Elizabeth McNally MD PhD is the Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Dr. McNally uses genetics to define pathways that mediate heart and muscle degeneration leading to cardiomyopathy, heart failure and skeletal myopathies. Dr. McNally received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College of Columbia University, majoring in Biology and Philosophy. She completed her MD and PhD degrees through the NIH supported Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School and then was postdoctoral fellow in human genetics at Children’s Hospital in Boston. She joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1996 and has been continuously funded by the NIH since that time. Her research has also been supported by the Department of Defense and as well as private foundations. She joined Northwestern University in 2014 to lead the Center for Genetic Medicine.
Her work focuses on elucidating genetic mechanisms that underlie human myopathic processes. Her laboratory developed the first genetically modified mouse model of muscular dystrophy and cardiomyopathy. Using quantitative trait locus mapping, her group identified a series of genetic modifiers of myopathy. These genetic signals are being used to develop novel therapies to treat these disorders. She has a special interest in neuromuscular genetic diseases like muscular dystrophy and inherited cardiomyopathies. Her translational work was recognized by an award from the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation and as a recipient of a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She serves on the Advisory Boards for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, and serves on the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council of the American Heart Association. She is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a member of the Association of American Physicians. She is the founder of Ikaika Therapeutics.