Associate Professor of Medicine
Clinical Pharmacology

Associate Professor of Medicine

Professional Bio

Cyndya A. Shibao, M.D., MSCI is a physician-scientist, autonomic disorder specialist and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  

Dr. Shibao completed an internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and earned a Master of Science and Clinical Investigation degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She plays a pivotal role in the discovery of new diseases and treatment strategies for disorders that affect the autonomic nervous system. She discovered the pressor effect of the norepinephrine transporter receptor inhibitor, atomoxetine and its potential use as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension (OH) in autonomic failure; she received funding from the FDA, Office for Orphan Drug Development to repurpose atomoxetine for the treatment of symptomatic OH.

Dr. Shibao made a seminal discovery of the novel genetic disease, which she named Familial Autonomic Ganglionopathy, characterized by severe autonomic failure and orthostatic hypotension due to impaired autonomic neurotransmission. Currently, she is the leading world expert in the identification and treatment of this condition. She further discovered that weight loss surgery was associated with autonomic dysfunction and was awarded an Innovative Project Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) to conduct the first study aimed at evaluating the epidemiology and pathophysiology of orthostatic intolerance after bariatric surgery. She also reported worsening symptoms in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) after meals and received funding from NIH/NHLBI to study mechanisms underlying this effect, most notably the role of gastrointestinal gut peptides.

Dr. Shibao is the recipient of an AHA grant to study mechanisms associated with Long COVID Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, a condition that received National attention given the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Shibao’s national recognition is represented by her multiple leadership roles in National societies. She served as the Chair of the Meeting Committee for the American Autonomic Society (AAS) and is currently an Associate Editor of Clinical Autonomic Research, the premier journal of the specialty. She is a fellow of the AHA and AAS. Locally, she served as the Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center, the Associate Director of the T32 fellowship program in clinical pharmacology and the Program Director of the Fellowship in Autonomic Disorders, which she founded in 2020 and immediately received National Board Certification by the United Council of Neurological Societies.


MD - Universidad Peruana Cayetano - 2001
Fellowship - CP - Vanderbilt University Medical Center - 2006
Residency - IM - Vanderbilt University Medical Center - 2009
MSCI - Vanderbilt University - 2011