Office Address

Department of Neurology 
University of Kentucky Medical Center
KY Clinic, J-401
Lexington, KY 40536-0284 

Personal Statement

Dr. Kassa is a medical graduate of Addis Ababa University Medical Faculty in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After obtaining her medical degree, she completed graduate school with a research PhD in neuroscience at the University of Verona in Verona, Italy. Her research work during her graduate studies and postdoctoral fellowship focused on the role of neuro-inflammation in neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After moving to the United States, she worked also as a postdoctoral fellow on the role of protein post-translational modifications in the pathogenesis of toxic motor neuron diseases at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. In her free time, she likes reading, listening to music, and traveling.

Medical School

1999, MD, Addis Ababa University Medical Faculty, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Postgraduate Studies

PhD, University of Verona Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Verona, Italy

Postdoctoral Fellowship



2014 to present, Neurology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Fellowship Plans


Clinical and Research Interests

Vascular Neurology, Epilepsy, Motor Neuron Diseases, Movement Disorders

Medical Licensure

Kentucky Medical License


Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)

Handover Certification

NIH Stroke Scale Certification

Hospital Privileges

University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Neurology, Junior Member, 2014 to present

International Brain Research Organization

Society for Neuroscience


Travel Award

Certificate of Merit

Publications and Abstracts

Kassa R, Monterroso V, David LL, Tshala-Katumbay D. Diagnostic and therapeutic potential of tetanus toxin-derivatives in neurological diseases. J Mol Neurosci. 2013; 51(3), 788-91.

Kassa R, Monterroso V, Wentzell J, Ramos AL, Couchi E, Lecomte MC, Iordanov M, Kretzschmar D, Nicolas G, Tshala-Katumbay D. Proximal giant neuorfilamenous axonopathy in mice genetically engineered to resist calpain and caspase cleavage of alpha-II spectrin. J Mol Neurosci. 2012; 47 (3), 631-8.

Kassa RM, Kasensa NL, Monterroso VH, Kayton RJ, Klimek JE, David LL, Lunganza KR, Kayembe KT, Bentivoglio M, Juliano SL, Tshala-Katumbay DD. On the biomarkers and mechanisms of konzo, a distinct upper motor neuron disease associated with food (cassava) cyanogenic exposure. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011; 49 (3), 571-8.

Kassa RM, Mariotti R, Bonaconsa M, Bertini G, Bentivoglio M. Gene, cell and axon changes in the familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse sensorimotor cortex. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2009; 68 (1), 59-72.

Minciacchi D, Kassa RM, Del Tongo C, Mariotti R, Bentivoglio M. Voronoi-based spatial analysis reveals selective interneuron changes in the cortex of FALS mice. Exp Neurol. 2009; 215 (1), 77-86.

Kassa RM, Bentivoglio M, Mariotti R. Changes in the expression of P2X1 and P2X2 purinergic receptors in facial motoneurons after nerve lesions in rodents and correlation with motoneuron degeneration. Neurobiol Dis. 2007; 25 (1), 121-133.


Neurosyphilis and antiphospholipid antibodies in a patient with Moyamoya syndrome