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Research Grants and Young
Clinician Investigator Awards

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

  • Research Fellowship (One year, up to $40,000)

Open to residents only, the NREF Research Fellowship 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. This award requires a 100% research time commitment.

  • Young Clinician Investigator Award (One year, up to $40,000)

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 having completed their neurosurgical residency training, and/or clinical fellowship, who are full-time faculty in North American teaching institutions. This award requires a 50% research time commitment.

The NREF does not pay for any indirect costs related to our grant awards. For more information and frequently asked questions, click here.

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

Kunal Gupta, MD
Oregon Health & Science University
Award: NREF & Bagan Family Foundation Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title: Investigating the role of Wnts in seizure-induced aberrant hippocampal neurogenesis
Sponsor: Eric Schnell, MD, PhD

Megan Jack, MD, PhD
University of Kansas
Award: NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Pain Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title: Neuroinflammation and Exercise in Regeneration and Recovery of the Injured Peripheral Nervous System
Sponsor: Doug Wright, PhD

Darryl Lau, MD
University of California-San Francisco
Award: Andrew T. Parsa Research Fellowship sponsored by the NREF and the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Tumors Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title:The Role of c-Met/ß1-integrin Complex Formation in the Establishment of Brain Metastases
Sponsor:Manish K. Aghi, MD, PhD

Brian Lee, MD, PhD
California Institute of Technology
Award: NREF & American Academy of Neurological Surgery Young Clinician Investigator Award
Project Title:Generating artificial sensation by electrical stimulation of the hand area of the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex for a closed-loop brain-machine interface (BMI)
Sponsor: Richard Andersen, PhD

Sarah T. Menacho, MD
University of Utah
Award: NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma & Critical Care Young Clinician Investigator Award
Project Title:A Tool to Improve Treatment Threshold Compliance in the Neurocritical Care Unit
Sponsor: Gregory Hawryluk, MD, PhD

Arjun Vivek Pendharkar, MD
Stanford University
Award: NREF & American Academy of Neurological Surgery Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title:Role of Contralesional (Uninjured) Hemisphere Activation in Functional Recovery after Stroke
Sponsor: Gary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD

Pablo Valdes Quevedo, MD, PhD
Harvard/Brigham and Women's Hospital
Award: B*CURED & NREF Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title: Expansion Microscopy for Interrogation of Cancer Mechanisms and Phenotypes in Gliomas
Sponsor: Ennio A. Chiocca, MD, PhD

Robert Starke, MD
University of Miami
Award: L. Nelson "Nick" Hopkins NREF Young Clinician Investigator Award jointly sponsored by Arvind Ahuja, MD, FAANS, and the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section
Project Title: The Role of Endothelial Cell Dysfunction & Differentiation in Aneurysms Progression & Healing
Sponsor: Joshua M. Hare, MD

Krishanthan Vigneswaran, MD
Emory University
Award: NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title: Identification of small molecule inhibitors of novel receptor tyrosine kinase pathways in adult and pediatric glioblastoma.
Sponsor: Jeffrey J. Olson, MD

Jefferson Wilson, MD
University of Toronto/St. Michael's Hospital
Award: NREF & Medtronic Young Clinician Investigator Award
Project Title: The Aging Face of Spinal Trauma: Exploring the Epidemiology and Impact of Spinal Cord Injury in the Elderly
Sponsor: Michael Fehlings, MD, PhD

Jacky Yeung, MD
Yale University
Award: NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Tumors Research Fellowship Grant
Project Title: Immunogenetic profiling and targeting novel immune check point regulators in meningiomas
Sponsor: Lieping Chen, MD, PhD

Read testimonials from past NREF awardees (PDF)

