Research Grants and Clinical Fellowships

Post-residency Clinical Fellowships


The NREF encourages institutions to apply for funding for clinical neurosurgical fellowships in spine surgery, endovascular neurosurgery, general neurosurgery, neurocritical care, neurosurgical oncology, other cerebrovascular-related fellowships, pediatric neurosurgery, peripheral nerve surgery and stereotactic/functional neurosurgery.

Congratulations to the 2018-19 recipients of Post-residency Clinical Fellowships.

NREF Post-residency Clinical Fellowships with support from Medtronic and DePuy

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine
  • Rush University Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery
  • University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Washington University

Globus Medical/NREF Post-residency Clinical Fellowships

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Utah

The NREF is grateful to our corporate sponsors who continue to help the NREF in its mission to ensure that tomorrow’s leaders in medicine receive cutting-edge training to expand their knowledge and improve patient care. The NREF recognizes the following corporations for their support of the Post-residency Clinical Fellowship program:

Research Fellowship Grants and Young Clinician Investigator Awards


Every year, the NREF receives applications from some of the most promising young researchers in the country. “Based on the quality of the research proposals submitted, we are optimistic for the future of neurosurgery,” stated NREF Research Committee Chair Ennio A. Chiocca, MD, PhD, FAANS.

As the premier funder of neurosurgical studies, the NREF provides funding for studies in basic, translational and patient-oriented clinical research for investigators in North America annually through two neurosurgical research grant programs.

Open to residents only, the NREF Research Fellowship Grant provides training for neurosurgeons who are preparing for academic careers as clinician investigators. Applicants must be physicians who have been accepted into or who are currently in approved residency training programs in neurological surgery in North America.

The NREF Young Clinician Investigator Award supports junior faculty who are pursuing careers as clinical investigators. Applicants must be neurosurgeons, no more than two years from the end of their clinical training, who are full-time faculty in North American teaching institutions.

2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant and Young Clinician Investigator Award Recipients


Stephano Chang, MD, University of Miami

  • Award: NREF & Medtronic 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: Multi-target neurostimulation to recover locomotion in a large animal model of contusive spinal cord injury
  • Sponsor: James Guest, MD, PhD
Bryan Choi, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Award: NREF & B*CURED 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Therapy for Glioblastoma
  • Sponsor: Bob Carter, MD, PhD, FAANS
Domenico A. Gattozzi, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute (KUMCRI)

  • Award: L. Nelson “Nick” Hopkins NREF 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant jointly sponsored by Arvind Ahuja, MD, FAANS, and the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section
  • Project Title: Comparative Use of Human Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and their Exosome Derivatives for Functional Improvement after Induced Ischemic Stroke: a Springboard for Translational Studies
  • Sponsor: Randolph J. Nudo, PhD
Benjamin L. Grannan, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Award: NREF & American Academy of Neurological Surgery 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: Studying the neural encoding of social interaction in the primate amygdala using a game theory task
  • Sponsor: Ziv Williams, MD, FAANS
Ammar H. Hawasli, MD, PhD, Washington University

  • Award: NREF/Bagan Family Fellowship 2018-2019 Young Clinician Investigator Award
  • Project Title: Evaluation of the Human Cortical Connectome as a Biomarker of Spinal Cord Injury
  • Sponsor: Wilson Z. Ray, MD, FAANS
Teddy Kim, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine

  • Award: Andrew T. Parsa Research Fellowship 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: VSV-LASV as oncolytic virus therapy for glioblastoma
  • Sponsor: Douglas Lyles, PhD
Maria Peris-Celda, MD, PhD, Albany Medical College

  • Award: Rhoton Young Clinician Investigator Award for Neuroanatomical Research
  • Project Title: North-East Anatomy Laboratory
  • Sponsor: Alan S. Boulos, MD, FAANS
Bornali Kundu, MD, University of Utah

  • Award: NREF and AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma & Critical Care 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: Spreading depolarizations in subdural hematoma
  • Sponsor: Kevin C. Brennan, MD, & John D. Rolston, MD, PhD
Stefan Lang, MD, University of Calgary,

