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2020-2021 Van Wagenen Fellowship Recipient Announced

The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship Selection Committee has announced Ezequiel D. Goldschmidt, MD, PhD, as the recipient of the 2020-21 William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship.

Dr. Goldschmidt, a resident in neurosurgery at University of Pittsburgh, will commence his Van Wagenen fellowship in July 2020.


Dr. Goldschmidt will spend his fellowship year at the Karolinska Instituet in Sweden under the supervision and mentorship of Jens Hjerling-leffler, PhD. He will pursue the research topic, “Recreating neuroplasticity via a cortico-cortico trans-pial bypass.” According to Dr. Goldschmidt:

I am deeply honored and grateful to be awarded the Van Wagenen Fellowship. As the 2020 Van Wagenen Fellow, I plan to obtain a broad-based foundation in the genomics, neurophysiology and axonal tracking techniques currently applied to study neuroplasticity in animals. I will apply single cell m-RNA sequencing to study a potential novel way to induce brain connectivity and better understand the gyrification process. During the fellowship period, the main focus of my research will deal with the possibility of inducing transcortical neuroplasticity in the auditory and somatosensory cortex of ferrets. I will also study, at a single cell level, the genetic basis for gyrification and functional differentiation of gyri in the mammalian brain. I will use this opportunity to learn from world-renowned neuroscientists and set the grounds for a long-term partnership with The Karolinska Institute. I look forward to spend one year in Sweden and to apply what I will learn as I start my career in the United States.

The Van Wagenen Fellowship is offered for post-residency study in a foreign country for a period of 12 months. The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship was established by the estate of Dr. Van Wagenen, who was one of the founders and the first President of the Harvey Cushing Society, now the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). The Van Wagenen Fellowship was designed to provide freedom in scientific development without the restrictive limitations usually imposed by many research grants and fellowships.

For more information on the Van Wagenen Fellowship opportunity or other NREF grant programs, contact Kathleen McMichael at 847.378.0535 or To support similar research and educational programs, consider a donation to the NREF.

NREF is the Philanthropic Arm of the AANS

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