Paula R. Clemens, MD
Professor of Neurology, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Human Genetics and Pediatrics

Dr. Clemens is Chief of the Neurology Service of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System and a member of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program.
Office Location:
S520 Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-648-9762
Lab Telephone: 412-648-9066


  • BA - Dartmouth College, 1980
  • MD - Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1984

Clinical Expertise

  • Inherited muscle and nerve disorders
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Other muscular dystrophies
  • Late-onset Pompe disease

Research Interests

  • Molecular signaling causing skeletal muscle disease in muscular dystrophy and denervation atrophy
  • Novel treatment strategies for muscular dystrophy and denervation atrophy


American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Awards and Honors

Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011

Selected Publications

View Dr. Clemens' publications on PubMed

  1. Charan RA, Niizawa G, Nakai H, Clemens PR. AAV8 delivery of recombinant A20 to skeletal muscle reduces pathological activation of NF- B in muscle of mdx mice. Molecular Medicine 2013 Feb 8;18:1527-35. PMID:23154638, PMCID: PMC3576473
  2. McDonald C, Henricson E, Abresch R, Han J, Escolar D, Florence J, Duong T, Arrieta A, Clemens P, Hoffman E, Cnaan A, and CINRG Investigators. The CINRG Duchenne natural history study - a longitudinal natural history study in the era of glucocorticoid therapy: Design of the protocol and methods. Muscle Nerve 2013 Jul; 48(1):32-54. PMID:23677550
  3. Henricson E, Abresch R, Cnaan A, Hu F, Duong T, Arrieta A, Han J, Escolar DM, Florence JM, Clemens PR, Hoffman EP, McDonald CM and CINRG Investigators. The CINRG Duchenne natural history study: Glucocorticoid treatment preserves clinically-meaningful functional milestones and reduces rate of disease progression as measured by manual muscle testing and other commonly used clinical trial outcome measures. Muscle Nerve 2013 Jul;48 (1):55-67. PMID:23649481
  4. Fernandez I, Harlow L, Zang Y, Liu-Bryan R, Ridgway WM, Clemens PR, Ascherman DP. Functional redundancy of myD88-dependent signaling pathways in a murine model of histidyl-transfer RNA synthetase-induced myositis. Journal of Immunology 2013 Aug 15;191(4):1865-72. PMID:23842751
  5. Wood MF, Hughes SC, Hache LP, Naylor EW, Abdel-Hamid HZ, Barmada MM, Dobrowolski SF, Stickler DE, Clemens PR. Parental attitudes toward newborn screening for Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. Muscle Nerve, 2014 Jun; 49(6):822-8. PMID: 24307279
  6. Spurney C, Shimizu R, Hache, LP, Kolski H, Gordish-Dressman H, Clemens PR and the CINRG Investigators. CINRG Duchenne natural history study demonstrates insufficient diagnosis and treatment of cardiomyopathy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Muscle Nerve 2014 Aug; 50(2):250-6. PMID: 24395289. PMCID: PMC4081523 (Available 7/3/2015)
  7. Spurney CF, McCaffrey FM, Cnaan A, Morgenroth LP, Ghelani SJ, Gordish-Dressman H, Arrieta A, Connolly AM, Lotze T, McDonald C, Leshner R and Clemens PR. Feasibility and reproducibility of echocardiographic measures in children with muscular dystrophies. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 2015 Apr; epub ahead of print
  8. Reay DP, Bastacky SI, Wack KE, Stolz DB, Robbins PD, Clemens PR. D-amino acid substitution of peptide-mediated NF- B suppression in mdx mice preserves therapeutic benefit in skeletal muscle, but causes kidney toxicity. Molecular Medicine, In press.
  9. Hathout Y, Brody E, Clemens PR, Cripe L, DeLisle RK, Furlong P, Gordish-Dressman H, Hache L, Henricson E, Hoffman EP, Kobayashi YM, Lorts A, Mah JK, Sweeney HL, Williams S, Gold L. Large-scale serum protein biomarker discovery in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, In press.