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Joshua Benjamin Ewen, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Joshua Benjamin Ewen, M.D.

Medical Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Specializes in: Children (1-11 years), Adults (18+ years), Infants (up to 1 year), Adolescents (12-18 years)

Expertise: Clinical Neurophysiology, Epilepsy, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Research Interests: Autism; ADHD; attention; epilepsy/EEG in neurodevelopmental disabilities; biomarker validation

Locations

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Appointment Phone: 443-923-9400

600 N. Wolfe Street
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 443-923-9150
Fax: 443-923-9160

Johns Hopkins Pediatrics
Appointment Phone: 410-955-2000

200 N. Wolfe Street
Rubenstein Child Health Building
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Background

Dr. Joshua Ewen is director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute Research and Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratories. The central research mission of his laboratory is to study the altered brain physiology that underlies cognitive deficits in developmental disabilities, using cognitive psychological and electrophysiological (EEG) techniques. His team currently focuses on the interplay within autism between cognitive and motor control alterations. Their research is federally funded. They also have multiple lines of research into motor and attentional dysfunction in ADHD that is funded federally and through the Johns Hopkins Science of Learning Institute.

In addition, Dr. Ewen is the medical director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory and sees patients with epilepsy. He has a secondary research interest in the overlap between epilepsy, EEG abnormalities and developmental disabilities.

Further, building on work on a novel EEG-based biomarker that identifies which children born with a facial birthmark have the greatest risk of Sturge-Weber syndrome, he has written and spoken about the experimental methodologies that best validate potentially EEG-based biomarkers.

Finally, the Research Neurophysiology Laboratory is collaborative and supports human scalp EEG-based research from investigators across the greater Johns Hopkins campus. Prominent collaborations have identified the mechanisms the brain uses to focus attention on certain features of objects in a visual scene.

Dr. Ewen serves as assistant professor, Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as assistant professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Ewen received his undergraduate degree in Egyptology from Brown University. He earned his MD from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and was in the first class of the Johns Hopkins Hospital/Kennedy Krieger Institute Neurodevelopmental Disabilities training program. He also completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2007.

He is a member of several committees dedicated to scientific mentorship at Kennedy Krieger and Johns Hopkins.

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Titles

  • Medical Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Director, Research Neurophysiology Laboratory, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • A.B., Brown University (Rhode Island) (1996)
  • M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine - New Orleans (Louisiana) (2000)

Additional Training

  • Physician and Surgeon, Maryland Board of Physicians
  • American Board of Pediatrics / Pediatrics (2006)
  • American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology / Neurology / Special Child Neurology (2008)
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology / Clinical Neurophysiology (2009)
  • American Board of Psychiatry& Neurology / Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (2009)

Research & Publications

Lab

Dr. Ewen's research involves the use of behavioral and EEG-based techniques to study developmental disabilities and basic questions within psychology and neuroscience. His current primary work focuses on the borderlands between cognition and motor control in autism, but he also has ongoing research in ADHD. Using approaches from experimental cognitive psychology, his laboratory’s general approach is to identify specific cognitive processes that are involved in developmental disabilities, and then to explore the physiological underpinnings of those alterations using EEG.

As a seizure and clinical EEG specialist, Dr. Ewen also researches epilepsy and EEG abnormalities in a range of developmental disabilities, including autism and Rett syndrome.

The Research Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Kennedy Krieger Institute also collaborates with other investigators throughout the greater Johns Hopkins campus who want to employ EEG methods, including event-related potentials (ERPs) in their research. As one example, extensive collaborations with the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have yielded new insights on how the brain uses attention to focus on certain features of an object, such as color.

Finally, as interest increases in the use of EEG-based techniques to serve as biomarkers for neurological and psychiatric disorders in clinical care and research, Dr. Ewen has written and spoken on the experimental designs that best validate these potential biomarkers. This interest follows work designing and validating an EEG-based biomarker to identify which patients born with a facial port-wine birthmark are at greatest risk of developing the intracranial involvment charateristic of Sturge-Weber syndrome.

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Ewen JB, Moher JS, Lakshmanan BM, Ryan M, Xavier P, Crone NE, Denckla MB, Egeth H, Mahone EM. Multiple Task Interference is Greater in Children with ADHD. Developmental Neuropsychology 2012;37(2):119-33. (Corresponding Author) PMID 22339226

Tailor YI, Suskauer SJ, Sepeta LN, Ewen JB, DeMatt EJ, Trovato MK, Salorio CF, Slomine BS. Functional status of children with encephalitis in an inpatient rehabilitation setting: A case series. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. 2013;6(3):163-73. PMID 24240837 Role: I assisted in the interpretation of EEG data

Moher JS, Lakshmanan BM, Egeth HE, Ewen JB. Inhibition drives early feature-based attention. Psychological Science 2014;25(2):315-24. PMID 24390823

Kossoff EH, Bachur C, Quain AM, Ewen JB, Comi AM. EEG evolution in Sturge-Weber syndrome. Epilepsy Research 2014;108(4):816-9. PMID 24560844 Role: I contributed to the methodology, analysis of EEG and interpretation of the results

Schreiber JM, Lanham DC, Trescher WH, Sparks SE, Wassif CA, Caffo BS, Porter FD, Tierney E, Gropman AL, Ewen JB. Variations in EEG Discharges Predict ADHD Severity Within Individual Smith-Lemli-Opitz Patients. Neurology 2014;83(2):151-9. (Corresponding Author) PMID 24920862

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Lecturer, “Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Monthly Lecture Series” for General Pediatrics residents rotating on NDD service
    Kennedy Krieger Institute
    2003
  • Lecturer, KKI NDD Resident Lecture Series
    2007
  • Preceptor
    Kennedy Krieger/Johns Hopkins Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency Continuity Clinic
    2007
  • Lecturer, JHH Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Didactic Series
    Johns Hopkins Hospital
    2011
  • Attending, KKI/JHH NDD Residency/KKI Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit “Neuro Doc” Consult Attending
    Johns Hopkins Hospital
    2014

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • B. Bernard Weinstein Award for Best Original Research, Tulane History of Medicine Society, 1999 - 2000
  • 2013 Washington, DC-Baltimore-Northern Virginia Rising Stars, Top Doctors, 2013 - 2014
  • Neurobiology of Disease in Children Young Investigator Program Travel Stipend, 2014 - 2015

Memberships

  • American Medical Association
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (Fellow)
  • Kennedy Fellows’ Association
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • Child Neurology Society
  • American Epilepsy Society
  • American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society
  • Organization for Human Brain Mapping
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • International Society for Autism Research
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