People Profile Newsletter

Faculty Spotlight Robin Ryther

Robin Ryther

Robin Ryther, MD, PhD, was born and raised in St. Louis, MO.  For the locals, she attended Parkway Central High School. Ryther received a BS in biochemistry from the University of Missouri at Columbia before heading to Vanderbilt University for her MD and PhD (molecular biology).  She then moved to Boston for her pediatric and child neurology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. She returned home in 2011 for her pediatric epilepsy and neurophysiology fellowships, joining the faculty in 2013. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. She is board certified in Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology and Epilepsy.  

Ryther started her career with the dream of founding the first Rett Spectrum Clinic in the region. She joined forces with Judy Weisenberg, MD, and the Rett Spectrum Clinic at SLCH and WUSM opened in 2015. The mission of the clinic is to enhance the patient’s quality of life, provide support and education, help our patients find their voice, empower our families to act as an advocate for their children, and act as a resource to access research and innovation. The clinic cares for patients of all ages who have a clinical diagnosis of Rett Syndrome or a genetic mutation in MECP2 including duplications, CDKL5, or FOXG1. The clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic that includes neurology, nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy and augmentative communication with other specialists as needed. The clinic directly engages with the community by providing education to schools and other programs along with physician, family and community education through the annual Rett Spectrum Conference Series. What is perhaps most gratifying is participating in multiple natural history studies and in therapeutic trials, one of which lead to the first FDA approved treatment for Rett Syndrome. The clinic has also been recognized as a National Clinical and Research Center of Excellence by both the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) and the International Foundation for CDKL5 Research.

In addition to her interest in Rett Spectrum disorders, she also enjoys taking care of patients with pediatric epilepsy including early epileptic encephalopathies, SCN8A, drug resistant epilepsy and epilepsy surgery. 

She lives with her significant other, Jeremiah, and his two children, Scarlett (age 10) and Samantha (age 8). She also became a proud dog mom to Vivian on March 4, 2020. Learning how to parent all three during the pandemic was not an easy task. It is also well known that she is a die-hard Cardinals fan. Her favorite players are Willie McGee and Yadier Molina. One of her favorite moments in clinic is when a patient comes to clinic deliberately wearing an opposing team’s colors. She also has a lifelong mission of seeing a baseball game in every stadium and collects a pin from every stadium she has been to. Her favorite overseas adventures include Ireland and Australia. Ryther also loves to bake and enjoys sharing cookies at work.