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Claudia M. Testa

Claudia M. Testa

Director, Huntington Disease Program, designated a 2015 Center of Excellence by the Huntington's Disease Society of America

Associate Director, Clinical Care and Research

Associate Professor

LocaAssistant Professor


VCU Health: NOW Center
11958 W. Broad Street
Henrico, Virginia 23233
(804) 360-4NOW (4669)

"It didn't take me long as a physician-scientist to realize that patients are my best teachers. My job is connecting that clinical experience with research to make progress understanding and treating movement disorders. It's exciting to be in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment. Collaboration includes the communities we serve: It's critical to incorporate direct input from patients and families on care and research, and share information on what we learn and what we are doing."


  • Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program, Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), thesis defense scheduled for spring 2012
  • Movement Disorders Fellow, Emory University

  • Chief Resident, Neurology, Partners Program, Boston MA
  • Resident, Partners Program, Departments of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Intern, Department of Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston MA

  • Ph.D. Neuroscience; University of Michigan
  • M.D., University of Michigan
  • CPGS Certificate of Postgraduate Study (Masters), Engineering, Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarship for advanced study in math, science and engineering at Churchill College, Cambridge University, England
  • B.A., Biophysics, The Johns Hopkins University

Professional certifications and licenses

  • Virginia state medical license
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Research interests

  • Essential tremor, Huntington disease, dystonia, galactosemia

  • Clinical and translational research in movement disorders

  • Essential tremor molecular genetics

  • Interaction of phenotypes and genetic risks in neurodegenerative disorders

Professional affiliations

  • Tremor Research Group
  • International Basal Ganglia Society
  • Huntington Study Group (HSG)
    • Investigator member, HSG Executive Committee (elected post)
  • Movement Disorders Society
  • Movement Disorder Society Essential Tremor Task Force (appointed post)   
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
    • SfN Neurobiology of Disease Workshop Advisory Committee
  • International Essential Tremor Foundation scientific advisory board member

Recent professional achievements

  • 2008 Huntington Disease Society of America Patient and Family Service Award to the Emory Huntington Disease Center of Excellence, recognizing ten years of outstanding service to the Huntington disease community

  • 2002-05 Dr. George C. Cotzias Memorial Fellowship, American Parkinson Disease Association

Recent publications

  • Chan AW, Xu Y, Jiang J, Rahim T, Zhao D, Kocerha J, Chi T, Moran S, Engelhardt H, Larkin K, Neumann A, Cheng H, Li C, Nelson K, Banta H, Zola SM, Villinger F, Yang J, Testa CM, Mao H, Zhang X, Bachevalier J (2014) A two years longitudinal study of a transgenic Huntington disease monkey. BMC Neurosci 15:36. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-15-36.
  • Elbe R, Bain P, Forjaz MJ, Haubenberger D, Testa C, Leentjens AFG, Post B, Martinez-Martin P, Goetz C, Schrag A (2013) Task force report: scales for screening and evaluating tremor: critique and recommendations. Mov Disord. 2013 Nov;28(13):1793-800.
  • Biglan, KM, Zhang, Y, Geschwind, M, Juhl, AR, Kang,GA, Killoran, A, Lu, W, McCusker, E, Mills, JA, Raymond, LA, Testa, C, Wojcieszek,J, Paulsen, JS, on behalf of the PREDICT-HD Investigators of the Huntington Study Group. (2013) Refining the diagnosis of Huntington disease: The PREDICT-HD study. Front Aging Neurosci. 2013;5:12.
  • Testa, CM (2013) Key Issues in Essential Tremor Genetics Research: Where Are We Now and How Can We Move Forward? Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders 3: Epub 2013 Jan 22.
  • Elbe R, Comella C, Fahn S, Hallett M, Jankovic J, Juncos JL, Lewitt P, Lyons K, Ondo W, Pahwa R, Sethi K, Stover N, Tarsy D, Testa C, Tintner R, Watts R, Zesiewicz T (2012) Reliability of a new scale for essential tremor. Movement Disorders 27(12):1567-9.
  • Cloud LJ, Rosenblatt A, Margolis RL, Ross CA, Pillai JA, Corey-Bloom J, Tully HM, Bird T, Panegyres PK, Nichter CA, Higgins DS, Helmers SL, Factor SA, Hones R, Testa CM (2012) Seizures in juvenile Huntington's disease: Frequency and characterization in a multicenter cohort. Movement Disorders Nov 2.
  • Ross OA, Conneely KN, Wang T, Vilarino-Guell C, Soto-Ortolaza AI, Rajput A, Wszolek ZK, Uitti RJ, Louis ED, Clark LN, Farrer MJ, Testa CM (2011) Genetic variants of a-synuclein do not associate with essential tremor. Movement Disorders 26(14):2552-6.

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