In Memoriam: Blair Ford, MD

Blair Ford, MD was a movement disorder clinician-scientist whose research focused on treating patients with deep brain stimulation and surgical interventions.

DMRF leadership is deeply saddened to report the death of movement disorder specialist Blair Ford, MD, Medical Director for the Center for Neuromodulation and Movement Disorder Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. Steven Frucht, MD, Co-Founder of the Leon Fleisher Foundation for Musicians with Dystonia, authored the fitting tribute below.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Dr. Blair Ford, an original member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Leon Fleisher Foundation for Musicians with Dystonia. Blair served as an attending neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center from 1994 for his entire professional career after completing his fellowship training in movement disorders with Stanley Fahn. During that time, he cared for hundreds of patients with dystonia, and as medical director of the neurostimulation group, helped many patients with dystonia live better lives with the aid of deep brain stimulation (DBS).

“Blair was universally revered and loved by patients, medical students, residents, fellows and colleagues. A penetrating and exacting clinician and clinical scientist, he combined tremendous empathy and kindness with a wonderful sense of humor. He was deeply committed to mentoring the next generation of neurology residents and movement disorder fellows, as both the neurology clerkship director at Columbia, and as an essential member of the movement disorders faculty.  

“On a personal note, I was privileged to work with Blair every week for two years as a movement disorders fellow, and then to join him as a colleague. He was a role model for physicians in training, and all fellows tried to model his ease and warm embrace by patients and their families. One of his favorite ways to leave a patient and family at the end of a visit was simply to say, ‘Be well.’ I learned this from him, and my fellows have learned this from me.  

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, four children, and extended family. He will be missed.” 

Steven J. Frucht, MD
Professor, Department of Neurology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Director, Division of Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, NYU Langone Health


The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.