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Michael A. Dimyan, MD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Physical Therapy


UM Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute 2200 Kernan Dr Baltimore MD 21207

Phone (Primary):

Appointments: 410-448-6383

Phone (Secondary):

Academic Office: 410-706-7663



Education and Training


1997   BS, magna cum laude

University of California, Irvine

Biology with Specialization in Neurosciences

Honors Thesis: Basal forebrain stimulation induces discriminative receptive field plasticity in the auditory cortex

Thesis Advisor: Norman M. Weinberger, PhD

 2002   MD

University of California, San Francisco

Post Graduate Education and Training

2002-2003      Intern

Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

2003-2006      Resident

Neurology, Harvard Partners: Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital

2006-2011      Clinical Fellow

Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilitation, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health


As part of the Division of Neuro-Rehabilitation at the University of Maryland, I care for patients with weakness, spasticity, cognitive impairment, and other complications of nervous system disease, especially stroke. I see patients at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute Outpatient Clinic, and attend on the inpatient stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury units of University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. I also attend on the Neurology Consult Service and Clinics of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

My first exposure to the field of neural repair, neuroplasticity, and rehabilitation was recording regenerating optic nerves in the laboratory of Ronald L. Meyer, PhD at the University of California, Irvine. I then completed an undergraduate honors thesis with Dr. Norman Weinberger, PhD, studying auditory cortex plasticity. During medical school at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, I spent a year in the NIH Clinical Research Training Program. In the laboratory of Mark Hallett, MD, I contributed to brain imaging studies of healthy humans. I completed my postgraduate training at the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Partners Healthcare - Massachusetts General Hospital & Brigham and Women's Hospital. I then took a clinical-research fellowship with the Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilitation Section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. Under the direction of Leonardo Cohen, MD, I studied human cortical neurophysiology, motor learning, and impairment after stroke.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Neurorehabilitation, Neurophysiology, Neuroimaging, Spasticity Management

Highlighted Publications

  • Dimyan MA, Perez MA, Auh S, Tarula E, Wilson M, Cohen LG. Nonparetic arm force does not overinhibit the paretic arm in chronic poststroke hemiparesis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 May;95(5):849-56. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.12.023. Epub 2014 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 24440364; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4004647.
  • Zorowitz RD, Wein TH, Dunning K, Deltombe T, Olver JH, Davé SJ, Dimyan MA, Kelemen J, Pagan FL, Evans CJ, Gillard PJ, Kissela BM. A Screening Tool to Identify Spasticity in Need of Treatment. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27552355.
  • Dimyan MA, Cohen LG. Neuroplasticity in the context of motor rehabilitation after stroke. Nat Rev Neurol. 2011; 7(2):76-85.
  • Censor N, Dimyan MA, Cohen LG. Modification of Existing Human Motor Memories Is Enabled by Primary Cortical Processing during Memory Reactivation. Current Biology. 2010;20(17):1545-9.
  • Dimyan MA, Dobkin BH, Cohen LG. Emerging subspecialties: neurorehabilitation: training neurologists to retrain the brain. Neurology. 2008 Apr 15;70(16):e52-4.

Research Interests

The loss of control over an arm or leg that can occur after acquired nervous system injury is devastating. Today, multidisciplinary teams of clinicians, therapists, nurses, and assistants help advise and teach people with nervous system disorders how to compensate for and regain lost function. My research interests are in the further translation of neuroscience knowledge to clinical neurorehabilitation. As we reveal how nervous system networks interact to produce movement, and how they are impaired and changed by injury, interventions can be developed to specifically target these impairments and improve neurorehabilitation. Specifically, I have begun to investigate inhibitory interhemispheric interactions via non-invasive brain stimulation and neuroimaging. I intend to characterize these interactions under different unimanual and bimanual tasks, and to describe how they are altered in post-stroke hemiparesis. The goal is to design interventions to correct the observed abnormalities, thereby improving the rehabilitation of motor control.