Heidi Kirsch, MD

Clinical Director, Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory
Neurologist and epilepsy specialist

Dr. Heidi Kirsch is a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of epilepsy. Kirsch has a special interest in identifying where seizures originate and mapping functional regions of the brain to help improve surgical outcomes.

Kirsch studies new methods of mapping the brain and how seizures spread in the brain, along with how epilepsy affects cognitive function. She also participates in designing new curricula for the UCSF School of Medicine.

Kirsch completed her medical degree at UCSF, followed by a residency in neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She then completed a fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also earned a master's degree in health and medical sciences from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.

Kirsch is a professor of clinical neurology and radiology and biomedical imaging at UCSF. She serves on the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California's board of directors.


Epilepsy Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Eighth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-2437
Fax: (415) 353-2837

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

Academic Title


More about Heidi Kirsch


University of California, Berkeley, M.S., Health and Medical Sciences 1994
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine 1996


Johns Hopkins Hospital, Neurology 2000


Johns Hopkins Hospital, Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology 2002

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Kleen JK, Kirsch HE. The nociferous influence of interictal discharges on memory. Brain. 2017 Aug 01; 140(8):2072-2074.
  2. von Spiczak S, Helbig KL, Shinde DN, Huether R, Pendziwiat M, Lourenço C, Nunes ME, Sarco DP, Kaplan RA, Dlugos DJ, Kirsch H, Slavotinek A, Cilio MR, Cervenka MC, Cohen JS, McClellan R, Fatemi A, Yuen A, Sagawa Y, Littlejohn R, McLean SD, Hernandez-Hernandez L, Maher B, Mĝller RS, Palmer E, Lawson JA, Campbell CA, Joshi CN, Kolbe DL, Hollingsworth G, Neubauer BA, Muhle H, Stephani U, Scheffer IE, Pena SDJ, Sisodiya SM, Helbig I. DNM1 encephalopathy: A new disease of vesicle fission. Neurology. 2017 Jul 25; 89(4):385-394.
  3. Bagic AI, Bowyer SM, Kirsch HE, Funke ME, Burgess RC. American Clinical MEG Society (ACMEGS) Position Statement #2: The Value of Magnetoencephalography (MEG)/Magnetic Source Imaging (MSI) in Noninvasive Presurgical Mapping of Eloquent Cortices of Patients Preparing for Surgical Interventions. J Clin Neurophysiol. 2017 May; 34(3):189-195.
  4. Vossel KA, Ranasinghe KG, Beagle AJ, Mizuiri D, Honma SM, Dowling AF, Darwish SM, Van Berlo V, Barnes DE, Mantle M, Karydas AM, Coppola G, Roberson ED, Miller BL, Garcia PA, Kirsch HE, Mucke L, Nagarajan SS. Incidence and impact of subclinical epileptiform activity in Alzheimer's disease. Ann Neurol. 2016 Dec; 80(6):858-870.
  5. Englot DJ, Rolston JD, Wang DD, Kirsch HE, Nagarajan SS, Chang EF. 206 Spikes, Slowing, and Functional Connectivity: Multimodal Magnetoencephalography in Epilepsy Surgery. Neurosurgery. 2016 Aug; 63 Suppl 1:181.
  6. Dürschmid S, Edwards E, Reichert C, Dewar C, Hinrichs H, Heinze HJ, Kirsch HE, Dalal SS, Deouell LY, Knight RT. Hierarchy of prediction errors for auditory events in human temporal and frontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 06 14; 113(24):6755-60.
  7. Englot DJ, Nagarajan SS, Wang DD, Rolston JD, Mizuiri D, Honma SM, Mantle M, Tarapore PE, Knowlton RC, Chang EF, Kirsch HE. The sensitivity and significance of lateralized interictal slow activity on magnetoencephalography in focal epilepsy. Epilepsy Res. 2016 Mar; 121:21-8.
  8. Selvaraj P, Sleigh JW, Kirsch HE, Szeri AJ. Closed-loop feedback control and bifurcation analysis of epileptiform activity via optogenetic stimulation in a mathematical model of human cortex. Phys Rev E. 2016 Jan; 93(1):012416.
