Autonomic Disorders Research Training | NYU Langone Health

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Autonomic Disorders Research Autonomic Disorders Research Training

Autonomic Disorders Research Training

Faculty in the Division of Autonomic Disorders are dedicated mentors, and offer research training opportunities to medical students, residents, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and clinical fellows.

Resident and Medical Student Research

Residents and medical students interested in research opportunities should contact the investigator they are interested in working with directly. Below are faculty who are leading studies that residents and medical students can participate in.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Horacio Kaufmann

Horacio Kaufmann, MD has two research opportunities available to medical students and residents. In addition, see below for two additional opportunities led in collaboration with Jose-Alberto Palma, MD, PhD.

The Natural History of Familial Dysautonomia is a prospective, longitudinal, natural history study of patients with genetically confirmed familial dysautonomia (FD). These patients have a complex neurologic phenotype affecting primary sensory, including proprioceptive and autonomic neurons. The afferent baroreceptor neurons, which normally provide proprioceptive signaling from the blood vessels, fail to develop, leaving patients with FD unable to regulate blood pressure.

The Natural History of Congenital Insensitivity to Pain is a prospective, longitudinal, natural history study of patients with genetically confirmed insensitivity to pain, a rare genetic disease that affects the function of sensory and autonomic neurons. It is inherited in an autosomal-recessive manner and associated with missense, nonsense, or frameshift mutations in the NTRK1 gene that encodes for tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TRKA), part of the high-affinity receptor for nerve growth factor (NGF).

Research Opportunities with Dr. Horacio Kaufmann and Dr. Jose-Alberto Palma

A collaboration between Horacio Kaufmann, MD, director of the Multiple System Atrophy Research Program, and Jose-Alberto Palma, MD, PhD is open to medical students and residents who are interested in gaining research experience.

The Global Multiple System Atrophy Registry (GLoMSAR) is a registry of patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA), a rare and rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder. GLoMSAR aims to maintain an updated registry of patients with MSA worldwide, to remain informed of the latest research, and to gather information about MSA patients via surveys.

The Natural History Study of the Synucleinopathies is a prospective, longitudinal, multicenter natural history study of patients with synucleinopathies, including patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, and dementia with Lewy bodies, as well as patients with prodromal synucleinopathies, such as pure autonomic failure and REM behavior disorder. The goals are to identify risk factors of phenoconversion from prodromal to an established synucleinopathy, develop and validate biomarkers that can predict phenoconversion, and identify endophenotypes most likely to respond to future disease-modifying drugs in clinical trials.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Alejandra Gonzalez-Duarte Briseno

Alejandra Gonzalez-Duarte Briseno, MD, PhD, leads research projects at the Dysautonomia Center that comprise clinical evaluation, laboratory testing through different studies, and treatment plans of the most common conditions associated with dysautonomia. In particular, we have cohort of patients with amyloidosis, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and post-infectious (including COVID-19) acute, subacute, or chronic dysautonomia.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Patricio A. Millar Vernetti

Patricio A. Millar Vernetti, MD, offers opportunities for graduate and postgraduate students interested in research projects to participate in natural history studies of patients with synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, dementia with Lewy bodies, pure autonomic failure, and REM sleep behavior disorder), familial dysautonomia (HSAN-III), and congenital insensitivity to pain and anhidrosis (HSAN-IV).

Graduate Student Research

Graduate students who are interested in conducting autonomic research are required to select a thesis advisor and do lab rotations. Please consult your school’s program policies and requirements for more information about choosing a lab.

Postdoctoral Research

In partnership with NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology, there are National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32–funded postdoctoral positions available for neurodegenerative research in autonomic disorders. The goal of this program is to train scientists and clinician–scientists to be future leaders in the field of neurodegenerative research and the aging brain.


The Division of Autonomic Disorders has an accredited Autonomic Disorders Fellowship to train physicians and research scientists in the care of nongenetic disorders of the autonomic nervous system as well as in current research on disorders of orthostatic intolerance and orthostatic hypotension.