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Melissa Motta, MD, MPH

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Program in Trauma



Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):




Education and Training


Williams College, BA, Biology/Neuroscience, with honors, 2000

The George Washington University School of Public Health, MPH, 2007

The George Washington University School of Medicine, MD, 2007

Bloomberg School of Public Health, Certificate in Science of Clinical Investigation, 2011

Post-Graduate Education and Training

The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, 2007-2008   

The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Resident, Department of Neurology, 2008-2011

The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Neurocritical Care Fellow, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, 2011-2013 


Dr. Motta was born and raised in Panama. She attended Williams College in Williamstown, MA prior to receiving MD and MPH degrees from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Public Health in Washington, DC. She completed an internship in Internal Medicine and a Neurology Residency at Johns Hopkins and stayed on to complete a  2-year fellowship in Neurocritical Care.  During her training, she also received a certificate in Clinical Investigation from The Bloomberg School of Public Health and was a recipient of an NINDS R25 Research Education Grant.

Dr. Motta is interested in health services research, specifically trying to better understand the end result of practices and interventions on quality of life and other self-reported measures which are important to patients; improving access to care and health disparities in patients with stroke; and promoting patient and family centered care in patients with neurological injury. She developed a Neuro Recovery Clinic (NRC) where she sees patients after discharge from the Neurocritical Care Unit. The NRC supports patients and families through the physical, emotional and psychological recovery after critical illness utilizing multidisciplinary guideline driven care to help patients recover to their fullest potential.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Neurointensive care, Stroke, Health Services Research, Patient Reported Outcomes Research, Patient and Family Centered Care.

Highlighted Publications

Motta M, Ramadan A, Hillis AE, Gottesman RF, Leigh R. Diffusion-perfusion mismatch: an opportunity for improvement in cortical function. Front Neurol. 2015 Jan 14;5:280.

Thakur KT, Motta M, Asemota AO, Kirsch HL, Benavides DR, Schneider EB, McArthur JC, Geocadin RG, Venkatesan A. Predictors of outcome in acute encephalitis. Neurology. 2013 Aug 27;81(9):793-800.

Schütz C, Stover JF, Thompson HJ, Hoover RC, Morales DM, Schouten JW, McMillan A, Soltesz K, Motta M, Spangler Z, Neugebauer E, McIntosh TK. Acute, transient hemorrhagic hypotension does not aggravate structural damage or neurologic motor  deficits but delays the long-term cognitive recovery following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. Crit Care Med. 2006 Feb;34(2):492-501.

Carter-Pokras O, Crespo CJ, Kelly E, Mora S, Motta M, Rivera I. Supporting Physical Fitness for Latina Adolescents. The Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies. 2006 Winter: 2 (2) 33-47.

Zhang C, Saatman KE, Royo NC, Soltesz KM, Millard M, Schouten JW, Motta M, Hoover RC, McMillan A, Watson DJ, Lee VM, Trojanowski JQ, McIntosh TK. Delayed transplantation of human neurons following brain injury in rats: a long-term graft survival and behavior study. J Neurotrauma. 2005 Dec;22(12):1456-74. 

Additional Publication Citations

Lenzlinger PM, Shimizu S, Marklund N, Thompson HJ, Schwab ME, Saatman KE, Hoover RC, Bareyre FM, Motta M, Luginbuhl A, Pape R, Clouse AK, Morganti-Kossmann C, McIntosh TK. Delayed inhibition of Nogo-A does not alter injury-induced axonal sprouting but enhances recovery of cognitive function following experimental traumatic brain injury in rats. Neuroscience. 2005;134(3):1047-56.

Zottoli SJ, Akanki FR, Hiza NA, Ho-Sang DA, Motta M, Tan X, Watts KM. Physiological characterization of supramedullary/dorsal neurons of the cunner, Tautogolabrus adspersus. Biol Bull. 1999 Oct;197(2):239-40.

Hoover RC, Motta M, Davis J, Saatman KE, Fujimoto ST, Thompson HJ, Stover JF, Dichter MA, Twyman R, White HS, McIntosh TK. Differential effects of the anticonvulsant topiramate on neurobehavioral and histological outcomes following traumatic brain injury in rats. J Neurotrauma. 2004 May;21(5):501-12. 

Links of Interest

Neurocritical Care Society Family and Patient Resources:

SCCM Patient and Family Support Page:

My ICU Guide: A Guide for familes of critically ill patients: