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Staff Clinician

Molecular Neurogenetics Section


M.D. Kansas University Medical Center


Dr. Grisel Lopez is a Board-certified neurologist and researcher in the Medical Genetics Branch of NHGRI. She completed her medical degree and Neurology residency training (including Chief Residency) from Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) in Kansas City, Kansas. She pursued a post-doctoral fellowship in neurovirology and then was an Assistant Professor in the Neurology Department at KUMC. In 2003, she joined NHGRI under Dr. Robert Nussbaum’s leadership to focus on clinical research in the genetics of Parkinson disease. From 2006-2009, she was the lead clinician in charge of the NINDS Parkinson disease clinic under Dr. Mark Hallett, Chief Human Motor Control Section. In 2009, she joined the Laboratory of Neurogenetics under Dr. Ellen Sidransky, to expand the clinical program focusing on the revolutionary discovery of an association between mutations in GBA1 and an increased risk of developing Parkinson disease.

Scientific Summary

Dr. Lopez’ research interest focuses on the genetics of neurodegenerative disorders, specifically synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson disease and Dementia with Lewy bodies. During the past decade, her emphasis has been in the longitudinal clinical characterization of patients with Gaucher disease and GBA1 mutation carriers utilizing multiple clinical modalities and neuroimaging studies with the goal of identifying individuals on a parkinsonian trajectory early in their disease course.


Daykin EC, Poffenberger CN, Do J, Ryan E, Tayebi N, Sidransky E, Lopez G, Hadley DW. An exploration of knowledge, risk perceptions, and communication in a family with multiple genetic risks for Parkinson’s disease. J Genet Couns. 2023 Jun;32(3):750-757.

Lopez GJ, Lichtenberg J, Tayebi N, Ryan E, Lecker AL, Sidransky E. Longitudinal evaluation of olfactory function in individuals with Gaucher disease and GBA1 mutation carriers with and without Parkinson’s disease. Front Neurol 2022 Oct 18;13:1039214.

Ghatti S, Yoon E, Lopez G, Ehrlich D, Horovitz S. Imaging and genetics in Parkinson’s disease: Assessment of the GBA1 mutation. J Neurol 2022 Oct;269(10):5347-5355.

Lopez G, Steward A, Ryan E, Groden C, Wiggs E, Segala L, et al. Clinical evaluation of sibling pairs with Gaucher disease discordant for parkinsonism. Mov Disord 2020 Feb; 35(2):359-365.

Lopez G, Eisenberg DP, Gregory MD, Ianni AM, Grogans SE, Masdeu JC, et al. Longitudinal Positron Emission Tomography of Dopamine Synthesis in Subjects with GBA1 mutations. Ann Neurol 2020 Apr;87(4):662-657.

Ryan E, Amato D, MacKenzie JJ, Sidransky E, Lopez G. Parkinsonism in Patients with Neuronopathic (Type 3) Gaucher Disease: A Case Series. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2020 Aug 17;7(7):834-837.

Lopez G, Kim J, Wiggs E, Cintron D, Groden C, Tayebi N, et al. Clinical course and prognosis in patients with Gaucher disease and parkinsonism. Neurol Genet 2016 Mar 4;2(2):e57.

Last updated: November 6, 2023