Christopher Gomez, MD PhD

Albina Y. Surbis Professor

Patient Calls: 773-702-6222
Fax: 773-834-3232
Lab Website:

Christopher M. Gomez MD PhD has worked in the field of genetic disorders of the neuromuscular junction (congenital myasthenic syndromes) and cerebellum for more than 25 years. Dr. Gomez’s long term goals are to help characterize the pathogenic mechanisms that cause ataxia, develop treatments and to identify disease and stage-specific biomarkers of ataxia. Dr. Gomez is an expert in neurogenetic disorders, gait and balance disorders, and in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with ataxias -- a family of rare neurodegenerative diseases. Since 1991, Dr. Gomez has been on the medical and research advisory board of the National Ataxia Foundation. He currently serves as the vice chair of the Neurogenetics Section of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Gomez's laboratory research concentrates on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease--with a focus on the means by which genetic mutations in ion channels or other essential proteins lead to dominantly inherited neurodegenerative diseases. His research has resulted in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.

Dr. Gomez established The University of Chicago Ataxia Center in 2006 as a specialty clinic and research center devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of ataxias, and as focal points for translational and clinical research. Dr. Gomez has over 20 years of expertise in the evaluation and treatment of patients with diverse forms of degenerative ataxia.

Dr. Gomez is a founding member of the Cooperative Ataxia Group, a national consortium of ataxia specialists that launched the fi rst rating scale and natural history studies for Friedreich’s Ataxia (D. Lynch, PI). He is also a member (UC site) of the newly funded Rare Disease Clinical Research Network for Autosomal Dominant Ataxias (T. Ashizawa, PI). By assembling teams composed of physiologists, neuro-imagers and geneticists, Dr. Gomez has been involved since 1993 in genetic, phenotypic, and genotype-phenotype and studies of patients with a wide range of ataxia types.

Dr. Gomez helped characterize spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) and episodic ataxia type 2 and discovered SCA26 and SCA32. In the laboratory Dr. Gomez studies the disease process caused by the SCA6, SCA26 and SCA32 mutations and looks for disease and stage-specifi c biomarkers cerebrospinal fl uid of SCA patients.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship: University of California, Los Angeles
  • Residency: The University of Chicago
  • Internship: Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago
  • M.D.: The University of Chicago
  • Ph.D.: Immunology, The University of Chicago
  • B.A.: Biology, The University of Chicago
Board Certification
  • Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
Clinical Interests
  • Spinocerebellar ataxias
  • Child and adult onset ataxias
  • Friedreich's ataxia
  • Ataxia telangiectasia
  • Hereditary parkinsonian syndromes
  • Olivopontocerebellar ataxia
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Gait and balance disorders
  • Hereditary spastic paraparesis
Research Interests
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Ion channel disorders
  • Voltage-gated calcium channels
  • Myasthenic syndromes
  • Disease biomarkers
  • Course Director: Neurobiology of Disease
Society Memberships
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Neurological Association
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • Society for Neuroscience
Selected Publications