Peter D. Donofrio, MD

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Donofrio graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1972, and earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1975. He completed a medicine residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a neurology residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan. After serving on the faculty of the University of Michigan for 5 years, he moved to Wake Forest University in 1986, where he was a faculty member for 20 years. In 2006, he accepted the position of Chief of the Neuromuscular Section in the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University. In addition, he is the Head of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic, the ALS Clinic, and is the Director of the EMG Lab.

Dr. Donofrio is presently on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) and serves on the Medical Economics and Management Committee of the American Academy of Neurology. In 1994, he was elected to the prestigious American Neurological Association. In the past, he served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Chapter of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. He was President of the North Carolina Neurological Society from 2001 to 2005 and is the President –Elect of the AANEM. Dr. Donofrio is board certified in internal medicine, neurology, and electromyography.

Research Information

Dr. Donofrio’s major research interests are in the fields of peripheral neuropathy and in motor neuron disorders. He has authored articles on the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy and the treatment of chronic inflammatory neuropathies, particularly with plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin. He has participated in many clinical trials of potential agents for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease in the United States.

Dr. Donofrio is the director of the EMG Lab at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where conventional and less common electrodiagnostic testing is performed. The highly sophisticated laboratory performs repetitive nerve stimulation testing, single fiber EMG, quantitative EMG, autonomic testing, Q-SART testing, and, in the future, nerve and muscle ultrasound. The EMG lab is the nucleus for training of clinical neurophysiology fellows who focus on neuromuscular disorders. The Department of Neurology accepts two full time clinical neurophysiology fellows each year with this interest. Potential candidates are asked to contact Dr. Donofrio at

In the near future, Vanderbult University Medical Center will be opening an ALS Center, sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, to provide state of the art care for patients with this disabling disease. This center will offer a multi-disciplinary approach to ALS patients where patients in one office setting can see physicians, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, respiratory therapists, and other health care providers. The Clinic will meet one day per month and most patients will be seen every three months. Patients evaluated at the Center will be encouraged to participate in clinical research trials of new therapeutic agents that have potential to treat patients with ALS.