University of Nebraska Medical Center

Afsaneh Shirani, MD, MSCI

Assistant Professor, Multiple Sclerosis


Afsaneh Shirani, MD, MSCI

Dr. Shirani is an assistant professor in the Division of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) of the Department of Neurological Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Shirani’s interest in MS started at medical school when she became fascinated by brain-immune interactions and their clinical implications. She obtained her MD degree at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, where she completed her MD thesis on serum prolactin levels in people with MS under the mentorship of Dr. Mohammad Hossein Harirchian and Dr. Mohammad Ali Sahraian. She then joined the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, as a post-doctoral research fellow under the supervision of Dr. Helen Tremlett, focusing on investigating the long-term impact of beta-interferons on MS disability progression in the real-world practice setting, as well as other MS-related pharmaco-epidemiological projects. She also benefited from Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant’s mentorship during a short-term research visit at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Shirani moved to Texas in 2013 for neurology residency training at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where she remained actively involved in MS research under the mentorship of Dr. OIaf Stuve and Dr. Darin Okuda. Passionate about how neuroimaging can be used as a translational tool to pave the way toward a personalized medicine approach in MS, she joined Washington University in St. Louis for her post-residency fellowship under the primary mentorship of Dr. Anne Cross, and co-mentorship of Dr. Sheng-Kwei (Victor) Song. She focused on investigating the biomarker potential of a novel imaging method called diffusion basis spectrum imaging (developed at Washington University) to differentiate and quantify MS pathologies using non-invasive imaging, and to predict long-term disability progression in people with MS. She also obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at Washington University.

Dr. Shirani has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the Clinician Scientist Development Award from the US National MS Society, Clinical Research Training Scholarship from the American Academy of Neurology, Post-doctoral Fellowship Award from the MS Society of Canada, Jacqueline Du Pre Award from the MS International Federation, etc. She has also been awarded a  two-year Physician Scientist Program Award by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Shirani is using these resources to be a voice for people with MS, and to improve the clinical care of patients with MS, particularly those from medically underserved areas. 

  • MD, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Pharmacoepidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Internship, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • Residency, Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Fellowship, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology, Washington University in St. Louis
Clinical and Research Interests

Multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating autoimmune diseases; drug effectiveness and precision medicine in multiple sclerosis; biomarkers particularly neuroimaging biomarkers in multiple sclerosis; disease progression and outcome research; neurorepair and neuroprotection strategies in the central nervous system.

Dr. Shirani's publications

Patient Care
Dr. Shirani provides patient care through Nebraska Medicine at Clarkson Doctors Building North. View her Nebraska Medicine provider profile.