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Melissa Motta, MD, MPH

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Program in Trauma Director, Neurology Clerkship



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 


Melissa Motta, M.D., M.P.H., attended Williams College in Williamstown, MA, before receiving M.D. and M.P.H. 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 Hospital and stayed on to complete a 2-year fellowship in Neurocritical Care. During her training, Dr. Motta also received a certificate in Clinical Investigation from The Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition, she received an NINDS R25 Research Education Grant to evaluate barriers to medication adherence after acute ischemic stroke.

Dr. Motta works as an intensivist in the Neurocritical Care Unit at the University of Maryland. She cares for patients with neurosurgical, cerebrovascular, and other acute neurologic illnesses.

Dr. Motta is interested in understanding better the outcome of practices and interventions on quality of life and other self-reported measures essential to patients. She is interested in learning from patients and their outcomes to improve care. For example, she established an institutional collaboration to discuss best practices and enhance patient and family-centered care in the intensive care unit (I.C.U.). In addition, she led the implementation of evidence-based patient and family engagement strategies at the University of Maryland Medical Center across all I.C.U.s as part of the Society of Critical Care Medicine Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Collaborative. Dr. Motta is passionate about promoting patient and family-centered care in patients with neurological injuries.            

Dr. Motta developed a Neuro Recovery Clinic (N.R.C.) where she cares for patients after discharge from the Neurocritical Care Unit. The N.R.C. help patients and families navigate the physical, emotional, and psychological recovery after critical illness by utilizing multidisciplinary guideline-driven care to help patients recover to their fullest potential and achieve well-being. 

Dr. Motta serves as Director for the Neurology Clerkship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has developed curricula in medical education, ethics, and humanism in Neurology.

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.

Patzke CL, Armahizer MJ, Badjatia N, Motta M, A Retrospective Analysis of Prolonged Empiric Antibiotic Therapy for Pneumonia Among Adult Neurocritical Care Patients. Neurohospitalist. 2019 Jan;9(1):15-21

Jaffa MN, Podell JE, Motta M. A Change of Course: The Case for a Neurorecovery Clinic. Neurocrit Care. 2020;1-3.



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.

Leiter N, Motta M, Reed RM, Adeyeye T, Wiegand DL, Shah NG, Verceles AC, Netzer G. Numeracy and Interpretation of Prognostic Estimates in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Among Surrogate Decision Makers in the Neurologic ICU. Crit Care Med. 2018 Feb;46(2):264-271.

Association of American Medical Colleges, iCollaborative, The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal: Medical Humanism in Neurology, 2020,

Understanding Psychosocial Needs of and Optimizing Support for Primary Caregivers of Severe Acute Brain Injury Patients Transitioning Out of Neurointensive Care Units: A Work-In-Progress Multicenter Qualitative Study Nithyashri Baskaran, Rina Kubota, Kate Meurer, Qiang Zhang, Sarah M. Bannon, Nathan S. Fishbein, Mira Reichman, Paula Popok, Ethan G. Lester, Melissa Motta, Susanne Muehlschlegel, Michael E. Reznik, Matthew N. Jaffa, Craig A. Williamson, Ana-Maria Vranceanu, David Y. Hwang, and the COMA-F Investigators, American Academy of Neurology, April 2022



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: