Amit Bar-Or

Academic title(s): 

Director, Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurotherapeutics
Chief, Multiple Sclerosis Division, Department of Neurology
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Adjunct Professor of Neurology, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

Contact Information

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
PCAM South Pavilion, 7th Floor, Rm 763
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283

Fax number: 
Email address: [at]
Adjunct Members
Montreal Neurological Institute
Graduate supervision: 



Dr. Bar-Or, a neurologist and neuroimmunologist, is Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (the Neuro), McGill University. His clinical focus is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and related disorders, and he currently serves as President of the Canadian Consortium of MS Clinics (CNSMS).  He directs a cellular and molecular Neuroimmunology lab that studies basic principles of immune regulation and immune-neural interaction, in the context of inflammation, injury and repair of the human central nervous system (CNS). He also serves as the Scientific Director of the Clinical Research unit and founder and Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Neuro. Following undergraduate work in biopsychology at McMaster University, Dr. Bar-Or received his medical degree cum laude from McGill University, then pursued Neurology residency and Fellowship training in Neuroimmunology at Harvard University where he also completed the Harvard/MIT Clinical Investigator Training Program (CITP).

Current research: 

Research Interests

Immune Regulation; Immune:Neural Interaction; Immune Monitoring, Autoimmune disease; Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Bar-Or’s Neuroimmunology lab research is directed at understanding principles of immune regulation and immune neural interactions. Immune system studies include elucidation of effector and regulatory properties of distinct immune cell (principally T cell, B cell, and myeloid cell) subsets; their interactions; and how these may contribute to inflammatory neurological diseases, primarily multiple sclerosis. A strong interface with neuroscience laboratories at the Neuro provides opportunities to investigate the role of immune-neural interactions to CNS injury, repair and regeneration.  Ongoing research in MS considers both pediatric- and adult-onset disease, and reconstitution biology. 

An overarching theme is translation of basic lab discoveries towards understanding and development of novel experimental therapies. This includes human in vivo biological proof-of-principle studies of therapeutic mode-of-action, development and application of biological assays to monitor disease activity and evaluate response to treatments, and the development of clinically meaningful biomarkers for patients with autoimmune and neurological disease.

