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Pablo Ariel Celnik, M.D.

Pablo Ariel Celnik, M.D.

Headshot of Pablo Ariel Celnik
  • Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Languages: English, Spanish


Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Neurologic Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stroke, Stroke Rehabilitation, Traumatic Brain Injury more

Research Interests

Interventions to enhance motor recovery after stroke.; Neurophysiology and modulation of human motor learning. more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 443-997-5476
600 N. Wolfe Street
Meyer Building 1-163
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 443-923-2721 | Fax: 443-923-2715

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-502-2272
4940 Eastern Avenue
AA Suite 1654
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-550-5299 | Fax: 410-550-1345


Pablo Celnik is the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Professor and Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the physiatrist-in-chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is co-director of the Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute, director of the Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory, and leads the Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Program at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Celnik also holds secondary appointments in the departments of neurology and neuroscience.

A native of Argentina, Dr. Celnik received his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in neurology in Argentina and a fellowship in neurological rehabilitation at the University of Maryland. He earned two research fellowships: in the lab of Mark Hallett, first, and Leonardo G. Cohen later on, both at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2000, he entered the physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) residency program at Johns Hopkins, where he was ultimately appointed chief resident. Since 2003, he has been part of the Johns Hopkins faculty in the PM&R, neurology and neuroscience departments.

Dr. Celnik is internationally recognized for his expertise and research in neurologic rehabilitation, particularly with stroke and traumatic brain injury. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. 

Dr. Celnik has an extensive publication track record, with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in highly regarded scientific journals and more than 10 chapters and books. He has been continuously funded by NIH since 2003. more


  • Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Physiatrist-in-chief, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Director, Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory
  • Director of Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Co-Director, Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute
  • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Professor of Neurology
  • Professor of Neuroscience

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Universidad de Buenos Aires (1990)


  • Neurology; Hospital Frances (1994)
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2003)


  • Kernan Hospital (1996)
  • Volunteer; National Institutes of Health (1996)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) (2004)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Celnik's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying motor learning and motor recovery after brain lesions, and on developing new strategies to enhance motor recovery after stroke.

The aim of his research to use this knowledge to develop and test new interventions to enhance motor function in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological damage. In this area, has published more than 60 manuscripts in highly regarded journals and books.

Dr. Celnik’s research has formed the foundational knowledge for the application of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, like transcranial magnetic and electric stimulation, to understand recovery after brain lesions, augment motor learning and design novel rehabilitation training interventions.

For his research, he was awarded the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and other awards.


The Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory is focused on studying the mechanisms underlying motor learning and developing interventions to modulate motor function in humans. The aim is to understand how does the central nervous system control and learn to perform motor actions in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological diseases such as stroke. Using this knowledge, the ultimate goal is to develop strategies to enhance motor function in neurological patients.

To accomplish these interests, we use different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as well as functional MRI and behavioral tasks.

Lab Website: Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory

Clinical Trials

Investigation on the Bidirectional Cortical Neuroprosthetic System (BiCNS)

Theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation and motor learning

Effects of excitation and inhibition of the temporo-parietal cortex via tDCS on reading performance in children with dyslexia

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Spampinato, D., Celnik, P. Multiple Motor Learning Processes in Humans: Defining Their Neurophysiological Bases. The Neuroscientist. 2020 Jul 25. doi: 10.1177/1073858420939552

Cherry-Allen KM, Statton MA, Celnik PA, Bastian AJ. A Dual-Learning Paradigm Simultaneously Improves Multiple Features of Gait Post-Stroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2018 Aug 7:1545968318792623. doi: 10.1177/1545968318792623. PMID: 30086670

Mawase F, Lopez D, Celnik PA, Haith AM. Movement Repetition Facilitates Response Preparation. Cell Rep. 2018 Jul 24;24(4):801-808. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.06.097. PMID: 30044977

Spampinato D, Celnik P. Deconstructing skill learning and its physiological mechanisms. Cortex. 2018 Mar 27;104:90-102. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2018.03.017. PMID: 29775838

Ilg W, Branscheidt M, Butala A, Celnik P, de Paola L, Horak FB, Schöls L, Teive HAG, Vogel AP, Zee DS, Timmann D. Consensus Paper: Neurophysiological Assessments of Ataxias in Daily Practice. Cerebellum. 2018 Apr 14. doi: 10.1007/s12311-018-0937-2.  PMID: 29656311

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Courses and Syllabi

  • Chronic Disease Prevention
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Non-invasive methodologies to study the cerebellum
    Johns Hopkins Neuroscience Undergraduate Program
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
    Stroke Neurology Fellowship Didactic Series, Johns Hopkins

Activities & Honors


  • Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine, 2021
  • Carolyn Braddom Ritzier Research Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • ASNR Outstanding Neurorehabilitation Clinician Scientist Award, 2010
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2009
  • Young Academician Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2007
  • Program for Academic Leadership, Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • Best Paper Presentation Award, American Society of Neurorehabilitation, 2006
  • Clinician Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2006
  • Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Awards, American Geriatric Society, 2006
  • Women’s Board Of The Johns Hopkins Hospital Grant, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2006
  • Best Paper Presentation Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting, 2005
  • Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2003
  • ERF New Investigator Award, Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2003
  • Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Institute of Health, 1997


  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • Neural Control of Movement Society
  • Society for Neuroscience

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Advisory Board, Rehabilitation Medicine Training Program, Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • Research Committee Member, Association of Academic Physiatrists

Videos & Media

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    Dr. Pablo Celnik | Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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    Cerebro argentino: Capítulo 10: Pablo Celnik

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