NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies faculty Melissa Elafros

Melissa Elafros, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology
5015 BSRB
Ann Arbor MI 48109-2200
Epidemiology and Neurologic Care

Access to neurologic care for resource limited populations

Dr. Elafros's research focuses on improving access to quality neurologic care for resource-limited populations in the U.S. and in low-middle income countries.  This includes epidemiologic, health services, and clinical research aimed at determining risk factors for neurologic morbidity and mortality in these settings. Since 2009, she has worked in Zambia examining barriers to care for neuroinfectious diseases and people with epilepsy. This year, Dr. Elafros launched a study examining the prevalence, risk factors, and understanding of peripheral neuropathy in Flint with collaborators at Hurley Medical Center.


  • BS, Human Biology, Michigan State University Lyman Briggs College, 2008
  • BA, Spanish, Michigan State University, 2008
  • MA, Bioethics, Michigan State University, 2008
  • PhD, Epidemiology, Michigan State University, 2014
  • MD, Michigan State University, 2016
  • Internship, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 2017
  • Residency, Adult Neurology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2020
  • Fellowship, Neuromuscular Medicine, University of Michigan, 2021

Honors & Awards

  • 2021-2022 NeuroNext Fellowship Recipient
  • CoMET Medical Education Fellowship Recipient, Michigan Medicine, 2021
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health’s Paul S. Lietman Global Health Travel Grant, 2019
  • American Academy of Neurology Resident Research Scholarship, 2019
  • American Neurological Association 2018 International Outreach Travel Scholarship

Top Publications

MA Elafros, BA Johnson, OK Siddiqi, JF Okulicz, I Sikazwe, CM Bositis, MJ Potchen, IJ Koralnik, WH Theodore, L Kalungwana, GL Birbeck. Mortality & Recurrent Seizure Risk after New-Onset Seizure in HIV-Positive Zambian Adults. BMC Neurology 2018; 18(201). PMID: 30522451. PMCID: PMC6284303. DOI: 10.1186/s12883-018-1205-2.

JM Turan*, MA Elafros*, CH Logie, S Banik, B Turan, KB Crockett, B Pescosolido, S Murray. Challenges and opportunities in examining and addressing intersectional stigma and health. BMC Medicine 2019; 17(7). PMID: 30764816. PMCID: PMC6376691. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-018-1246-9.
*Co-first authors

MA Elafros, C Belessiotis, GL Birbeck, V Bond, I Sikazwe, MP Kvalsund. Lumbar Puncture-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices among Patients, Caregivers, Doctors and Nurses in Zambia. AJTMH, 2020; 104(5): 1925-31. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0509.