Vinay Chaudhry, MD, has a long history of research and therefore it is no surprise that due to his many years of dedicated research and outstanding clinical care to patients with NM diseases, Dr. Chaudhry is the 2020 recipient of the AANEM Distinguished Researcher Award.
Dr. Chaudhry has made significant contributions to research throughout his career. He has received more than 40 research grants, and is currently participating in 15 ongoing NM clinical trials. He has also been an author on over 80 peer-reviewed publications, over 20 book chapters, as well as more than 75 published abstracts. He received the AANEM Young Investigator Award for Original Research in Clinical Neurophysiology in 1991.
“Early in my carrier, I studied and published on Wallerian degeneration in human nerves. Prior to this work, a wealth of data was available for animals but not humans,” said Dr. Chaudhry. “This clinical-electrophysiological investigation established the temporal onset of electrophysiological changes after nerve injury, the different rates of Wallerian degeneration of sensory and motor nerves, its length-dependent nature, and its spatiotemporal onset.”
Dr. Chaudhry has been in the forefront of defining clinical, electrophysiological, and IVIG responsiveness of multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), a disease close to his heart. He has published extensively on chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathies (CIPN) from taxol, vincristine, suramin, thalidomide, and bortezomib. These papers have emphasized the dose-dependent nature of neuropathy and patterns of length-dependent distal symmetric neuropathy versus the nonlength dependent neuropathy. Dr. Chaudhry’s love of research is still strong.
“I continue to be involved in trials of myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and amyloid neuropathy. Electrophysiology remains the cornerstone of all my research and I have worked on several projects including motor unit estimates, motor unit number index, neuronal excitability studies, and electrophysiological methodological studies in ALS,” he said.
Dr. Chaudhry credits his mentors with guiding him on the right path, motivating him to help patients in any way possible, and supporting his research efforts.
“I am deeply grateful to my mentors, especially, Drs. John Whitaker, Dan Drachman, Alan Pestronk, and Jack Griffin, for providing guidance and motivation, and for serving as my role models as outstanding physician-scientists,” said Dr. Chaudhry. “I would be amiss if I did not mention Dave Cornblath, a friend and trusted colleague, who has been the biggest influence in shaping my career and professional life. Along with David, I invented the Total Neuropathy Score©, an important tool for establishing the severity of CIPN.”
Dr. Chaudhry has been active in the AANEM for many years. He served as chair for both the AANEM CME Advisory Committee and the Journal Committee. He was a member of the Neuromuscular Vision Task Force, Membership & Ethics committee, and has served on the Muscle & Nerve
Editorial Board. Dr. Chaudhry was also actively involved with ABEM, serving as an examiner for the ABEM certification exams in 2002, 2003, and 2007- 2013 and as the ABEM Secretary. AANEM is important to Dr. Chaudhry.
“AANEM is a special organization of the physicians, by the physicians, and for the physicians practicing neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine,” said Dr. Chaudhry. “AANEM meetings make me feel completely at home, providing the perfect opportunity to lean on, teach and interact with colleagues practicing in your field. It always feels that ‘everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.’ Courses, workshops, seminars, and scientific presentations at the meetings are prime examples of ‘learning never stops.’ AANEM is an organization that continues to evolve, always striving to provide its members resources to provide high-quality patient care.”
Dr. Chaudhry is currently a Professor of Neurology at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Neurology EMG Laboratory at the John Hopkins Hospital. At Johns Hopkins, he has also served as the Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs and Director of the Neurology Outpatient Center (2002-2013), and Director of Clinical Neurophysiology/Neuromuscular Fellowships (1996-2005), and Director of Neuromuscular Division (2001-2004). Dr. Chaudhry has been a member of AANEM since 1989 and has presented at over 20 sessions and symposiums at AANEM Annual Meetings since 1997. Dr. Chaudhry received his medical degree from the All-India Institute of Medical Services in New Delhi, India. He became house officer in internal medicine at Preston Hospital & Tynemouth Victoria Jubilee Infirmary in North Shields, England and senior house officer in internal medicine at Llanelli Hospital in Wales, United Kingdom. He obtained membership in the Royal College of Physicians (M.R.C.P.), equivalent to board certification in internal medicine. He went on to complete a residency in neurology at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences and the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He was the chief resident during his last year of training. He then trained at Johns Hopkins, receiving subspecialty training in clinical and research aspects of neuromuscular diseases. Dr. Chaudhry has also been active with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) serving on the board of directors from 2007 to 2011 and the chair of NM section of AAN (2001-2005). It was under his leadership that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) subspecialty NM examination was created.
Dr. Chaudhry’s travels have given him a unique perspective of what it’s like to find success as a young, international physician.
“I recommend practice in earnest, know your limitations, and know the human side of medicine. The practice of electrodiagnosis gives you a perfect opportunity to fine tune your clinical skills, display great bedside manner, show compassion, and learn the human side of patients,” he advised. Dr. Chaudhry went on to say, “Try to follow the famous shloka from Bhagavad Gita ‘Karmanye vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshu kadachana,’ which means believe in yourself and do your Karma (action), and success will follow you automatically. Doing Karma is in your hands. The result is not in your hands.”