Colin Franz MD, PhD

Display Name Colin Franz MD, PhD

Position Attending Physician, Research Scientist and Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neurology

Board Certifications: Neuromuscular Medicine, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and Physiatry
Practicing since
Joined staff in 2018
Phone Number Description Phone

Telephone Number


About Me

About Me

Dr. Colin Franz, MD/PhD, is a physician and scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Clinically, he subspecializes in neuromuscular medicine and clinical electrophysiology. His research is focused on personalized neurorehabilitation medicine after neural injury. His lab is very technology-oriented. For example, they combined cutting edge bioelectronics devices with rehab patient stem cell-derived neurons to better understand how they function before and after nerve injury. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, neuromuscular medicine, and electrodiagnostic medicine. He also has expertise in neuromuscular ultrasound. He sees patients to evaluate and manage diaphragmatic (breathing) muscle weakness, peripheral nerve injury, brachial plexus injury, motor neuron disease such as ALS, peripheral neuropathy, as well as to screen potential candidates of nerve and/or tendon transfer surgery,


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 East Erie

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Training



    1998 - 2002
    Dalhousie University, BS (Honours) in Kinesiology
    2002 - 2007
    Dalhousie University, PhD in Anatomy and Neuroscience
    2009 - 2012
    University of Calgary, MD


    2012 - 2017
    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University


    2017 - 2018
    Neuromuscular Medicine, The Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology and McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

Honors & Awards

  • Foundation for PM&R - Richard S. Materson ERF New Investigator Research Award
    "Neurotrauma in a Dish" - An induced pluripotent stem cell-based assay to determine patient specific factors affecting rehabilitation outcomes, 2018
  • Helen Cooper Resident, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
    Recognition of the physical medicine and rehabilitation resident who made the greatest contribution to teaching., 2016
  • Lydia Sikora Memorial Award, University of Calgary
    Recognition of the medical student who made the most outstanding contribution to research., 2011


  • Society for Neuroscience
    Member, 2003
  • Peripheral Nerve Society
    Member, 2011
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Member, 2012
  • American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine
    Member and Research Committee, 2017

Regenerative Neurorehabilitation Laboratory

This lab uses a combination of molecular, biochemical, and electrophysiological assays to study axon regeneration and motor neuron disease with a priority on human preclinical models such as iPSC-neurons.

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