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NYU Langone Provider

Heidi Schambra, MD

NYU Langone Provider
  • Specialties: Vascular Neurology, Neurology
  • Treats: Adults
  • Language: English
  • Phone: 212-598-6000
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My mother, who was a neuroscientist, inspired my love for the brain. What excites me most about the brain is its capacity for plasticity, the ability to physically change in response to new experiences and activities. Neuroplasticity is the driver of our ability to learn new movements, language, and information.

During neurology residency, I discovered that doctors have few therapies to offer patients who are recovering from stroke, which is a leading cause of disability in the United States. I was surprised that the field of neurology had not yet harnessed neuroplasticity to help patients recover, so that they could effectively relearn how to feed, dress, and care for themselves. I decided to build a research program focused on neurorehabilitation that targets neuroplasticity to help people recover from stroke.

Part of my research seeks to identify pathways in the brain that are important for regaining upper limb function after stroke. Doctors can then boost neuroplasticity in these pathways through interventions like rehabilitation training, brain stimulation, and pharmacology. Another part of my research is developing a measurement tool to automatically count rehabilitation movements, so that rehabilitation training can be delivered to patients in a high-intensity, measured fashion.

In my clinical role, I care for people who are inpatients at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation. I work with physiatrists, occupational and physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists to optimize patients’ medical state and to maximize their rehabilitation training.

My patients benefit from access to clinical trials, which may help to restore their upper limb function. Through my involvement in these trials, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to help patients and advance rehabilitation options.

My research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.

Board Certifications
  • American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology - Neurology, 2008
Education and Training
  • Fellowship, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Neurorehabilitation, 2012
  • Fellowship, National Institutes of Health / NINDS, Neuromodulation, 2010
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2007
  • MD from Emory University, 2003

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Heidi Schambra, MD does not accept insurance.

Locations and Appointments

NYU Langone Neurology Associates

301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003


neuroplasticity, stroke recovery, motor skill learning, noninvasive brain stimulation, neuromodulation, neurorehabilitation, motor recovery

Research Summary

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Stroke frequently devastates movement, limiting the ability to feed, bathe, dress, and care for oneself. Although the brain is capable of some reorganization after stroke, recovery is generally incomplete and inadequate. We believe that neurorehabilitation can--and should--do better.

The central mission of our research is to restore motor function after stroke by harnessing the brain's neuroplastic potential. We focus on developing methods to accelerate motor learning and recovery, and on understanding the mechanisms that underlie this acceleration. We study individuals who are healthy and who have had a stroke. Our research seeks to hone neurorehabilitation strategies, guided by our understanding of neuroplasticity and learning.  

Academic Contact

Lab Website

These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from PubMed and the MeSH term library. *
represents one publication
*Due to PubMed processing times, the most recent publications may not be reflected in the timeline.

  • A pilot single-site study to assess the effect of exoskeletal support on motor control strategies in individuals with stroke

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  • Validation of Early Prognostic Data for Recovery Outcome after Stroke for Future Higher Yield Trials (VERIFY)

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  • Effects of global brain health on sensorimotor recovery after stroke

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View All Research Studies (7)

  • Parnandi, Avinash; Kaku, Aakash; Venkatesan, Anita; Pandit, Natasha; Fokas, Emily; Yu, Boyang; Kim, Grace; Nilsen, Dawn; Fernandez-Granda, Carlos; Schambra, Heidi

    Bioengineering. 2023 May 26; 10(6):

  • Liew, Sook-Lei; Schweighofer, Nicolas; Cole, James H; Zavaliangos-Petropulu, Artemis; Lo, Bethany P; Han, Laura K M; Hahn, Tim; Schmaal, Lianne; Donnelly, Miranda R; Jeong, Jessica N; Wang, Zhizhuo; Abdullah, Aisha; Kim, Jun H; Hutton, Alexandre; Barisano, Giuseppe; Borich, Michael R; Boyd, Lara A; Brodtmann, Amy; Buetefisch, Cathrin M; Byblow, Winston D; Cassidy, Jessica M; Charalambous, Charalambos C; Ciullo, Valentina; Conforto, Adriana Bastos; Dacosta-Aguayo, Rosalia; DiCarlo, Julie A; Domin, Martin; Dula, Adrienne N; Egorova-Brumley, Natalia; Feng, Wuwei; Geranmayeh, Fatemeh; Gregory, Chris M; Hanlon, Colleen A; Hayward, Kathryn; Holguin, Jess A; Hordacre, Brenton; Jahanshad, Neda; Kautz, Steven A; Khlif, Mohamed Salah; Kim, Hosung; Kuceyeski, Amy; Lin, David J; Liu, Jingchun; Lotze, Martin; MacIntosh, Bradley J; Margetis, John L; Mataro, Maria; Mohamed, Feroze B; Olafson, Emily R; Park, Gilsoon; Piras, Fabrizio; Revill, Kate P; Roberts, Pamela; Robertson, Andrew D; Sanossian, Nerses; Schambra, Heidi M; Seo, Na Jin; Soekadar, Surjo R; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Stinear, Cathy M; Taga, Myriam; Tang, Wai Kwong; Thielman, Greg T; Vecchio, Daniela; Ward, Nick S; Westlye, Lars T; Winstein, Carolee J; Wittenberg, George F; Wolf, Steven L; Wong, Kristin A; Yu, Chunshui; Cramer, Steven C; Thompson, Paul M

    Neurology. 2023 May 16; 100(20):e2103-e2113

  • Hayes, Leticia; Taga, Myriam; Charalambous, Charalambos C; Raju, Sharmila; Lin, Jing; Schambra, Heidi M

    Journal of the neurological sciences. 2023 May 13; 450:120688

Read All Publications (40)

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