Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD
Photo: Nicole Calakos



Elected 2017

Dr. Calakos is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Calakos cares for patients with Movement Disorders and leads a laboratory research program that studies the normal mechanisms of learning through synaptic plasticity and how these processes are disrupted in disease. Her team focuses on plasticity processes within the basal ganglia circuitry to understand its role in normal adaptive behavior, such as habit formation, and disorders such as compulsive behavior, dystonia and Tourette’s syndrome.

Dr. Calakos received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, her MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University, and residency training in Neurology at the University of California at San Francisco.

In addition to critical support from private foundations, her work is supported by the NIH. Her laboratory has been recognized nationally and internationally for its contributions. Awards include the McKnight Neurosciences Memory and Cognitive Disorders award, Klingenstein Fellowship in the Neurosciences, Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar-Innovator award, and NARSAD Young Investigator award. Dr. Calakos has served on the Board of Directors for the American Neurological Association, NIH study sections concerning synaptic function and mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disease, and scientific advisory boards for movement disorder foundations.

Honors / awards

ASCI | Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award (2023) For her contributions to understanding basal ganglia physiology and its involvement in diseases such as compulsive behavior and movement disorders. More
National Academy of Medicine (2022)