Rinat Jonas is the most recent addition to the Division of Pediatric Neurology at Boston Medical Center. Her expertise is in the field of pediatric epilepsy, with focus on the management of intractable seizure disorders, including evaluation for possible seizure surgery. She is also expert in the interpretation of EEGs and other electrophysiological studies.
Dr. Jonas grew up in Israel, where she completed medical school in Haifa. She soon found herself naturally drawn to working with children and completed 5 years of pediatric internship and residency in Israel, where she became board-certified in pediatrics. The high prevalence of consanguinity in Israel, resulting in the birth of many children with genetic and neurodegenerative disorders, exposed Dr. Jonas to a variety of challenging neurological disorders during her residency. “I became fascinated with the mysteries of the brain and realized how much of the brain development is still unknown,” says Dr. Jonas. “It was this realization that served as a strong impetus to me to pursue a career in pediatric neurology.”
Dr. Jonas moved to Los Angeles in 1999 where she completed three years of pediatric neurology residency at UCLA. “At UCLA, which is a major pediatric epilepsy center, I saw large numbers of children presenting the full spectrum of the childhood epilepsies. I learned that a lot can be offered to ease the burden of seizures using both pharmacological and non-pharmacological management. On the other hand, however, there is still a great deal that is unknown and intensive research in this field is critical.” Dr Jonas subsequently completed another two years of fellowship training in pediatric epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at UCLA. Most of her research then focused on management of patients with complex seizure disorders, including evaluation of children for possible seizure surgery. She also received extensive training in the interpretation of electrophysiological studies, including electroencephalography (EEG), video telemetry and electrocorticography.
During her fellowship, Dr. Jonas worked on several research projects. These included studies of neuronal excitability and neuroplasticity following traumatic brain injury and evaluation of language development in children with infantile spasms who underwent hemispherectomy. Her major clinical and laboratory interests currently are in pediatric epilepsy and epilepsy surgery. She has published first author papers on surgical treatment of intractable epilepsy and on infantile spasms. Dr. Jonas also has been a contributor to multiple clinical studies of different antiepileptic drugs.
“I am looking forward to contributing all that I can here at Boston Medical Center, adding to its rich and multidisciplinary clinical, educational and research environments,” says Dr. Jonas. “I hope to help to develop ‘state-of-the-art’ epilepsy and epilepsy surgery programs; making them available to the very special patients we serve at Boston Medical Center.”