal, and synaptic modulation.[Shorten text]

Clinical Focus

My clinical time is split between inpatient attending on the general neurology service, and a dedicated outpatient general neurology/neurogenetics clinic increasingly focused on patients with new-onset genetic epilepsy, epilepsy with multiple family members affected, chromosomal abnormalities including CNVs complicated by epilepsy, and genetic variants of unknown significance requiring careful consideration of rational therapies and integration of translational bench-bedside research approaches.

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Education and Certification

  • PhD: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Neuroscience (2009)
  • MD: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2011)
  • Residency: Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center (Lurie Children's Hospital), Pediatrics (2013)
  • Residency: Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center (Lurie Children's Hospital), Child Neurology (2016)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Pharmacology (2017)