  9. Englot DJ, Hinkley LB, Kort NS, Imber BS, Mizuiri D, Honma SM, Findlay AM, Garrett C, Cheung PL, Mantle M, Tarapore PE, Knowlton RC, Chang EF, Kirsch HE, Nagarajan SS. Global and regional functional connectivity maps of neural oscillations in focal epilepsy. Brain. 2015 Aug; 138(Pt 8):2249-62.
  10. Englot DJ, Nagarajan SS, Imber BS, Raygor KP, Honma SM, Mizuiri D, Mantle M, Knowlton RC, Kirsch HE, Chang EF. Epileptogenic zone localization using magnetoencephalography predicts seizure freedom in epilepsy surgery. Epilepsia. 2015 Jun; 56(6):949-58.
  11. Dadok VM, Kirsch HE, Sleigh JW, Lopour BA, Szeri AJ. A probabilistic method for determining cortical dynamics during seizures. J Comput Neurosci. 2015 Jun; 38(3):559-75.
  12. Selvaraj P, Sleigh JW, Kirsch HE, Szeri AJ. Optogenetic induced epileptiform activity in a model human cortex. Springerplus. 2015; 4:155.
  13. Carlson C, Dugan P, Kirsch HE, Friedman D. Sex differences in seizure types and symptoms. Epilepsy Behav. 2014 Dec; 41:103-8.
  14. Dugan P, Carlson C, Bluvstein J, Chong DJ, Friedman D, Kirsch HE. Auras in generalized epilepsy. Neurology. 2014 Oct 14; 83(16):1444-9.
  15. Dadok VM, Kirsch HE, Sleigh JW, Lopour BA, Szeri AJ. A probabilistic framework for a physiological representation of dynamically evolving sleep state. J Comput Neurosci. 2014 Aug; 37(1):105-24.
  16. Selvaraj P, Sleigh JW, Freeman WJ, Kirsch HE, Szeri AJ. Open loop optogenetic control of simulated cortical epileptiform activity. J Comput Neurosci. 2014 Jun; 36(3):515-25.
  17. Vossel KA, Beagle AJ, Rabinovici GD, Shu H, Lee SE, Naasan G, Hegde M, Cornes SB, Henry ML, Nelson AB, Seeley WW, Geschwind MD, Gorno-Tempini ML, Shih T, Kirsch HE, Garcia PA, Miller BL, Mucke L. Seizures and epileptiform activity in the early stages of Alzheimer disease. JAMA Neurol. 2013 Sep 01; 70(9):1158-66.
  18. Allen AS, Berkovic SF, Cossette P, Delanty N, Dlugos D, Eichler EE, Epstein MP, Glauser T, Goldstein DB, Han Y, Heinzen EL, Hitomi Y, Howell KB, Johnson MR, Kuzniecky R, Lowenstein DH, Lu YF, Madou MR, Marson AG, Mefford HC, Esmaeeli Nieh S, O'Brien TJ, Ottman R, Petrovski S, Poduri A, Ruzzo EK, Scheffer IE, Sherr EH, Yuskaitis CJ, Abou-Khalil B, Alldredge BK, Bautista JF, Berkovic SF, Boro A, Cascino GD, Consalvo D, Crumrine P, Devinsky O, Dlugos D, Epstein MP, Fiol M, Fountain NB, French J, Friedman D, Geller EB, Glauser T, Glynn S, Haut SR, Hayward J, Helmers SL, Joshi S, Kanner A, Kirsch HE, Knowlton RC, Kossoff EH, Kuperman R, Kuzniecky R, Lowenstein DH, McGuire SM, Motika PV, Novotny EJ, Ottman R, Paolicchi JM, Parent JM, Park K, Poduri A, Scheffer IE, Shellhaas RA, Sherr EH, Shih JJ, Singh R, Sirven J, Smith MC, Sullivan J, Lin Thio L, Venkat A, Vining EP, Von Allmen GK, Weisenberg JL, Widdess-Walsh P, Winawer MR. De novo mutations in epileptic encephalopathies. Nature. 2013 Sep 12; 501(7466):217-21.
  19. Abou-Khalil B, Alldredge B, Bautista J, Berkovic S, Bluvstein J, Boro A, Cascino G, Consalvo D, Cristofaro S, Crumrine P, Devinsky O, Dlugos D, Epstein M, Fahlstrom R, Fiol M, Fountain N, Fox K, French J, Freyer Karn C, Friedman D, Geller E, Glauser T, Glynn S, Haas K, Haut S, Hayward J, Helmers S, Joshi S, Kanner A, Kirsch H, Knowlton R, Kossoff E, Kuperman R, Kuzniecky R, Lowenstein D, McGuire S, Motika P, Nesbitt G, Novotny E, Ottman R, Paolicchi J, Parent J, Park K, Poduri A, Risch N, Sadleir L, Scheffer I, Shellhaas R, Sherr E, Shih JJ, Shinnar S, Singh R, Sirven J, Smith M, Sullivan J, Thio LL, Venkat A, Vining E, von Allmen G, Weisenberg J, Widdess-Walsh P, Winawer M. The epilepsy phenome/genome project. Clin Trials. 2013 Aug; 10(4):568-86.
  20. Winawer MR, Connors R. Evidence for a shared genetic susceptibility to migraine and epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2013 Feb; 54(2):288-95.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.