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Mitochondrial Center

A world leader in clinical evaluation, treatment, support, education and research in mitochondrial disease, the Mitochondrial Center at Akron Children’s is one of only six pediatric hospitals designated a Center of Excellence by the United Mitochondrial Association and one of only 15 mitochondrial care centers in the North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium.

Led by Bruce Cohen, a global expert in the field of mitochondrial medicine, our center houses one of the largest groups of internationally known mitochondrial experts trained to diagnose undefined neurological diseases and provide coordinated care across multiple subspecialties with access to research and clinical trials.

Patient care is determined on a case-by-case basis, including the potential need for services from other subspecialties, with pediatric patients usually continuing to be seen into adulthood at least annually. While our initial focus is centered around treating children who are actively diagnosed and living with the disease, our mission also includes continuing to enhance diagnostics and advance the body of knowledge about mitochondrial disease through research and clinical trials.

Our Mitochondrial Center is an integral part of Akron Children’s Neurodevelopmental Science Center, which has been designated a Mitochondrial Care Network Center of Excellence by a consortium of patient advocacy groups including the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and MitoAction.

Department Main Image

Why Akron Children's

Mitochondrial Research
Presented around the world, including in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East

The 1st to treat a mitochondrial patient with elamipretide by Stealth BioTherapeutics


#1 enrolling site of the North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium (NAMDC) Biobank and the #3 enrolling site in its research database

Bruce H. Cohen, MD, FAAN

Dr. Cohen is a pediatric neurologist and director of the NeuroDevelopmental Science Center at Akron Children’s Hospital. He’s also the interim vice president and medical director of the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute at Akron Children’s. He received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a pediatric neurology residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and a pediatric neuro-oncology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Cohen has a special interest in child neurology, mitochondrial disease, brain tumors, neurofibromatosis, clinical trials, neurometabolic diseases and pediatric neuro-oncology and is considered one of the world’s leading experts in mitochondrial diseases thanks to his extensive work to uncover treatments for patients. He is an active member of a number of professional and volunteer organizations, including the Sigma Xi North American Scientific Society, Child Neurology Society, Mitochondrial Medicine Society and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Cohen is a fellow of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, boarded in neurology with special competence in child neurology. He has authored hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, published dozens of book chapters, and given more than 600 invited lectures and presentations. Additionally, he is a professor of pediatrics and integrative medical sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University and is residency director for Neurology at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital and Pediatric Neurology at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Meet Bruce H. Cohen, MD, FAAN

Abdulrazak Alali, MD

Dr. Alali is a clinical and biochemical geneticist at Akron Children’s Hospital where he’s been practicing since 2019. After graduating from the University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine in Aleppo, Syria, he completed a pediatric residency at Woodhull Mental and Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He also completed two fellowships, one in clinical genetics and genomics at Montefiore Medical Center and the other in medical biochemical genetics at Emory University. Dr. Alali has a special interest in newborn error of metabolism and other metabolic disorders. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Clinical Genetics and Genomics and the American Medical Biochemical Genetics. He has published research and is a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Meet Abdulrazak Alali, MD

John Clark, MD, FAAP

Director, Pediatric Arrhythmia Center; Pediatric Cardiologist

Meet John Clark, MD, FAAP

Richard Hertle, MD, FAAO, FACS, FAAP

Dr. Richard Hertle is an investigator in the areas of nystagmus and eye movement disorder.  His current titles include, Professor of Ophthalmology, Northeast Ohio Medical College, SUMMA Medical Center Department of Ophthalmology, Director, The Children’s Vision Center and Chief of Ophthalmology, Akron Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Akron, Ohio, USA.

Dr. Hertle received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University and his Medical Degree from Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine.  Following medical school, Dr. Hertle completed fellowships and residencies in Ocular Motility, Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmology, and Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at a variety of medical centers around the country.  Dr. Hertle came to Akron in 2010 to grow the Pediatric Ophthalmology service after six years as Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Professor of Ophthalmology and Bioengineering at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

He has been principal investigator on a number of NIH-funded research projects, including ongoing studies on the treatment of strabismus, nystagmus and amblyopia. An avid researcher and publisher, Dr. Hertle has over 200 referred publications and almost as many abstracts, editorials, reviews and invited lectures.  He currently serves as a reviewer for multiple journals and has been a recipient of over a million dollars of research funding.

