A photo of Marissa M. Vawter.

Neurohospitalist, Division of Neurology

Fetal and Neonatal Neurology Specialist, Division of Neurology

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Board Certified

"I enjoy sitting with families in clinic and listening to parents, who I truly believe are a child's best advocate."

My Biography & Research


I’m a pediatric neurologist who cares for children in the hospital. I divide my time between our inpatient unit, consulting in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) and caring for patients in outpatient clinics that focus on children under age 2. My nurses and I work together to provide the best care possible for our families.

As a child, I spent a lot of time at doctor’s appointments, which helped me understand the impact a kind doctor can have on a child and family. I was drawn to child neurology by the longitudinal nature of the specialty and the ability to form long-term relationships with families, which led to my fellowship year in fetal and neonatal neurology. I love meeting families of fetal patients or newborns and being part of their journey with a disease or brain malformation. It's an honor to help families and to watch children grow up.

I enjoy sitting with families in clinic and listening to parents, who I truly believe are a child's best advocate. I try to focus on what parents' concerns are, to make sure I address them and to fully understand their child's issues.

I was honored to receive the 2019 M. Harold Fogelson, MD, Teaching Award given from the graduating child neurology residents to the person they voted as the best resident teacher.

When I’m not helping patients, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, watching movies and reading books. I'm an avid science fiction fan with a deep love for Star Wars.

Clinical Interests

Fetal neurology; neonatal neurology; congenital brain malformations; infant epilepsy

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions


Research Divisions

Neurology, Global Health

My Locations

My Education

MD: Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, 2010.

Residency: Pediatric Neurology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Fellowship: Neonatal Neurology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH.

Certification: Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology, 2015.

My Publications

Acute Flaccid Myelitis: A Multidisciplinary Protocol to Optimize Diagnosis and Evaluation. Vawter-Lee, M; Peariso, K; Frey, M; Bolikal, P; Schaffzin, JK; Schwentker, A; O’Brien, WT; Zamor, R; Kerrey, BT. Journal of Child Neurology. 2021; 36:421-431.

Case Report: Is Catatonia a Clinical Feature of the Natural Progression of NLGN2-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder?. Shillington, A; Lamy, M; Vawter-Lee, M; Erickson, C; Saal, H; Comoletti, D; Abell, K. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2021; 51:371-376.

Prenatal diagnosis of Proteus syndrome: Diagnosis of an AKT1 mutation from amniocytes. Abell, K; Tolusso, L; Smith, N; Hopkin, R; Vawter-Lee, M; Habli, M; Riddle, S; Calvo-Garcia, MA; Guan, Q; Bierbrauer, K; et al. Birth Defects Research. 2020; 112:1733-1737.

The Increasing Global Burden of Childhood Disability: A Call for Action. Vawter-Lee, M; McGann, PT. Pediatrics. 2020; 146.

Loss- or Gain-of-Function Mutations in ACOX1 Cause Axonal Loss via Different Mechanisms. Chung, H; Wangler, MF; Marcogliese, PC; Jo, J; Ravenscroft, TA; Zuo, Z; Duraine, L; Sadeghzadeh, S; Li-Kroeger, D; Schmidt, RE; et al. Neuron. 2020; 106:589-606.e6.

Clinical Letter: A case report of targeted therapy with sirolimus for NPRL3 epilepsy. Vawter-Lee, M; Franz, DN; Fuller, CE; Greiner, HM. Seizure : the journal of the British Epilepsy Association. 2019; 73:43-45.

Pediatric Epilepsy Readmissions: The Who, When, and Why. Vawter-Lee, M; Lutley, A; Lake, SW; Fledderjohn, S; King, A; Horn, PS; Wesselkamper, KR. Pediatric Neurology. 2019; 93:11-16.

CNTNAP1-Related Congenital Hypomyelinating Neuropathy. Lesmana, H; Lee, MV; Hosseini, SA; Burrow, TA; Hallinan, B; Bove, K; Schapiro, M; Hopkin, RJ. Pediatric Neurology. 2019; 93:43-49.

Teaching Video NeuroImages: Ictal vomiting in a child. Aungaroon, G; Vawter-Lee, M. Neurology. 2018; 91:e1836-e1837.

Outcome of Isolated Absent Septum Pellucidum Diagnosed by Fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan. Vawter-Lee, MM; Wasserman, H; Thomas, CW; Nichols, B; Nagaraj, UD; Schapiro, M; Venkatesan, C. Journal of Child Neurology. 2018; 33:693-699.