NREF Awards 2019 Medical Student Research Fellowships

The NREF Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships (MSSRF).

With ongoing support from Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD, FAANS, from royalties of the sale of the COHEN™ Bipolar Forceps from Kirwan Surgical Products, the NREF is able to award 25 medical student fellowships this year.

“Since 2016, Dr. Cohen-Gadol’s generosity has made it possible for the NREF to continue offering the kind of leading-edge training that helps launch research careers and ultimately advances patient care,” said NREF Chair Regis W. Haid Jr., MD, FAANS.

The MSSRF program offers fellowships of $2,500 to medical students in the U.S. or Canada, who have completed one or more years of medical school and wish to spend a summer working in a neurosurgical laboratory, while mentored by a neurosurgical investigator sponsor who is a member of the AANS.

These fellowships go to the brightest and most dedicated students, whose research projects target the better understanding, treatment and prevention of neurological disorders and improved patient care. “As an AANS Director-at-Large and NREF Cushing Circle member, I believe in the NREF’s mission to support research and educational endeavors, in particular with students who represent the future of our specialty,” commented Dr. Cohen-Gadol.

“Dr. Cohen-Gadol’s generosity demonstrates how one donor’s contributions can provide meaningful and impactful support for a program. He sets a terrific example for others to follow,” added NREF Vice Chair and Development Committee Chair Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS.

2019 Aaron Cohen-Gadol Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship recipients:

  • Jeff Ehresman, BS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Sricharan Gopakumar, MD, Anderson Cancer Center
  • Arbaz Momin, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
  • Oluwaposi Omiwade, University of California-San Diego
  • Ryan Sandarage, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

2019 Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship recipients:

  • Albert Alan, University of Arizona
  • Marcelle Altshuler, National Institute of Health
  • Omar Awan, University of Florida
  • Kinsey Barhorst, University of Cincinnati
  • Hriday Bhambhvani, Stanford University
  • Rahul Bussa, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
  • Long Di, BS, University of Miami
  • Jeffrey Curran Henson, MS, BS, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
  • Samantha Hoffman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Gabrielle Johnson, BA, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Dennis Lee, University of California, Davis School of Medicine
  • Seung Jin Lee, David Geffen School of Medicine (UCLA)
  • Elliott Orloff, Keck School of Medicine-University of Southern California
  • Christine Park, Duke University
  • Shashank Patil, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Keyan Alexander Peterson, MS, MBA, Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Shannon Catherine Shipley, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; The Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia; The Veteran’s Administration Medical Center
  • Aly Al-Amyn Valliani, BA, Mount Sinai Health System
  • Mark Zaki, BS, BA, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Mary Zhu, University of Toronto/St. Michael’s Hospital

The online grant application portal for the 2020 Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships will open November 1, 2019. For information about all NREF Grants and Awards, please visit or contact Kathleen McMichael at 847.378.0535 or

NREF is the Philanthropic Arm of the AANS

Contact Us

5550 Meadowbrook Industrial Ct.
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-3852