Dr. Laura Gilbert is a pediatric movement disorders fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital where she is honing her expertise in diagnosis and management of cerebral palsy (CP) including motor phenotyping, botulinum toxin injections, and Deep Brain Stimulation programming. She recently completed her child neurology residency training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in June 2022. Dr. Gilbert completed her undergraduate education at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and obtained her DO/MBA dual degree at Kansas City University and Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO.
Dr. Gilbert’s clinical research efforts have focused on dystonia in cerebral palsy (CP) and understanding clinician and CP community member perspectives of dystonia. In 2020, she began working directly with community members through the Cerebral Palsy Research Network and helped to develop a community-driven research agenda for people with dystonia in CP. The outcomes of this research agenda motivated her to focus on improving diagnosis and family awareness of dystonia in CP, leading to her work in codifying clinician descriptions of dystonia. Involving CP community members in writing their own research narrative through this agenda inspired her to involve community members directly throughout her research efforts going forward. Using a mixed methods approach, her current research focuses on identifying features of community member descriptions of dystonia to construct community member-facing dystonia screening tools and outcome measures. Her goal is to help expand our understanding of dystonia in CP and facilitate dystonia diagnosis, therefore helping to improve the care of people with dystonia and CP.
Her work has garnered several awards including consecutive Child Neurology Society Outstanding Junior Member Awards (2021 and 2022) and the 2022 Leonard Berg Poster Award from the Department of Neurology at Wash U. Additionally, she was one of five child neurology residents selected to be in the American Academy of Neurology’s Enhanced Resident Leadership Program in 2022. She is a committee member of the Cerebral Palsy Research Network Dystonia Study Group as well as a member of the Child Neurology Society Membership Committee.
Dr. Gilbert also has a passion for dance which she loves sharing with children with CP at adaptive dance classes weekly in the St. Louis area where she helps promote movement, stretching, and joy!