Neuro-Immunology - Multiple Sclerosis Center

Neuroimmunology Faculty Retreat

Under the guidance of world-renowned MS clinician-scientist, Dr. David Hafler, Division Chief of Neuro-Immunology, the Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center provides state-of-the-art treatment for patients with MS and related diseases, and engages in basic research and clinical trials to advance both the understanding of the disorder and continually improve treatment options. The Yale MS Center is focused on patient care and research, with cutting edge clinical trials and laboratory research in collaboration with the division of Human Translational Immunology in the Department of Immunobiology, the Magnetic Resonance Research Center in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, and Computational Biology and Genetics. The multidisciplinary program has numerous clinical trials in progress with highly experienced personnel, including specially trained physicians, and nurses. The Yale Neuroimaging Center provides advanced imaging and MRI scanners for MS patients. The Center has participated in pivotal trials in many of the currently approved drugs for MS, including glatiramer acetate (Copaxone®), interferons including Avonex®, mitoxantrone (Novantrone®), and natalizumab (Tysabri®), as well as the recently approved oral disease modifying therapy, fingolimod (Gilenya®) and BG-12 (Tecfidera®).

Bio Profile

David Hafler, MD

Division Chief

William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology

Chair, Department of Neurology

Neurologist-in-Chief, Yale New Haven Hospital

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Bio Profile

Mary Bailey, MD

Assistant Professor

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Bio Profile

Katherine DeStefano, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

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Adeniyi A. Fisayo, MD, PharmD

Assistant Professor of Neurology and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

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Christoph Juchem, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor

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David Pitt, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology

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to schedule an appointment or make a referral to one of our neuro-immunology specialists.


Multiple Sclerosis

The Multiple Sclerosis Center is currently participating in several large, multi-site clinical trials, including:

  • Long-term follow-up of patients in the initial Copaxone study;
  • Combi-Rx, a trial comparing the benefit of Copaxone to Avonex or the combination of the two;
  • BG12 (fumarate) laquinimod, and FTY720 (fingolimod), novel oral therapies for the treatment of MS;
  • Nerispirdine, a drug related to fampridine, which improves walking speed and balance in MS patients (primarily those with spinal cord lesions);
  • Alemtuzumab (Campath, anti-CD52), an immunosuppressive monoclonal antibody which targets CD52, a protein present on the surface of mature lymphocytes.

Preliminary results of several of these studies are promising- for example, regarding fingolimod: new data show 89% of patients in the study were free from active brain lesions three years after starting treatment, and have significantly reduced annualized relapse rates [52% (0.5 mg dose) and 38% (1.25 mg)] compared to interferon beta-1a after one year of treatment. Please reach out to Lia Louizos ( for further information related to MS drug trials.

The new Chairman of the Yale Department of Neurology is world-renowned Professor David A. Hafler, MD. Dr Hafler’s research has greatly advanced the understanding of the function of the immune system in MS, of the relationship of MS to other autoimmune diseases, and most recently of the genetic underpinnings of MS in relation to autoimmune diseases. He also sees patients in consultation at the MS Clinic. See Dr. Hafler's Laboratory website for more information.

The new Chief of the Division of Neuro-immunology and Yale MS Center is Dr. Daniel Pelletier, from the University of California San Francisco. He also sees patients in consultation at the MS Clinic. Dr. Pelletier’s research focuses on quantitative advanced in vivo imaging of patients with multiple sclerosis. Using molecular and high-resolution very high field imaging, Dr. Pelletier seek to better understand the relation between inflammation and neurodegeneration. His lab is currently seeking healthy and MS participants to investigate new PET ligands related to microglial activation and MRS metabolites associated with neurotransmission and antioxidation. Interested participants should contact Aracely Delgadillo ( for further information.

Ongoing basic research investigates the biology and etiology (cause) of MS, which include genetics studies, investigations of biomarkers, tests that have the potential to predict responses to different treatments, longitudinal and prospective deep phenotype-genotype study, and novel imaging studies to measure inflammatory activity in the brain. In addition to clinical trials of new treatments and laboratory investigations to better understand the biology of MS, we collaborate with Yale Magnetic Resonance Research Center, PET Center, and Clinical Neuroscience Imaging Center (CNIC) to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of MS and its treatment.