Meet Richard Hertle, MD, FAAO, FACS, FAAP

Reinaldo Garcia-Naviero, MD

Director, Pediatric Gastroenterology; Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Meet Reinaldo Garcia-Naviero, MD

Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, MD

Director, Pediatric Palliative Care; Pediatric Palliative Care Physician; Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, M.D. Leadership Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care

Meet Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, MD

Kimberly Martin, MD

Dr. Martin is a pediatric endocrinologist in the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Akron Children’s Hospital. She’s been practicing since 2009 and with Akron Children’s since 2013. She also serves as the director of pediatric endocrinology for Akron Children’s Hospital’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, Pediatric Brain Tumor Program and the Mitochondrial Care Network. She earned a master’s degree in biomedical ethics from Case Western Reserve University and her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She completed a pediatric residency and a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Dr. Martin has a special interest in endocrine complications in cancer survivors and others exposed to cancer therapies during childhood. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics with a sub-specialty certification in pediatric endocrinology. She is a member of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northeast Ohio Medical University.  

Meet Kimberly Martin, MD

Ian Rossman, MD, PhD

Pediatric Neurologist

Meet Ian Rossman, MD, PhD

Stephen Steiner, MD, PhD

Pediatric Neurologist

Meet Stephen Steiner, MD, PhD

Kristin Cole, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Meet Kristin Cole, MSN, APRN-CNP

Matthew Ginsberg, MD

Dr. Ginsberg is a pediatric neurologist at Akron Children’s Hospital where he’s been practicing since 2019. A graduate of Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, he completed a pediatric neurology residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a neuromuscular fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Ginsberg specializes in neuromuscular neurology and neurofibromatosis and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with a special qualification in Child Neurology and the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He provides services including EMG/NCS (electromyogram and nerve conduction studies) and neuromuscular ultrasound. He is a member of American Academy of Neurology, Child Neurology Society and the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Additionally, he is a published researcher and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Meet Matthew Ginsberg, MD

The Mitochondrial Center at Akron Children’s Hospital works in collaboration with the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute to staff and coordinate clinical trials and other research studies focused on mitochondrial disease. View our current research.

Make a donation to support the Mitochondrial Center at Akron Children’s Hospital.

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Bruce H. Cohen, MD

Locations

Contact Mitochondrial Center

330-543-8050

Location Small Image
NeuroDevelopmental Science Center
Akron Children's Hospital NeuroDevelopmental Science Center, Akron
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Suite 4400
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-8054
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute
Akron Children's Hospital Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute, Akron
Exchange Street Building
130 West Exchange Street
Akron, Ohio 44302
Fax: 330-543-3166
More about this location...
Map & directions

Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
Bruce H. Cohen
Bruce H. Cohen, MD, FAAN

Director, NeuroDevelopmental Science Center; Interim Vice President and Medical Director, Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute; Chairman, American Academy of Neurology Advocacy Committee; Pediatric Neurologist

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Facts & Stats

Facts & Stats

Mitochondrial - Certification
In 2018
Earned certification as a Mitochondrial Care Center
Mitochondrial - #1 Enrolling Site
#1 Enrolling Site
North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium Biobank
Mitochondrial - Research around world
Mitochondrial Research
Presented around the world
Mitochondrial - #1 to treat patient
1st to treat
A mitochondrial patient with elamipretide
https://www.akronchildrens.org/files/COVID-Inforgraphic.html

What Should Families Expect When They Come for an Appointment?

At Akron Children’s, your child’s health and safety is our priority. Please continue to bring your child for wellness visits, vaccinations or sick care appointments that keep children healthy. We want to assure you that we have taken additional precautions to ensure a safe environment for your child and family. The following are additional safety efforts, in addition to our normal cleaning protocols, that we are taking to help you be comfortable bringing your child to an appointment.

Limiting the Number of Caregivers and Face Covering

The number of caregivers permitted to accompany a child to an appointment is dependent on the department you are visiting. Everyone visiting an Akron Children's facility is asked to wear masks or face coverings, except for kids under 2 or those with sensory issues. Masks will be provided for visitors who do not bring their own.

Health Screening Station Ahead Sign

Checking In and Screening of Visitors

Akron Children's now offers Mobile Check-in to limit your exposure to others. You'll receive a text an hour before your child's appointment arrival time. Click the link in the text when you reach the Akron Children's facility for your child's appointment. You will receive a confirmation text that reminds you to wait in your car. Once we determine appropriate spacing is available inside the building, you'll receive a third text to let you know it's OK to come in for your appointment.

