AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


NREF Continues to Grow By Leaps and Bounds

As the philanthropic arm of the AANS, the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) is dedicated to funding groundbreaking neurosurgical research and providing extraordinary educational opportunities for neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers.

  • The NREF welcomes the following new members of the Cushing Circle of Giving with their commitment of $25,000 or more:


Michael Chabraja, Esq.
Ali Chahlavi, MD, FAANS
Gordon Deen, Jr., MD, FAANS
Jeremy L. Fogelson, MD, FAANS                   
Drs. Kevin T. & Lynn M. Foley                           
Allan H. Friedman, MD, FAANS                        
Kai-Ming Fu, MD, PhD, FAANS                           
Stephen J. Haines, MD, FAANS                        
Jason H. Huang, MD, FAANS                             
A. Bernhard Kliefoth III, MD, FAANS(L)
Shekar N. Kurpad, MD, PhD, FAANS                    
Eric W. Nottmeier, MD, FAANS                     
Mr. Joseph & Dr. Susan Pannullo                        
Rob G. Parrish, MD, PhD, FAANS                        
Ashutosh Pradhan, MD, FAANS                          
Eric Loren Rhoton, MD, FAANS                        
J. Marc Simard, MD, PhD, FAANS                       
Robert E. Wharen, Jr., MD, FAANS

Columbia University-Department of Neurological Surgery
Henry Ford Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Neurosurgery
University of Virginia Department of Neurosurgery 

  • In addition to opportunities for contributions to education, research and outcome studies, there are now 31 Honor Your Mentor (HYM) funds with pledges totaling over $3.6 million from 657 donors. Click here to view a list of current HYM fund honorees, view the lists of donors for each fund or make a donation.

Four HYM funds were recently established:

Anthony Marmarou Fund

Kent C. New Fund

Jon H. Robertson Fund

Henry G. Schwartz Fund

For information on creating a fund for a mentor of your choosing, please visit www.nref.org or call 847.378.0541 to speak with an NREF representative.

Award Announcements From the NREF
The NREF is happy to make the following award announcements:

  • The second joint B*CURED/NREF Research Fellowship Grant – a $50,000 award for adult or pediatric brain tumor research – has been awarded to Pablo Valdes Quevedo, MD, PhD, of Harvard/Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    B*CURED and NREF are pleased to announce they will be extending their partnership for two more years through the 2019-2020 academic year.

  • Establishment of a new award for Advance Practice Providers (APPs): Two $500 awards will be given to the best APP abstracts at the 2018 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans. Watch www.aans.org for details about the submission schedule.
  • Congratulations to Heather Pinckard-Dover, MD, of the University of Arkansas. She has been selected as the first recipient of an award from the Warren C. Boop Jr. Honor Your Mentor fund. Dr. Pinckard-Dover will be presenting to the Southern Neurosurgical Society on her findings from a study of head and spinal injuries resulting from falls from tree stands while hunting. The Warren C. Boop Jr. fund was established to support resident education and research within the department of neurosurgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
  • The first tumor research project funded by the Andrew T. Parsa Honor Your Mentor fund was awarded this spring by the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors to Darryl Lau, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco.
  • Funds from the Charles Drake Honor Your Mentor fund will be used for the Cerebrovascular Registry with oversight by the NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA).
  • The Regis W. Haid Jr. Honor Your Mentor fund is supporting the administration and launch of the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) study for NPA: Effectiveness of Fusion for Grade I Spondylolisthesis.
  • The Charles Kuntz IV Honor Your Mentor fund supported resident travel to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves.

Royalty Donations Fund NREF Medical Student Research Fellowships
The NREF Board of Directors is pleased to announce a generous contribution from Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD, FAANS, of royalties from the sale of the COHEN™ Bipolar Forceps from Kirwan Surgical Products to the Medical Student Summer Research Fund at the NREF. The royalties will provide funding for five “Aaron Cohen-Gadol Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships.”

The Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship (MSSRF) program offers fellowships in the amount of $2,500 to medical students in the U.S. or Canada who have completed one or two years of medical school and wish to spend a summer working in a neurosurgical laboratory, mentored by a neurosurgical investigator sponsor who is a member of the AANS. In 2017, a total of 25 fellowships will be awarded.

