Dr. Harper is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology. In 1998, she received her MD and entered pediatric residency. Following residency, Dr. Harper completed fellowships in neurodevelopmental disabilities/child neurology and neuromuscular medicine. She was the first neurodevelopmental disabilities training graduate nationwide. Her board certifications have included Pediatrics, Child Neurology and Neuromuscular Medicine.
In 2016, she joined the faculty of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHOR)/VCU Health where she is the Shirley Van Epps Waple Professor. Clinically, her primary Her primary clinical leadership role is serving as Director of the CHOR Neuromuscular program which includes directorship of CHOR’s MDA, Duchenne Certified, and SMA Network Care Centers. Formerly, she was the founder, co-founder and/or director for multidisciplinary High Risk Neonatal, Cerebral Palsy, and Pediatric MDA clinics.
Dr. Harper’s contributions and expertise have been recognized on several levels. She was voted by her peers as “Top Doc” in Pediatric Neurology 6 times in 2 (2 states, cities (highest votes 2020). Neurology residents voted her “Best Teacher in Pediatric Neurology” in 2017. She has been recognized by the MDA, PPMD, Cure SMA, and the NC Epilepsy Foundation for her clinical care. Nationally, she serves as an Executive Committee member for the Collaborative Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG). She has been an international workshop moderator, regional symposium course director, reviewer for 4 prominent journals, and contributor to book chapters.
Her research constitutes an unique portfolio. of neurodevelopment, neuro-genetics, and muscular dystrophy. Publications have focused on neurodevelopmental outcomes, natural history, novel genes, and new therapeutics in muscular dystrophy. She has led or actively collaborated on up to 21 ongoing research studies at a time. She has been co-investigator and Principal Investigator (PI) PI and Co-I on several industry, NIH, CDC and MDA sponsored muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and high risk infant studies. She is involved in similar research efforts at VCU where she is PI and Co-I on up to 15 active studies. Muscular dystrophy research has included: translational collaborations, molecular diagnostics, PI for multi-center tissue banking (PI), and site PI CINRG associated clinical trials. Her research has contributed to CINRG related manuscripts, and supported the first FDA approved DMD gene modifying therapy for DMD. She is involved in similar research efforts at VCU, where she is PI and Co-I on up to 15 studies.
Dr. Harper’s clinical and research activities clearly demonstrate her dedicated passion for collaborative scholarship and clinical care in neuromuscular and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Major grant funding:
- Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (0367-CL-0102) A Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability and Preliminary Efficacy of ASP0367 (MA-0211) in Pediatric Male Participants With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Role: PI
- DSC/14/2357/51 Givinostat in Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy Long-term Safety and Tolerability Study, Role: Limb Girdle 2I Ribitol study, MLBio, Role: PI
- (DSC/14/2357/48) Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Givinostat in Ambulant Patients With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Italfarmaco, inVentiv Health Inc.
- (Harper) (NS-065/NCNP-01-202) Open-Label, Extension Study of NS-065/NCNP-01 in Boys With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) (DMD), NS Pharma, Therapeutic Research in Neuromuscular Disorders Solutions, LLC (TRiNDS), Role: PI
- Does Timing Matter? Efficacy of Parent Provided, Therapist Supported, Motor and Cognitive Intervention for Infants Born Very Preterm in the First Months of Life, National Institutes of Health, Role: Co-I 08/2018
- Neuroimaging Feasibility for SPEEDI 2 Relationship Between CNS integrity and the Efficacy of a Parent Delivered Developmental Intervention for Infants Born Very Preterm. CCTR Endowment Fund Grant. Role: Co-I
- (VBP15-004) A Phase IIb Randomized, Double-blind, Parallel Group, Placebo- and Active-controlled Study with Double-Blind Extension to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Vamorolone in Ambulant Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) ReveraGen Biopharma, Inc, $231,203.00, Role: PI 04/2018 – Present
- AVXS-101-RG-001, Registry, AveXis, Inc., Role: PI Network for Observational Study of Virginia Muscular Dystrophies (NoVA MD), Department of Health & Human Services, Role: Co-I Long-term Use of Viltolarsen in Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Clinical Practice. VILT-502, Preterm Brain Injury, neuroplasticity, and Response to Intervention: PremieNRTI, Role: Co-I