Dr. Leshner has a long history of training and clinical practice. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he earned his MD from Cornell University (now Weill-Cornell) in 1969 and went on to complete an internship in medicine at Medical Center Hospitals of Vermont in 1970.
He followed his internship with two residencies, one in neurology at the University of Colorado Medical Center and another in pediatrics at the Medical Center Hospitals of Vermont.
Dr. Leshner completed fellowship training in child neurology at the University of Colorado Medical Center in 1974. He then joined the National Naval Medical Center as a Staff Neurologist, while he also served as Neurologic Liaison Office for the US Navy and as a Consultant Neurologist to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
In 1976 Dr. Leshner added the role of Assistant Chief of the Neurology Service at the Naval Regional Medical Center, San Diego. He served as Fleet Surgeon on a destroyer as part of the Seventh Fleet Western Pacific Operations.
Dr. Leshner then became a Consultant Neurologist at Fort Gordon Army Hospital and completed a second fellowship in electromyography and neuromuscular diseases at Medical College of Georgia, where he then became Assistant Professor of Child Neurology and Staff Neurologist and Pediatric Neurologist at Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital.
In 1980 Dr. Leshner went on to accept an appointment as an Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University and as a Consultant in Neurology at Hunter McGuire Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Richmond, VA. He was promoted to the rank of full Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Physical Medicine in 1988. He remained at Virginia Commonwealth until 2003.
In 2004 Dr. Leshner became a Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center/George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he remained until he joined UC San Diego in 2011.
He is Board Certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Special Competence in Child Neurology, added qualification in Clinical Neurophysiology, and with added qualification in Neuromuscular Medicine; and by the American Board of Eletrodiagnostic Medicine.
Dr. Leshner’s peer-related activities reflect his excellent standing in the field. Over his career, he served on the executive boards of four organizations, in addition to providing advisory services to several other groups. He has served on many national committees, including the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) board of directors, and on 7 subcommittees for the American Academy of Neurology.
Dr. Leshner has provided over 30 years of intense involvement with pediatric and adult electrodiagnostic medicine (electromyography, nerve conduction studies and more sophisticated techniques) that extend clinical insights into the pathophysiology of neuromuscular disorders. He has been recognized with the “Best Doctor in America” honor 17 times and was named Clinician of the Year in 2002 by the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.
Dr. Leshner developed an active interest in clinical trials with emphasis on the diagnosis, natural history, and treatment of pediatric neuromuscular disease. For several years he has participated in the design and execution of clinical trials for patients with muscular dystrophies and spinal muscular atrophies.
Through his role as the Medical Director of the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG), a 22-site clinical trials network, he developed a particular expertise in conducting multi-institution clinical investigations and developing the infrastructure support needed to ensure that such studies are successful.
He served as the co-investigator on 8 grants over the past several years and authored 41 peer reviewed articles and multiple chapters. His research acumen was recognized in 2008 when he received the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine’s Outstanding Researcher Award.