  • Award: NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Tumors 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: Facilitating pre-operative sensori-motor network plasticity with non-invasive brain stimulation and prehabilitation in patients with diffuse glioma: a multimodal TMS/TDCS/fMRI study
  • Sponsor: John Kelly, PhD, MD
Whitney E. Parker, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University

  • Award: NREF and AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: The Role of Novel NMDA Receptor Variants in Human Brain Development and Epilepsy
  • Sponsor: M. Elizabeth Ross, MD, PhD
Michael Safaee, MD, University of California, San Francisco

  • Award: American Academy of Neurological Surgery 2018-19 Research Fellowship Grant
  • Project Title: Molecular targeting of CD97 as a therapeutic approach for glioblastoma
  • Sponsor: Manish Aghi, MD, PhD, FAANS
Brian J. A. Gill, MD, Columbia University

  • Award: NREF & American Academy of Neurological Surgery 2018-19 Young Clinician Investigator Award
  • Project Title: Electrophysiological Properties of the Peritumoral Region in a Slice Model Glioma Associated Seizures
  • Sponsor: Guy M. McKhann II, MD, FAANS
Anthony Wang, MD, University of California, Los Angeles

  • Award: NREF & Kate Carney Family 2018-19 Young Clinician Investigator Award
  • Project Title: Characterization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations and their surrounding astrocytes
  • Sponsor: Linda Liau, MD, PhD, MBA, FAANS

The NREF would like to thank the following for their support of NREF Research Fellowship Grants and Young Clinician Investigator Awards in fiscal year 2019:

  • Albert L. Rhoton Honor Your Mentor Fund
  • American Academy of Neurological Surgery
  • AANS/CNS Section on Cerebrovascular
  • AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma & Critical Care
  • AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery
  • AANS/CNS Section on Tumors
  • Andrew T. Parsa Honor Your Mentor Fund
  • Bagan Family Foundation
  • B*CURED
  • Kate Carney Family
  • Medtronic

The partnership between B*CURED, a non-profit organization whose mission is to end brain cancer, and the NREF has been extended through the 2021-22 academic year. Proceeds from the Annual Charity Softball Tournament, hosted by Columbia University, benefit brain tumor research via the Andrew T. Parsa Honor Your Mentor Fund within the NREF.

Joint Cerebrovascular Section Traveling Fellowship


The NREF is pleased to announce that Gaurav Gupta, MD, and Kim Rickert, MD, FAANS, have been selected as recipients of the 2019 Joint Cerebrovascular Section Traveling Fellowship. The announcement was made during the 2019 AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section Annual Meeting in Honolulu.

The Joint Cerebrovascular Section Traveling Fellowship allows a practicing neurointerventionalist of any specialty to visit a high-volume cerebrovascular center for a one-week observership. Adam S. Arthur, MD, MPH, FAANS, of Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis, Tenn., and Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD, FAANS, of Geisinger Health System in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., oversee this fellowship program. According to Dr. Arthur, “This fellowship helps facilitate the spread of information from experienced centers and operators to those with less experience. The rapid evolution of our field and the increase in the number of cerebrovascular centers has created a need for this program.”

Dr. Gupta will be conducting his week-long traveling fellowship at the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery, under the supervision and mentorship of Gary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD, FAANS.

Dr. Rickert will be conducting her fellowship with Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, FAANS, at State University of New York at Buffalo.

The fellowship has received enthusiastic support from the corporate community, which provided long-term support that annually funds two fellowships. “The NREF is grateful to Medtronic and MicroVention – our industry partners in this program. Their commitment to the NREF mission will ensure that tomorrow’s neurosurgical leaders continue to receive cutting-edge experiences that expand knowledge and improve patient care,” stated NREF Vice Chair Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS.

The fellowship’s inaugural recipients, Peter Kan, MD, FAANS, and Dr. Andrew Carlson, MD, MS, FAANS, have submitted their reports. Members can read more about their experiences in the Success Stories section on the NREF website.