Past Awardees



Vijay Agarwal, MD
Zarina S. Ali, MD
Luis Enrique Kolb, MD
Daniel A. Orringer, MD
Rory J. Petteys, MD
Analiz Rodriguez, MD, PhD
Nicholas Szerlip, MD
Michael Tso, MD, PhD
Kristin J. Weaver, MD, PhD
Jon T. Willie, MD, PhD
Wael F. Asaad, MD, PhD
Neil Rainer Malhotra, MD
Katharine M. Cronk, MD
Heather H. McCrea, MD
Richard G. Everson, MD
Timothy Ryan Owens, MD
Fady Girgis, MD
Matthew R. Reynolds, MD
Michael Ivan, MD
Adam M. Sonabend, MD
Pierpaolo Peruzzi, MD
Shawn Hervey-Jumper, MD
Chad Washington, MD
Gary Schwartzbauer, MD
Craig Shannon, MD
Arthur Chou, MD
Michael Oh, MD
Sheila Singh, MD
Nader Sanai, MD
Sameer Sheth, MD, PhD
Stephen Monteith, MD
Nirav Patel, MD
D. Ryan Ormond, MD
Deshdeepak Sahni, MD
Jon Willie, MD
Christoph Hofstetter, MD
Ning Lin, MD
Hongyan Jenny Zou, MD
Michael Steinmetz, MD
Kaveh Asadi-Moghaddam, MD
Joel Bauman, MD
Raqeeb M. Haque, MD
Michael T. Koltz, MD
Shahid M. Nimjee, MD, PhD
Zeguang Ren, MD
Demitre Serletis, MD
Michael E. Sughrue, MD
Michael Lim, MD
Aaron Dumont, MD
John Kuo, MD
Jonathan Miller, MD
Rollin Hu, MD
Rahul Jandial, MD
Betty Kim, MD
Pawel Ochalski, MD
Daniel M. Sciubba, MD
Suzanne Tharin, MD
Timothy Vogel, MD
Jason S. Weinstein, MD
Gerald Grant, MD
Brian L. Hoh, MD
Jason Huang, MD
Eve Tsai, MD, PhD
Gregory Zipfel, MD
Justin Cetas, MD, PhD
H. Francis Farhadi, MD, PhD
Andrew Foy, MD
James Frazier, MD
Jason L. Gerrard, MD, PhD
Ming (David) Cheng
Lewis Chun Hou
Eric M. Jackson
Adrian W. Laxton
Daniel A. Lim
Neil R. Malhotra
Wael Musleh
Lyman W. Whitlatch
John Boockvar
Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa
Michael D. Taylor
G. Edward Vates
Daniel P. Cahill
Ali Chahlavi
Suresh N. Magge
Joseph G. Ong
Gavin W. Britz, MD
William T. Curry, Jr.
Emad Eskandar
James W. Leiphart
Stephen Russell
David Cory Adamson
Ryan DenHaese
Michael Kelly
Brian Ragel
Michael Louis Smith
Maxwell Boakye
Steven Casha
Amy B. Heimberger
Charles Y. Liu
Ramin Amirnovin
Robert J. Kowalski
John S. Kuo
Todd G. Mainprize
Atom Sarkar
Judy Huang
Andrew T. Parsa
Kevin A. Walter
Sheila K. Singh
Ira Garonzik
Charles C. Matouk
Cornelia S. von Koch
Jeffrey P. Blount
Nicholas Boulis
Laurie L. Ackerman
Kent C. New
Adetokunbo A. Oyelese
Michael Taylor
Zelma H.T. Kiss
Theodore H. Schwartz
Dean Chou
John K. Park
Matthew D. Smyth
Michael M. Woodruff
John K. Park
Bruce E. Pollock
Michael A. Vogelbaum
Gregory D. Foltz
Babak S. Jahromi
Sunghoon Lee
Robert E. Gross
John H. Sampson
Tord D. Alden
Judith L. Gorelick
James M. Schuster
Frederick F. Lang
Carl Lauryssen
Amy B. Heimberger
E. Sander Connolly
Adam Mamelak
Frank Feigenbaum
Guy M. McKhann
James M. Markert
D. Kyle Kim
John H. Sampson
Lawrence S. Chin
Mark S. Dias
James D. Guest
William D. Hunter
R. Loch Macdonald
Donald M. O’Rourke
Abbas F. Sadikot
John Paul Elliott
William T. Couldwell
Diana L. Abson Kraemer
Mark S. LeDoux
Stephen L. Skirboll
Ian Pollack
Gregory A. Brandenberg
E. Thomas Chappell
Kenneth Follett
Jeffrey J. Olson
Eric L. Zager
Michael M. Haglund
M. Christopher Wallace
Joung H. Lee
Richard G. Parker (Deceased)
Samuel J. Hassenbusch
Fredric B. Meyer
John Aryanpur
Gary K. Steinberg
Julian K. Wu
Roberta P. Glick
J. Marc Simard
Griffith R. Harsh
Charles J. Weitz
Marc R. Mayberg
Warren R. Selman
Joseph M. Phillips
Steven J. Schiff
Samuel J. Hassenbusch
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