Susan Sparks, MD, PhD, is a board certified Pediatrician with additional board certifications in Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. Dr. Susan Sparks joined the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Clinical Genetics at Levine Children's Hospital in March 2009. She comes to Levine Children's Hospital from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Sparks participates in general genetics, metabolic genetics, and Down syndrome clinics, in addition to inpatient consults in genetics and metabolism at Levine Children's Hospital and Carolinas Medical Center. In addition to general and metabolic genetics expertise, she has a particular interest in neuromuscular disorders with a biochemical basis.
Dr. Sparks received her MD and PhD from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (previously the Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School) in North Chicago, IL. Her PhD thesis was entitled, "Gene Regulation in b-Globin and Growth Hormone Transgenic Mice." She completed a pediatrics internship and residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. Her fellowship training in clinical genetics and biochemical genetics was done at the Metropolitan Washington, DC Medical Genetics Residency/Fellowship Training Program at the National Human Genome Research Institute/National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.
At the NIH, Dr. Sparks developed her current research interests in the clinical and biochemical characterization of glycosylation defects. She helped develop an enzymatic assay to measure UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase activity. She was an associate investigator on a pilot study using IVIg as an exogenous source of sialic acid in hereditary inclusion body Myopathy (HIBM). She continued this same area of research at Children's National Medical Center in the research laboratory of Dr. Eric Hoffman. Dr. Sparks was awarded a Wellstone fellowship to do research in the clinical, molecular, and biochemical characterization of muscular dystrophies caused by a defect in O-linked glycan synthesis, a group known as the dystroglycanopathies. The dystroglycanopathies range clinically from congenital onset of muscular dystrophy with CNS and eye involvement, to a later onset form of limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), without any CNS or eye involvement. She is also involved in the clinical characterization and evaluation of congenital muscular dystrophies and limb girdle muscular dystrophies and has experience in preclinical and clinical trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dr. Sparks will work together with the McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research within CMC's Cannon Research Center and the Neuroscience and Spine Institute to advance the translational research program in neuromuscular disorders at Carolinas Medical Center.
Carnegie Mellon University
Bachelor of Science; degree: Biological Sciences
Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School
Doctor of Medicine
North Chicago, Ill.
The Chicago Medical School/University of Health Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology and Molecular Biology
North Chicago, Ill.
Post Graduate Education &Training
Internship & Residency
Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Pediatric Internship and Residency
National Human Genome Research Institute National Institute of Health
Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics Fellowship
Board Certified in Clinical Biochemical Genetics
Board Certified in Clinical Genetics
Board Certified in Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Society of Human Genetics
Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders