VCU Department of Neurology Welcomes Dr. Thomas Chelemsky



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By Shea Wright Neurology

March 22, 2022

The VCU Department of Neurology welcomes Dr. Thomas C. Chelimsky, a professor of Neurology and the Director of VCU’s Autonomic Laboratory. 

Dr. Chelimsky joined VCU on February 1, 2022, from the Medical College of Wisconsin where he held positions of tenured professor of neurology and department chair. In a previous appointment at Case Western Reserve University in 1993 he opened the second autonomic lab in the country. He also directed the Case Pain Center from 1994 to 2004, which led to founding and becoming CEO of PainSTakers, an educational company currently dedicated to training doctors, physical therapists, and behaviorists in the non-pharmacological approach to chronic pain management. 

Dr. Chelimsky, is an early pioneer in the field of functional autonomic disorders such as POTS (postural tachycardia syndrome), and pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders and has published over 85 peer-reviewed articles. He has received continuous funding by NIH since 2009 to study the interface between pelvic pain and autonomic dysfunction and is past-president of the American Autonomic Society (AAS) where he held multiple positions, and past chair of both the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Pain and Autonomic Sections. He has been instrumental in fellow board certification and fellowship accreditation in Autonomic Disorders through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) where he chaired the first examination committee.

In his new role, Dr. Chelimsky’s interests and enthusiasm will focus on a rich collaboration with VCU faculty members over many disciplines to develop an autonomic program that crosses traditional boundaries to include both children and adults, to offer both interdisciplinary diagnostic services and an on-site interdisciplinary treatment program, and to foster robust clinical, research and educational components.

As a child Dr. Chelimsky had a small role in the movie Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, but ultimately chose medicine as his field of choice. 

Dr. Chelimsky graduated from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, MO, and completed his residencies at Mayo Clinic in both internal medicine and neurology, where he was their first fellow in autonomic disorders.