Division of Neurology

Our Division of Neurology has been named a top 50 Neurology program by U.S. News and World Report, providing some of the best care in the nation. Our team provides expert diagnosis of neurologic conditions via our nationally-accredited neurodiagnostic labs that include vascular, autonomic and neurophysiology. In addition to general neurology, our division subspecialists have extensive experience diagnosing or treating epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disease, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, and vascular neurology, and we staff a number of Scripps programs and clinics to carefully address these conditions with patients. We often work in conjunction with Scripps Clinic for Integrative Medicine to provide patients with a holistic approach and medical integrated care. With a team of more than twenty neurologists, a neuropsychologist and Advanced Practice Clinicians, we work collaboratively within and across departments to research, understand, and provide the best care possible to neurology patients everywhere.

Areas of particular interest and expertise are noted below:

Charles Smith, MD (Division Head)

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Headache

Joshua Alexander, DO

  • General Neurology
  • Osteopathy

Mindy Bixby, DO

  • Headache
  • Movement disorders

Abraham Chyung, MD, PhD

  • Epilepsy
  • Dementia

Robert Claycomb, MD

  • Vascular Neurology
  • Neurohospitalist

Julian Duda, MD

  • Neurohospitalist

Emily Rubinstein Engel, MD, FAHS

  • Headache
  • Facial pain
  • Dizziness

Omar Ghausi, MD

  • General neurology

Melissa Houser, MD

  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease

Nelson Hwynn, DO

  • Movement disorders
  • Neuromuscular disease

Christy Jackson, MD

  • Headache
  • Facial pain
  • Pediatric migraine

Mary Kalafut, MD

  • Stroke
  • Cerebrovascular disease

John-Michael Li, MD

  • Neuromuscular disease

Mike McManus, MD

  • Neurohospitalist

Tawny Ngo, MD

  • General neurology
  • Headache
  • Epilepsy

Lucas Ramirez, MD

  • Neurohospitalist

Gilda Tafreshi, MD

  • Neurohospitalist

Michelle Van Noord, MD

  • Epilepsy
  • Headache
  • General neurology

Joanne Hamilton, PhD

  • Neuropsychology

Advanced Practice Clinicians

Bethany Avila, NP-C
Jane Davidson, PA-C
Monsita Faley, DNP, FNP-BC
Sherrie Gould, MSN, FNP-C
Andrea Lee, PA-C
Lindsey Olsen-Mack, NP-C
Josepha Simi, PA-C

Featured Services

  • Autonomic Neuro Lab

  • Don Dalessio Headache Center

  • Deep Brain Stimulation Program

  • Inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

  • Parkinson’s Disease and Neuro Restoration Center

  • Partner in Multiple Sclerosis Care, National MS Society

  • Stroke Prevention/TIA

Recognitions & Awards

  • Ranked as a top 50 neurology program by US News & World Report (#48) in 2019

  • Division members have received national, state, and local recognition for excellence and service

  • Division members have received numerous research grants and academic recognitions

  • Our staff’s diligent care contributed to JCAHO’s accreditation of Scripps Memorial as a comprehensive stroke center, recognizing excellence in care for stroke patients who require a higher level of care

  • Our inpatient stroke programs have been awarded the American Heart Association Gold Plus award their most prestigious award for stroke care

Our Division supports a number of education programs including training medical residents, interns, and rotating medical students. We also provide neurophysiology technician training, vascular technician training and a PA teaching program.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Graduate Medical Education page.

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Stem cell-based therapy for Parkinson’s disease
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Clinical trials in multiple sclerosis headache, epilepsy and stroke
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