Ann Henderson Tilton M.D.
Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics; Section Chair of Child Neurology, Louisiana State Health Science Center
Early this year, a technology invented by Dr. Ann Tilton, along with Drs. Dana Suskind and Mary Claire at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, was purchased by Allergan – the largest pharmaceutical company in the world – as part of a $90 million deal.
“The patent is for the use of Botulinum toxin, or as many people know it, Botox, for the treatment of acne,” explains Tilton, who says she has been working with the substance for approximately 20 years. Tilton was an innovator in the use of the drug to treat children and adults with spasticity.
“[The work] shaped my practice, research and leadership nationally and internationally,” she says.
Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and Section Chair of Child Neurology at LSU Science Center, Tilton also serves as the director of the Rehabilitation Center at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. A leader not just locally, but nationally, she just finished her term early this year as Chair of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and will begin serving a two-year term as president-elect of the Child Neurology Foundation in 2017.
“There are a lot more therapeutics on the horizon,” she says, noting her excitement about the future of her field. “Things that we haven’t believed to be treatable up until this point, like degenerative diseases, are becoming treatable. It’s really an exciting time.”
Mentor: My mother was an incredible advocate and model at a time when women were not encouraged to pursue professions like medicine. Her support was critical. Defining moment: While attending a child neurology clinic in Dallas, I discovered that behind each door was a child with a disorder I hadn’t seen before. This area of medicine presented incredible diagnostic challenges and an opportunity for the use of new medications and innovative techniques. Advice for young women: Eloquently stated by Maya Angelou, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” I try to encourage young women to believe in their capabilities and know that they can always learn from success and failure. Goals: I’m excited to turn more of my attention to mentoring doctors earlier in their careers, especially doctors from diverse backgrounds. I also plan to keep serving the community at Children’s Hospital, to continue my research collaborations and to help shape national medical policy. Favorite thing about what I do: I enjoy collaborating with and learning from a team of health care professionals who care for children on both the local and national level. At the end of day, I’m inspired by the strength and trust of my patients and their families.