Essential Tremor Education Center Alliance Profile: Dr. Michael Kaplitt and Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center


The team at the Essential Tremor Education Center works with Dr. Michael Kaplitt of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center to help educate others about essential tremor treatment. The physicians of Weill Cornell Medicine provide comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, which has been ranked by US News and World Report as the #1 hospital in New York for 16 years in a row. The physicians and scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College (the medical college of Cornell University) have a proud history of contributions to major medical advances, including the development of the Pap smear, the synthesis of penicillin, and the first clinical trial of gene therapy for treating Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Kaplitt earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from Princeton University in 1987 before moving on to earning a Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University and an M.D. at Cornell Medical College. After completing a fellowship in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, he returned to Weill Cornell to join their faculty as an assistant professor of neurological surgery. Dr. Kaplitt is consistently named to lists of top doctors in New York and has received several prestigious awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Gene Therapy. In 2004 he was named to the list of “Crain’s 40 Under 40,” which highlighted promising young New Yorkers. Dr. Kaplitt also serves on the editorial board of several prestigious scientific and medical journals, including the Journal of Neurosurgery—widely considered to be the most important in the field.

Dr. Kaplitt has recently been recognized for his contributions to new treatments for essential tremor. After participating in the clinical trial testing of MR-guided focused ultrasound technology on patients with essential tremor, Dr. Kaplitt became the first in New York to offer the treatment — just weeks after it was approved by the FDA. One of the first patients treated was Alexandra Lebenthal, a prominent New York business leader, who experienced markedly diminished tremor after the procedure. Ms. Lebenthal has since appeared with Dr. Kaplitt on the Charlie Rose Show, Good Day New York, Business Insider, CBS New York, and SquawkBox to discuss the successful treatment of her essential tremor.

At Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Kaplitt works with radiologist J. Levi Chazen, M.D., in a partnership between neurosurgery and radiology that ensures optimal patient outcomes for patients receiving focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor. We have no doubt that the expertise of Dr. Kaplitt and Dr. Chazen will be valuable in educating others about essential tremor and the current advances being made in essential tremor treatment.