Immediately upon entering the building, your temperature will be taken, either by a thermal scanner or a greeter who will also ask you a few questions.

If you are in a waiting room, you’ll notice signs and a limited number of chairs. This is to remind our patients to keep 6 feet of physical distance between your family and others.

Precautions If You Suspect Your Child Has COVID-19

Call your child’s healthcare professional if your child is sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your health care professional will work with Ohio’s public health department and the CDC to determine if your child needs to be tested for COVID-19.

View all the safety precautions Akron Children's is taking.

Partners

The Mitochondrial Center at Akron Children’s Hospital is proud to work with these leading mitochondrial organizations and support groups in the United States.

The Mitochondrial Center at Akron Children’s Hospital is one of 15 mitochondrial care centers in the United States as designated by the North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium (NAMDC). NAMDC was established to create a network of clinicians and clinical investigators in North America who follow sizeable numbers of patients with mitochondrial diseases and are involved or interested in mitochondrial research. NAMDC is part of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. Dr. Cohen serves on the executive board of NAMDC and has participated in all major projects. The aim of NAMDC have been to foster natural history development, clinical research, a biobank to support translational and laboratory research, disseminate information about mitochondrial disease to the general community and medical community and to serve as a resource to the public, academic and commercial community.

The largest mitochondrial support group in the U.S. is the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF), whose mission is to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families. Akron Children’s Hospital has been involved by supporting their national symposium and sponsoring a local symposium for professionals and families, participation in mitochondrial scientific meetings, presenting grand rounds and the regional level nationally and participating in their annual local fundraiser, the Energy for Life Walkathon.

The mission of MitoAction is to improve the quality of life for children, adults, and families living with mitochondrial disease through support, education, outreach, advocacy, clinical research initiatives and by granting wishes for children affected by mitochondrial disease. MitoAction strive to make a measurable impact in the lives of those who are affected by mitochondrial disease.

Akron Children's Hospital's mitochondrial center is credentialed by the Mitochondrial Care Network (MCN) for our comprehensive and quality longitudinal care. The MCN was established as a collaborative effort on behalf of leading mitochondrial disease professional and patient advocacy groups and represents a group of physicians at medical centers across the country that have expertise and experience in providing coordinated, multidisciplinary care for patients with genetic mitochondrial disease. The network was created to help improve the quality of mitochondrial patient care and implement best practices and standards of care in mitochondrial medicine to help improve diagnosis, treatment and patient outcomes. 

The Mitochondrial Medicine Society (MMS) represents an international group of physicians, researchers and clinicians working towards advancing education, research and global collaboration in clinical mitochondrial medicine. Akron Children's and the Mitochondrial Medicine Society are key collaborative partners. Dr. Bruce Cohen recently served as president and he is currently an editor of the medical society's Mitochondrial and Metabolic Medicine (M3) journal.

Research

The Mitochondrial Center at Akron Children’s Hospital works in collaboration with the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute to staff and coordinate clinical trials and other research studies focused on mitochondrial disease. Our research staff of PhDs, RNs, research coordinators, physical therapists, ECG and Echo technicians and investigational pharmacists are involved in all aspects of research related to mitochondrial medicine at Akron Children’s, and works seamlessly with our clinical staff to ensure the integrity of each clinical trial, as well as safe patient care. Our clinical and research programs serve as a regional and national resource for patient care and are one of the most successful care centers in the world.


Some of the Conditions We Treat...

Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy, Alpers Disease, Barth Syndrome, Beta-Oxidation Defects, Carnitine-Acyl-Carnitine Deficiency, Carnitine Deficiency, Complex I Deficiency, Complex II Deficiency, Complex III Deficiency, Complex IV Deficiency/COX Deficiency, Complex V Deficiency, CPT I Deficiency, Creatine Deficiency Syndromes, Co-Enzyme Q10 Deficiency, CPEO, CPTII Deficiency, KSS, Lactic Acidosis, LBSL – Leukodystrophy, LCA Deficiency, LCHA Deficiency, Leigh Disease or Syndrome, Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, Luft Disease, MAD/Glutaric Aciduria Type II, MCAD, MERRF, MELAS, MEPAN, MIRAS, Mitochondrial DNA Depletion, Mitochondrial Encephalopathy, MNGIE, NARP, Pearson Syndrome, POLG Mutations, Pyruvate Carboxylase Deficiency, PDC Deficiency, SANDO, SCAD, SCHAD, TK2/Myopathic Form, VLCAD



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