Nicholas M. Boulis, MD

Associate Professor

Department Neurosurgery

Phone: 404-778-5770

Fax: 404-778-5121


Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Emory University

101 Woodruff Circle
WMB Room 6309

Atlanta, GA 30322

Additional Websites


Dr. Nicholas Boulis is a Functional Neurosurgeon with significant expertise in the field of gene transfer to the nervous system. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale University with distinction in intensive Biology and Philosophy majors and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Medical School, winning the Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Award.

Dr. Boulis has developed a clinical program focusing on peripheral nerve regeneration, spasticity, pain and Parkinson's Disease, applying advanced microsurgical, radiosurgical and ablative and neural augmentation approaches. In 1997, Dr. Boulis founded Project Shunt, gathering donated equipment and organizing a team of relief neurosurgeons to deliver care to patients with congenital hydrocephalus and neural tube defects. The team has continued to carry out yearly missions under the leadership of Karin Muraszko MD, Chair of neurosurgery at the University of Michigan. Dr. Boulis continues to accompany the team and serves as one of Project Shunt's neurosurgeons. To date, over 300 children have received free operations from Project shunt.

Dr. Boulis' research interests include biological neurorestoration and neuromodulation through the use of cell, protein and gene delivery to the nervous system laboratory specializes in the therapeutic application of the genes for these proteins. Within the Boulis laboratory, the genes for neural growth factors and anti-apoptotic intracellular proteins are inserted into the DNA of genetically engineered viruses. These viruses, which have been rendered safe through the removal of their native genes, can be used to transfer therapeutic genes into diseased tissue. A variety of vectors are currently being tested in both neuronal cell cultures and in animal models for MND.

In parallel, the Boulis laboratory has focused on the development of tissue-specific targeting strategies. These approaches are designed to deliver molecular therapeutics to an anatomically defined site of interest. Much of this effort has concentrated on motor neuron-specific gene delivery.  Finally, Dr. Boulis has focused on the development of techniques for safe and accurate injection of stem cells into the human spinal cord.

With proof-of-principle in the laboratory and Dr. Boulis' expertise in neurosurgery, the laboratory creates a unique resource for the development and clinical translation of these concepts.