Monica A. Pessina, PhD

Assistant Professor, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Monica Pessina
72 E. Concord St Housman (R)


Dr. Pessina received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, followed by a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Boston University School of Medicine. Prior to assuming a full time academic appointment at BUSM, she gained extensive experience at Massachusetts General Hospital in the field of upper extremity rehabilitation following orthopedic, neurological and burn injuries. In addition, she is the former Director of Rehabilitation at Shriners Burns Institute and she continues to work as an educator in the field of burn rehabilitation both nationally and internationally. Dr. Pessina currently teaches Gross Anatomy and Microscopic Anatomy at BU School of Medicine and BU Goldman School of Dental Medicine where she serves in various roles including Course Director, Section Leader, Lecturer and Laboratory Instructor. As an extension of her clinical interests, Dr. Pessina is currently pursuing research related to the return of motor function after cortical injury in a primate model.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Boston University, PhD
  • Northeastern University, MEd
  • Boston University, BS


  • Published on 6/12/2018

    Zhang M, Pessina MA, Higgs JB, Kissin EY. A Vascular Obstacle in Ultrasound-Guided Hip Joint Injection. J Med Ultrasound. 2018 Apr-Jun; 26(2):77-80. PMID: 30065523.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/11/2018

    Orczykowski ME, Arndt KR, Palitz LE, Kramer BC, Pessina MA, Oblak AL, Finklestein SP, Mortazavi F, Rosene DL, Moore TL. Cell based therapy enhances activation of ventral premotor cortex to improve recovery following primary motor cortex injury. Exp Neurol. 2018 Jul; 305:13-25. PMID: 29540323.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/21/2016

    Moore TL, Pessina MA, Finklestein SP, Killiany RJ, Bowley B, Benowitz L, Rosene DL. Inosine enhances recovery of grasp following cortical injury to the primary motor cortex of the rhesus monkey. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2016 Sep 21; 34(5):827-48. PMID: 27497459.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/12/2013

    Moore TL, Pessina MA, Finklestein SP, Kramer BC, Killiany RJ, Rosene DL. Recovery of fine motor performance after ischemic damage to motor cortex is facilitated by cell therapy in the rhesus monkey. Somatosens Mot Res. 2013 Dec; 30(4):185-96. PMID: 23758412.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/1/2011

    Moore TL, Killiany RJ, Pessina MA, Moss MB, Finklestein SP, Rosene DL. Recovery from ischemia in the middle-aged brain: a nonhuman primate model. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Mar; 33(3):619.e9-619.e24. PMID: 21458887.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2010

    Moore TL, Killiany RJ, Pessina MA, Moss MB, Rosene DL. Assessment of motor function of the hand in aged rhesus monkeys. Somatosens Mot Res. 2010; 27(3):121-30. PMID: 20653499.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/11/2009

    Chernev I, Pessina MA. Unilateral complete congenital serratus anterior muscle aplasia: a case report. PM R. 2009 Jun; 1(6):587-9. PMID: 19627950.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2006

    Pessina MA, Hoyt RF, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Differential regulation of the expression of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors by sex steroid hormones in the vagina: immunohistochemical studies. J Sex Med. 2006 Sep; 3(5):804-14. PMID: 16942525.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/6/2005

    Pessina MA, Hoyt RF, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Differential effects of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone on vaginal structural integrity. Endocrinology. 2006 Jan; 147(1):61-9. PMID: 16210369.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2004

    Kim NN, Min K, Pessina MA, Munarriz R, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Effects of ovariectomy and steroid hormones on vaginal smooth muscle contractility. Int J Impot Res. 2004 Feb; 16(1):43-50. PMID: 14963470.

    Read at: PubMed

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