A child keeps growing, developing and learning in the face of a neurologic condition. “Be it headaches, brain tumors or inflammatory conditions, you have to look at the disease in this context,” says Dr. Elizabeth Wells. “This helps us support kids so that they can go on to achieve great things even as they deal with their illness.”

Dr. Wells’ drive to see kids succeed fuels her passion for helping her team achieve great things, too. As Senior Vice President of the Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine at Children’s National Hospital, she strives to help her colleagues deliver the best care to patients.

The collaborative approach is a touchstone for Dr. Wells. Throughout her 15-year career at Children’s National, she has been a part of a multidisciplinary model that offers kids the most cutting-edge care. This includes genetics and molecular diagnoses, clinical trials access and nurturing a child’s well-being.

Dr. Wells is bringing this power of innovation and collaboration to one of neuroscience’s biggest challenges: neuroinflammatory diseases. These disorders result when the body’s immune system attacks the brain or nervous system. They can affect a child’s ability to think, walk, talk, move, see or eat. Complex diseases require a deep look at their origins to spearhead new ways to diagnose and treat them.

Alongside colleagues, Dr. Wells developed the Neuro-Immunology Program, one of the few of its kind in the country. She aims to provide families with access to the same leading-edge diagnoses and care that they receive in the center’s Brain Tumor Institute and Division of Neurology.

“Our knowledge evolves patient by patient,” Dr. Wells says, “But we embrace the challenge and work together to move discovery forward for kids.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.