A photo of Marissa M. Vawter.

Marissa M. Vawter-Lee, MD

  • Neurohospitalist, Division of Neurology
  • Fetal and Neonatal Neurology Specialist, Division of Neurology
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I enjoy sitting with families in clinic and listening to parents, who I truly believe are a child's best advocate.
Marissa M. Vawter-Lee, MD



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.

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.


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

Services and Specialties


Research Areas

Neurology, Global Health

Insurance Information

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Role of palliative care in fetal neurological consultations: Guiding through uncertainty and hope. Cortezzo, DM E; Vawter-Lee, M; Shoaib, A; Venkatesan, C. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 2023; 11:1205543.

Clinically available testing options resulting in diagnosis in post-exome clinic at one medical center. Baker, EK; Ulm, EA; Belonis, A; Brightman, DS; Hallinan, BE; Leslie, ND; Miethke, AG; Vawter-Lee, M; Wu, Y; Pena, LD M. Frontiers in Genetics. 2022; 13:887698.

Teaching Video NeuroImage: Neonate With Complex Movement Disorder and Seizures. Grande, K; Wu, H; Vawter-Lee, M; Schapiro, M. Neurology. 2022; 99:129-130.

Alobar holoprosencephaly: Exploring mothers' perspectives on prenatal decision-making and prognostication. Elfarawi, H; Tolusso, L; McGowan, ML; Cortezzo, DM; Vawter-Lee, M. Prenatal Diagnosis. 2022; 42:617-627.

Topiramate Is Safe for Refractory Neonatal Seizures: A Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study of Necrotizing Enterocolitis Risk. Vawter-Lee, M; Natarajan, N; Rang, K; Horn, PS; Pardo, AC; Thomas, CW. Pediatric Neurology. 2022; 129:7-13.

Lethal Pediatric Cerebral Vasculitis Triggered by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Poisson, KE; Zygmunt, A; Leino, D; Fuller, CE; Jones, BV; Haslam, D; Staat, MA; Clay, G; Ting, TV; Wesselkamper, K; et al. Pediatric Neurology. 2022; 127:1-5.

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:e20201119.

From the Blog

How COVID-19 Can Affect a Child’s Brain
Mind Brain Behavior

How COVID-19 Can Affect a Child’s Brain

Marissa M. Vawter-Lee, MD6/14/2022

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