The NREF is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been awarded a 2017 Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship:

2017 Aaron Cohen-Gadol Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship Awardees

  • Dustin Roberts, University of California Los Angeles
  • Mounica Reddy Paturu, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  • Jason K. Karimy, Yale University
  • Erin Nicole D’Agostino, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Ali Jamal, University of Saskatchewan

2017 Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship Awardees

  • Akop Seksenyan, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Vivek Sudhakar, University of California San Francisco
  • Iyan Younus, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Nicholas Goel, University of Pennsylvania
  • Huy Tram N. Nguyen, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Yongsoo Peter Joo, University of Rochester
  • Ben (Jiahe) Gu, Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia and Veteran’s Administration Medical Center
  • Ali Karim Ahmed, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Felicia Sun, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Connor Berlin, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Fabiha Rahman, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Elliot Neal, University of South Florida
  • Breydan Hawkins Wright, Washington University
  • Faranak Dayani Dardashti, UCSF School of Medicine
  • David J. McCarthy, University of Miami
  • Samuel Daly, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Brian Christian Kaszuba, Albany Medical College
  • Raghav Gupta, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School
  • John Ta-Hsiang Tsiang, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • David Daniel, George Washington University School of Medicine

NREF Announces Recipients of the 2017-2018 Research Grant-Young Clinician Investigator Awards

The NREF is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Foundation’s Research Grant-Young Clinician Investigator Awards.

Open to residents only, the NREF Research 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.

The 2017-2018 Research Grant and Young Clinician Investigator Award recipients are:

  • Kunal Gupta, MD, Oregon Health & Science University

NREF & Bagan Family Foundation Research Fellowship Grant                

Investigating the role of Wnts in seizure-induced aberrant hippocampal neurogenesis

  • Megan Jack, MD, PhD, University of Kansas

NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Pain Research Fellowship Grant               

Neuroinflammation and Exercise in Regeneration and Recovery of the Injured Peripheral Nervous  System

  • Darryl Lau, MD, University of California San Francisco

Andrew T. Parsa Research Fellowship sponsored by the NREF and the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Tumors Research Fellowship Grant

The Role of c-Met/?1-integrin Complex Formation in the Establishment of Brain Metastases

  • Brian Lee, MD, PhD, California Institute of Technology

NREF & American Academy of Neurological Surgery Young Clinician Investigator Award

Generating artificial sensation by electrical stimulation of the hand area of the primary somatosensory
(S1) cortex for a closed-loop brain-machine interface (BMI)

  • Sarah T. Menacho, MD, University of Utah

NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma & Critical Care Young Clinician Investigator Award

A Tool to Improve Treatment Threshold Compliance in the Neurocritical Care Unit

  • Arjun Vivek Pendharkar, MD, Stanford University

NREF & American Academy of Neurological Surgery Research Fellowship Grant            

Role of Contralesional (Uninjured) Hemisphere Activation in Functional Recovery after Stroke

  • Pablo Valdes Quevedo, MD, PhD, Harvard/Brigham and Women’s Hospital

B*CURED & NREF Research Fellowship Grant        

Expansion Microscopy for Interrogation of Cancer Mechanisms and Phenotypes in Gliomas

  • Robert Starke, MD, University of Miami
  1. Nelson “Nick” Hopkins NREF Young Clinician Investigator Award jointly sponsored by Arvind Ahuja, MD, FAANS, and the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section

The Role of Endothelial Cell Dysfunction & Differentiation in Aneurysms Progression & Healing

  • Krishanthan Vigneswaran, MD, Emory University

NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery Research Fellowship Grant

Identification of small molecule inhibitors of novel receptor tyrosine kinase pathways in adult and pediatric glioblastoma.

  • Jefferson Wilson, MD, University of Toronto/St. Michael’s Hospital

NREF & Medtronic Young Clinician Investigator Award                

The Aging Face of Spinal Trauma: Exploring the Epidemiology and Impact of Spinal Cord Injury in the Elderly

  • Jacky Yeung, MD, Yale University

NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Tumors Research Fellowship Grant          

Immunogenetic profiling and targeting novel immune check point regulators in meningiomas

NREF Announces Recipients of the 2017-2018 Post-residency Clinical Fellowship Grant Program
The NREF reached agreements with DePuy Synthes Spine and Medtronic to provide funding to the NREF in support of the Foundation’s Post-residency Clinical Fellowship grant program.

“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,” stated Ennio A. Chiocca, MD, PhD, FAANS, chair of the NREF Education Advisory Committee.

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.

The following programs have been awarded fellowship grants for the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • University of Miami
  • University of Pittsburgh Physicians
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison

Contributions to the NREF support education and research as well as the opportunity for us to collaborate and advance the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and improve patient care in neurosurgery. To make a gift to the NREF in your subspecialty or to honor your mentor, please visit our secure Donate page. Together, we are making a difference in patients’ lives.

Leave a Reply

Be the first to reply using the above form.