Selected publications: 
  • Moore CS, Cui QL, Warsi NM, Durafourt BA, Zorko N, Owen DR, Antel JP, Bar-Or A. Direct and indirect effects of immune and central nervous system-resident cells on human oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation. J Immunol. 2015 Jan 15;194(2):761-72. PMID: 25505283
  • Miyazaki Y, Li R, Rezk A, Misirliyan H, Moore C, Farooqi N, Solis M, Goiry LG, de Faria Junior O, Dang VD, Colman D, Dhaunchak AS, Antel J, Gommerman J, Prat A, Fillatreau S, Bar-Or A; on behalf of the CIHR/MSSC New Emerging Team Grant in Clinical Autoimmunity and the MSSRF Canadian B cells in MS Team. A Novel MicroRNA-132-Surtuin-1 Axis Underlies Aberrant B-cell Cytokine Regulation in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 19;9(8):e105421. PMID: 25136908.   
  • Villar LM, Casanova B, Ouamara N, Comabella M, Jalili F, Leppert D, de Andrés  C, Izquierdo G, Arroyo R, Avşar T, Lapin SV, Johnson T, Montalbán X, Fernández O, Alvarez-Lafuente R, Masterman D, García-Sánchez MI, Coret F, Siva A, Evdoshenko E, Alvarez-Cermeño JC, Bar-Or A. Immunoglobulin M oligoclonal bands: Biomarker of targetable inflammation in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2014 Jun 6. PMID: 24909126.   
  • Quintana FJ, Patel B, Yeste A, Nyirenda M, Kenison J, Rahbari R, Fetco D, Hussain M, O'Mahony J, Magalhaes S, McGowan M, Johnson T, Rajasekharan S, Narayanan S, Arnold DL, Weiner HL, Banwell B, Bar-Or A; Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Network. Epitope spreading as an early pathogenic event in pediatric multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2014 Dec 9;83(24):2219-26. PMID: 25381299
  • Shen P, Roch T, Lampropoulou V, O'Connor RA, Stervbo U, Hilgenberg E, Ries S,  Dang VD, Jaimes Y, Daridon C, Li R, Jouneau L, Boudinot P, Wilantri S, Sakwa I, Miyazaki Y, Leech MD, McPherson RC, Wirtz S, Neurath M, Hoehlig K, Meinl E, Grützkau A, Grün JR, Horn K, Kühl AA, Dörner T, Bar-Or A, Kaufmann SH, Anderton SM, Fillatreau S. IL-35-producing B cells are critical regulators of immunity during autoimmune and infectious diseases. Nature. 2014 Mar 20;507(7492):366-70. PMID: 24572363.   
  • Giacomini PS, Rozenberg A, Metz I, Araujo D, Arbour N, Bar-Or A; Maraviroc in  Multiple Sclerosis–Associated PML–IRIS (MIMSAPI) Group. Maraviroc and JC virus-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2014  Jan 30;370(5):486-8. PMID: 24476450.   
  • Waldman A, Ghezzi A, Bar-Or A, Mikaeloff Y, Tardieu M, Banwell B. Lancet Neurol. Multiple sclerosis in children: an update on clinical diagnosis, therapeutic strategies, and research. 2014 Sep;13(9):936-48. Review. PMID: 25142460
  • van Pelt ED, Mescheriakova JY, Makhani N, Ketelslegers IA, Neuteboom RF, Kundu S, Broer L, Janssens C, Catsman-Berrevoets CE, van Duijn CM, Banwell B, Bar-Or A, Hintzen RQ. Risk genes associated with pediatric-onset MS but not with monophasic acquired CNS demyelination. Neurology. 2013 Dec 3;81(23):1996-2001. PMID: 24198294.   
  • Mayer MC, Breithaupt C, Reindl M, Schanda K, Rostásy K, Berger T, Dale RC, Brilot F, Olsson T, Jenne D, Pröbstel AK, Dornmair K, Wekerle H, Hohlfeld R, Banwell B, Bar-Or A, Meinl E. Distinction and temporal stability of conformational epitopes on myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein recognized by patients with different inflammatory central nervous system diseases. J Immunol.  2013 Oct 1;191(7):3594-604. PMID: 24014878.   
  • Yea C, Tellier R, Chong P, Westmacott G, Marrie RA, Bar-Or A, Banwell B; Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Network. Epstein-Barr virus in oral shedding of children with multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2013 Oct 15;81(16):1392-9. PMID: 24014504;
  • Moore CS, Rao VT, Durafourt BA, Bedell BJ, Ludwin SK, Bar-Or A, Antel JP. miR-155 as a multiple sclerosis-relevant regulator of myeloid cell polarization.  Ann Neurol. 2013 Nov;74(5):709-20. PMID: 23818336.  
  • Darlington PJ, Touil T, Doucet JS, Gaucher D, Zeidan J, Gauchat D, Corsini R, Kim HJ, Duddy M, Jalili F, Arbour N, Kebir H, Chen J, Arnold DL, Bowman M, Antel  J, Prat A, Freedman MS, Atkins H, Sekaly R, Cheynier R, Bar-Or A; Canadian MS/BMT Study Group. Diminished Th17 (not Th1) responses underlie multiple sclerosis disease abrogation after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Ann Neurol. 2013 Mar;73(3):341-54. PMID: 23463494.  
  • Belabani C, Rajasekharan S, Poupon V, Johnson T, Bar-Or A; CIHR/MSSC NET in Clinical Autoimmunity; Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Network. A condensed performance-validation strategy for multiplex detection kits used in studies of human clinical samples. J Immunol Methods. 2013 Jan 31;387(1-2):1-10. PMID: 22917931.   
  • Barr TA, Shen P, Brown S, Lampropoulou V, Roch T, Lawrie S, Fan B, O'Connor RA, Anderton SM, Bar-Or A, Fillatreau S, Gray D. B cell depletion therapy ameliorates autoimmune disease through ablation of IL-6-producing B cells. J Exp  Med. 2012 May 7;209(5):1001-10. PMID: 22547654; PubMed Central.
  • Dhaunchak AS, Becker C, Schulman H, De Faria O Jr, Rajasekharan S, Banwell B, Colman DR, Bar-Or A; Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Group. Implication  of perturbed axoglial apparatus in early pediatric multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2012 May;71(5):601-13. PMID: 22473675.   
  • Lisak RP, Benjamins JA, Nedelkoska L, Barger JL, Ragheb S, Fan B, Ouamara N,  Johnson TA, Rajasekharan S, Bar-Or A. Secretory products of multiple sclerosis B  cells are cytotoxic to oligodendroglia in vitro. J Neuroimmunol. 2012 May 15;246(1-2):85-95. PMID: 22458983.   
  • Rajasekharan S, Bar-Or A; CIHR/MSSC NET in Clinical Autoimmunity. From bench  to MS bedside: challenges translating biomarker discovery to clinical practice. J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Jul 15;248(1-2):66-72. Review. PMID: 22381245.