Youssef A. Kousa, MS, D.O., Ph.D.


Youssef A. Kousa, MS, D.O., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist specializing in neonatal neurology at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 2015, Dr. Kousa established the Zika Genetic Consortium to investigate whether maternal and fetal genetic factors can modify the risk of brain injury from congenital infections. Dr. Kousa is the Principal Investigator of the Consortium, which includes 19 co-investigators representing 13 different institutions. The Consortium is bringing together cohorts of 12,000 mother-infant dyads retrospectively and prospectively from 15 international health centers in seven countries in collaboration with federal governmental partners at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Kousa also directs the Perinatal Neuroinfections Clinic at Children’s National and is an Instructor in Neurology, Pediatrics, Genomics and Precision Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kousa completed a combined pediatrics and child neurology residency at Children’s National and the D.O.-Ph.D. Physician Scientist Training Program at Michigan State University. Through graduate and post-graduate research training, he has focused on human genetics, genetic engineering, developmental biology, immunology and virology. His accomplishments include creation of an adenovirus-based malaria vaccine, discovery of a conserved gene regulatory network in craniofacial and neural tube development, 30 peer-reviewed publications, and multiple national and international invited research presentations. His awards and honors span academic, research, service and leadership roles, including the highest honors possible at Michigan State University for a graduate and medical student.

Address: 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Email: fetalbrain@childrensnational.org
Department: MRI Lab

Recent Publications & Presentations

Hall, E.G., L. Wenger, N.R. Wilson, S. Undurty, J. Standley, E.A. Augustine-Akpan, Y.A. Kousa, D.S. Acevedo, J. Goering, L. Pitstick, N. Natsume, S. Yousaf, T. Busch, C. Nguyen, M. Nguyen, W.L. Adeyemo, M.A. Eshete, B.C. Bjork, S. Suzuki, J.C. Murray, B.C. Schutte, A. Butali, I. Saadi
SPECC1L Regulates Palate Development Downstream of IRF6
Hum Mol Genet, 2020. March 1;29(1): 845–858. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddaa002 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31943082/
Kousa, Y.A.*, ‎J. Murnick, J. Burton, M. DiSabella, P. Pergami
Acute Pontine Ischemic Stroke in a Healthy Child with Intracranial Vasculopathy.
J Child Neurol, 2019, doi: 10.1177/0883073819861851. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31309852/
Kousa YA, Zhu H, Fakhouri WD, Lei Y, Kinoshita A, Roushangar RR, Patel NK, Agopian AJ, Yang W, Leslie EJ, Busch TD, Mansour TA, Li X, Smith AL, Li EB, Sharma DB, Williams TJ, Chai Y, Amendt BA, Liao EC, Mitchell LE, Bassuk AG, Gregory S, Ashley-Koch A, Shaw GM, Finnell RH, Schutte BC.
The TFAP2A-IRF6-GRHL3 genetic pathway is conserved in neurulation.
Hum Mol Genet, 2019. May 15;28(10):1726-1737. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz010 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30689861/
Mulkey SB, Bulas DI, Vezina G, Fourzali Y, Morales A, Arroyave-Wessel M, Swisher CB, Cristante C, Russo SM, Encinales L, Pacheco N, Kousa YA, Lanciotti RS, Cure C, DeBiasi RL, du Plessis AJ
Sequential neuroimaging of the fetus and newborn with in utero ZIKV exposure.
JAMA Pediatrics. Published 2019 Jan. 1. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4138 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30476967/