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Pablo Ariel Celnik, M.D.
Director, Center of Excellence in Stroke Treatment, Recovery and Rehabilitation
Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Languages: English, Spanish
Expertise: Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Neurologic Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stroke, Stroke Rehabilitation, Traumatic Brain Injury
Research Interests: Interventions to enhance motor recovery after stroke.; Neurophysiology and modulation of human motor learning.
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The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Appointment Phone: 443-997-5476
600 N. Wolfe Street
Meyer Building 1-163
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Appointment Phone: 410-502-2272
4940 Eastern Avenue
AA Suite 1654
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Dr. Pablo Celnik is director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and physiatrist-in-chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
He serves as vice chair for research in the PM&R department, medical director of the outpatient neurorehabilitation program, and director of the Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory. He is internationally-recognized for his expertise and research in neurologic rehabilitation, particularly with stroke and traumatic brain injury.
A native of Argentina, Dr. Celnik received his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in neurology in Argentina and a fellowship in neurological rehabilitation at the University of Maryland. He also earned two research fellowships in the lab of Dr. Mark Hallett, first, and Dr. Leonardo G. Cohen later on, both at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). In the year 2000, he entered the PM&R residency program at Johns Hopkins, where he was ultimately appointed chief resident. Since 2003, he has been part of the Johns Hopkins faculty in the PM&R, neurology and neuroscience departments.
Dr. Celnik has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.
- Director, Center of Excellence in Stroke Treatment, Recovery and Rehabilitation
- Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Physiatrist-in-chief, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Vice Chair for Research, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Medical Director, Outpatient Neurorehabilitation Program
- Director, Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory
- Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Professor of Neurology
- Professor of Neuroscience
Centers & Institutes
- MD, Universidad de Buenos Aires (1990)
- Hospital Frances / Neurology (1994)
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2003)
- Kernan Hospital (1996)
- NIH - HCPS - NINDS / Volunteer (1996)
- American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab / Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2004)
Research & Publications
Dr. Celnik's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying motor learning and motor recovery after brain lesions, and on developing new strategies to enhance motor recovery after stroke.
The aim of his research to use this knowledge to develop and test new interventions to enhance motor function in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological damage. In this area, has published more than 60 manuscripts in highly regarded journals and books.
Dr. Celnik’s research has formed the foundational knowledge for the application of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, like transcranial magnetic and electric stimulation, to understand recovery after brain lesions, augment motor learning and design novel rehabilitation training interventions.
For his research, he was awarded the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and other awards.
The Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory is focused on studying the mechanisms underlying motor learning and developing interventions to modulate motor function in humans. The aim is to understand how does the central nervous system control and learn to perform motor actions in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological diseases such as stroke. Using this knowledge, the ultimate goal is to develop strategies to enhance motor function in neurological patients.
To accomplish these interests, we use different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as well as functional MRI and behavioral tasks.
Lab Website: Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory
Selected PublicationsView all on Pubmed
Spampinato D, Celnik P. Deconstructing skill learning and its physiological mechanisms. Cortex. 2018 Mar 27;104:90-102. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2018.03.017. PMID: 29775838
Ilg W, Branscheidt M, Butala A, Celnik P, de Paola L, Horak FB, Schöls L, Teive HAG, Vogel AP, Zee DS, Timmann D. Consensus Paper: Neurophysiological Assessments of Ataxias in Daily Practice. Cerebellum. 2018 Apr 14. doi: 10.1007/s12311-018-0937-2. PMID: 29656311
Ejaz N, Xu J, Branscheidt M, Hertler B, Schambra H, Widmer M, Faria AV, Harran MD, Cortes JC, Kim N, Celnik PA, Kitago T, Luft AR, Krakauer JW, Diedrichsen J. Evidence for a subcortical origin of mirror movements after stroke: a longitudinal study. Brain. 2018 Jan 31. doi: 10.1093/brain/awx384. PMID: 29394326
Uehara S, Mawase F, Celnik P. Learning Similar Actions by Reinforcement or Sensory-Prediction Errors Rely on Distinct Physiological Mechanisms. Cereb Cortex. 2017 Sep 14:1-13. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx214. PMID: 28968827
Hallett M, Di Iorio R, Rossini PM, Park JE, Chen R, Celnik P, Strafella AP, Matsumoto H, Ugawa Y. Contribution of transcranial magnetic stimulation to assessment of brain connectivity and networks. Clin Neurophysiol. 2017 Nov;128(11):2125-2139. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2017.08.007. Epub 2017 Sep 5. Review. PMID: 28938143
Academic Affiliations & Courses
Graduate Program Affiliation
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Courses and Syllabi
Chronic Disease Prevention
Activities & Honors
- Carolyn Braddom Ritzier Research Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists
- ASNR Outstanding Neurorehabilitation Clinician Scientist Award, 2010
- Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2009
- Young Academician Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2007
- Program for Academic Leadership, Association of Academic Physiatrists
- Best Paper Presentation Award, American Society of Neurorehabilitation, 2006
- Clinician Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2006
- Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Awards, American Geriatric Society, 2006
- Women’s Board Of The Johns Hopkins Hospital Grant, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2006
- Best Paper Presentation Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting, 2005
- Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2003
- ERF New Investigator Award, Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2003
- Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Institute of Health, 1997
- American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Association of Academic Physiatrists
- Neural Control of Movement Society
- Society for Neuroscience
- Associate Editor, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Advisory Board, Rehabilitation Medicine Training Program, Association of Academic Physiatrists
- Research Committee Member, Association of Academic Physiatrists
Videos & Media
Dr. Pablo Celnik | Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Cerebro argentino: Capítulo 10: Pablo Celnik
Recent News Articles and Media Coverage
Video Game Used To Help Chronic Stroke Patients Learn Motor Skills | Medical Design Technology (October 2016)
Could immediate use of training help brains heal after a stroke? | PodMed Podcast (November 2016)
Pushing Neurorehabilitation to its Limits | Restore (Summer 2016)
Want to learn a new skill faster? Change up your practice sessions | Johns Hopkins Medicine (January 2016)