David Dennison


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Operational Resilience, Pediatric Neurology, Epilepsy
Office Phone


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (1992-1996) - BS, Biological Chemistry (Magna cum laude)

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD (1996-2000) - MD

Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA (2000-2001) - Internship, Adult Neurology

Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA (2001-2004) - Residency, Adult Neurology

Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC (2004-2005) - Residency, Pediatrics

Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC (2005-2007) - Fellowship, Child Neurology


Dr. David Dennison is the Neurology Student Clerkship Site Director at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. As a retired U.S. Army Colonel, he joins the Uniformed Services University (USU) Department of Neurology with extensive clinical, teaching, and research experience. He is enthusiastic to share his experiences in neurology and military medicine with the next generation of medical officer leadership.

In his last active duty assignment, Dr. Dennison served as the Director of the DOD Blast Injury Research Coordinating Office (BIRCO) and the DOD Brain Health Research Coordinator medical, both located at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. As BIRCO's Director, Dr. Dennison was responsible for coordinating DOD medical research focused on protecting Service members from blast injuries and providing improved diagnostic tools, treatments, and rehabilitation for those who have been injured by blast.

Prior to joining BIRCO, Dr. Dennison was the former Chief of the Department of Neurology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). As the Chief of WRNMMC Neurology, he led the largest Neurology Department in all of DOD, serving as the preeminent tertiary referral center for complex neurologic disorders with diverse specialties to include Neurocritical Care, Traumatic Brain, Epilepsy, Autonomic Nervous System Disorders, Movement Disorders, Neuro­Oncology, and Child Neurology. WRNMMC Neurology also has the largest DOD Neurology Residency as well as the sole Fellowships for Neurophysiology and Child Neurology.

Dr. Dennison was awarded a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship upon his completion of high school in 1992 to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor of science in Biological Chemistry. Following his undergraduate studies, he matriculated to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, culminating in a doctorate of medicine in 2000. After medical school graduation, Dr. Dennison completed a four-year neurology residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. Following his neurology residency in 2004, Dr. Dennison completed a three-year Pediatric Neurology Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. At the conclusion of his Fellowship in 2007, Dr. Dennison was stationed for four years at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany as the sole Child Neurologist with a geographic responsibility to include all of Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia. He returned to WRNMMC immediately following the BRAC in 2011 as teaching staff and Associate Program Director of the National Capital Consortium (NCC) Child Neurology Fellowship. He was selected as the Program Director of the NCC Child Neurology Fellowship in 2013 until 2018, at which time he was selected as Chief of the Department of Neurology at WRNMMC.

Dr. Dennison's previous operational medicine experiences include a deployment to Iraq with an infantry battalion in 2009 and as the Theater Neurologist to Afghanistan in 2013. In his 2009 deployment, he played a crucial role as a Battalion Surgeon in the advise and assist transition mission with the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team. In his 2013 deployment, he served as the Theater Neurologist for Task Force Medical Afghanistan where he was integral to developing and maintaining the system of care for traumatic brain injury for all U.S. and NATO forces within the Afghanistan Theater of Operations.

Dr. Dennison holds the academic rank of Assistant Professor of Neurology at USU and has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as chapters in neurology textbooks. He was awarded the Army Medical Department's "A" proficiency designator for clinical excellence in 2018 and was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit honor society in 2021. He has received numerous military commendations, to include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Service Medal. Dr. Dennison is recognized as a subject matter expert by the American Academy of Neurology and designated as a Fellow by the largest professional society in the world focused on the science and medicine of neurologic disease and injury. He holds active board certifications by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Neurology, Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology, and Epilepsy.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

US Army Medical Research and Development Command, Fort Detrick, MD - Chair, Neuroscience, Neurotrauma, and Neurorehabilitation Working Group, August 2020 – September 2021

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence, Silver Spring, MD - Advisory Member to Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Committee, August 2020 – September 2021

Task Force Medical-Afghanistan, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan - Theater Neurology Consultant, March 2013 – July 2013

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD - Chief, Department of Neurology, July 2018 – July 2020

National Capital Consortium, Child Neurology Fellowship, Bethesda, MD - Program Director, October 2013 – February 2020


Eye P, Horvat D, Wade K, Hack N, Dennison D. Pure hypotonia in a four-year-old patient: An atypical presentation of Dopa-responsive dystonia, J Neurol Sci., 2019 Aug 15;403:125-126.

Donahue M, Clausen S, Malloy A, Dennison D, Falcon J. Acute flaccid myelitis: Case report. MSMR. 2019 Jan;26(1):17-19.

Ewers E, Dennison D, Stagliano D, A Unique Presentation of Neuroborreliosis in an Adolescent Male, Pediatric Neurology, 2015 Jan;52(1):107-9.

Crum-Bailey J, Dennison D, Weiner W, Hawley J, The neurology and corresponding genetics of fragile X disorders: insights into the genetics of neurodegeneration, Future Neurology, 2013 Mar;8(2): 225-35.

Sellitti D, Dennison D, Akamizu T, Doi S, Kohn L, Koshiyama H, Thyrotropin regulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate production in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells, Thyroid, 2000 Mar;10(3):219-25.

Sellitti D, Dennison D, Akamizu T, Koshiyama H, Thyrotropin Receptors (TSHR) in Cultured Human Coronary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells (CASMC), American Journal of Hypertension, 1998 Apr; 11(S3):144A.

Panayotov V, Hamar K, Birdwhistell T, Red C, Dillon J, Dennison D, Barnes A, Koplitz B, Selective Removal of Potassium from K4In4Sb6 via Laser Ablation/Ionization, Applied Physics Letters, 1995 Apr; 66(17):2241.

“Tourette Syndrome,” Jason Hawley, Michael Johnson, and David Dennison in Succinct Pediatrics: Evaluation and Management for Newborn, Genetic, Neurologic, and Developmental-Behavioral Disorders, Eds. John Mahan and Leonard Feld.

“Status Epilepticus,” David Dennison in Pediatric Surgery and Medicine for Hostile Environments, Second Edition, Eds. Kevin Creamer and Michael Fuenfer.

“Common Neurologic Problems,” David Dennison in Pediatric Surgery and Medicine for Hostile Environments, Second Edition, Eds. Kevin Creamer and Michael Fuenfer.