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Maria Luisa Escolar, MD, MS

Maria Escolar, MD
Job Title Director, Program for the Study of Neurodevelopment in Rare Disorders
Job Title Associate Professor, Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
General Directions: To learn more, visit http://www.chp.edu/ndrd.
412-692-9955 Phone
412-692-9900 Fax

Education and Training

Medical School:

1988 MS, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Institute of Human Nutrition, New York, NY
1986 MD, Escuela Colombiana de Medicina, Bogota, Colombia


1993 Pediatrics, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY


1995 Child Development and Behavioral Pediatrics, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY


  • American College of Medical Genetics, Newborn Screening Translational Network Workgroup
  • Advisory Committee for the Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center
  • New York State Krabbe Newborn screening Consortium
  • MLD Foundation, Medical and Scientific Advisory Board

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Diplomate
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates


  •  2005 Translational Science Scholar, UNC School of Medicine Dean's Office, Program in Translational Science
  • 1993 Supplement grant award for Minority Individuals in Postdoctoral training, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development


  • Fan Z, Styner M, Muenzer J, Poe MD, Escolar, ML. Correlation of Automated Volumetric Analysis of Brain MR Imaging with Cognitive Impairment in a Natural History Study of Mucopolysaccharidosis II. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2010 Mar 4.
  • Mahmood A, Berry J, Wenger DA, Escolar ML, Sobeih M, Raymond G, Eichler F. Metachromatic leukodystrophy: a Case of Triplets with Late Infantile Variant and a Systematic Review of the Literature.  J Child Neurol. 2009 Dec 28.
  • Escolar ML, Poe MD, Smith JK, Gilmore JH, Kurtzberg J, Lin W, Styner M. Diffusion tensor imaging detercts abnormalitites in the corticospinal tracts of neonates with infantile Krabbe disease. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2009 May;30(5):1017-21. Epub 2009 Apr 22.

    View Dr. Escolar's full list of publications from PubMed.

Biography Summary

The NDRD was established in 2002 because of the need of help children and their families understand the overall impact of rare neurological diseases in child development. Dr. Escolar is a graduate of the Escuela Colombiana de Medicina. She has a master's of science in human nutrition from Columbia University and completed a residency in general pediatrics and fellowship in child development and behavior at Cornell University Medical Center in 1995.

Dr. Escolar is board-certified in neurodevelopmental disabilities. She has 15 years of experience as a practicing clinician and researcher. Dr. Escolar has authored multiple original manuscripts, including two New England Journal of Medicine articles. She is nationally and internationally known for her work in neurodevelopment of children with leukodystrophies and mucopolysaccharidosis. Her research focuses on behavioral and neuroimaging outcome measurements.

Active Research Projects / Grants

  • Research in Krabbe disease
  • Natural History Study of Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy (Krabbe Disease)
  • DTI as a Tool to Identify Infants with Krabbe Disease in Need of Urgent Treatment
Last Update
May 16, 2013
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Last Update
May 16, 2013