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NREF Announces Recipients of 2021-22 Research Fellowship Grants and Young Clinician Investigator Awards

The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Foundation’s Research Fellowship Grants and Young Clinician Investigator Awards.

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 through two annual neurosurgical research grant programs.

Open to residents only, the NREF Research Fellowship Grant provides training for neurosurgeons 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.

2021-22 Research Fellowship Grant and Young Clinician Investigator Award Recipients

Oluwaseun O. Akinduro, MD, Mayo Clinic

Award: 2021-22 NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Tumors Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD, FAANS

Project Title: Targeting Chordoma Therapy Resistance Through the YAP Pathway


Daniel Eichberg, MD, University of Miami

Award: 2021-22 NREF & StacheStrong Research Fellowship Grant on behalf of the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors

Sponsor: Michael Ivan, MD, FAANS and Nagi Ayad, PhD

Project Title: Investigating the Role of CD97/ADGRE5 Receptor in Glioblastoma Invasion and its Mechanism of Action in the Brain


Matthew Garrett, MD, PhD, University of Cincinnati

Award: 2021-22 B*CURED & NREF Young Clinician Investigator Award

Sponsor: Richard Lu

Project Title: Targeting the malignant epigenome of IDH1 mutant gliomas


Katherine G. Holste, MD, University of Michigan

Award: 2021-22 NREF & AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Guohua Xi, MD, PhD

Project Title: The role of complement in pediatric intraventricular hemorrhage and development of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus


Benjamin R. Johnston MD, PhD, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Medtronic Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Justin Brown, MD, FAANS

Project Title: Optogenetic Motor Neuron Transplantation to Restore Bladder Contraction


Michael B. Keough, MD, PhD, Stanford University

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Andrew T. Parsa Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Michelle Monje, MD, PhD

Project Title: Targeting neuron-glioma circuit dynamics as a novel treatment for high-grade glioma


Alexander Ksendzovsky, MD, PhD, University of Maryland

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Academy of Neurological Surgeons Young Clinician Investigator Award

Sponsor: Peter Crino, MD, PhD

Project Title: LDHA enzyme may form the link between metabolism and epilepsy


Nealen Gordon Laxpati, MD, PhD, Emory University

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Bagan Family Foundation Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Robert E. Gross, MD, PhD, FAANS

Project Title: Optogenetic Neuromodulation of the Septohippocampal Axis for the Treatment of Epilepsy


Mark Alexander MacLean, MD, MSc, Dalhousie University

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Academy of Neurological Surgeons Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Alon Friedman, MD, PhD

Project Title: Exploring Mechanisms Underlying Mild Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Microvasculopathy


Geoffrey W. Peitz, MD, University of Texas-San Antonio

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Academy of Neurological Surgeons Research Fellowship Grant

Sponsor: Naomi Sayre

Project Title: Closed-loop sodium administration system for treatment of cerebral edema and intracranial 7 hypertension: System development and proof-of-concept evaluation in a rat model


Anja I. Srienc, MD, PhD, Washington University

Award: 2021-22 NREF & L. Nelson "Nick" Hopkins Research Fellowship Grant jointly sponsored by Arvind Ahuja, MD, FAANS, and the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section

Sponsor: Joseph P. Culver, PhD

Project Title: Characterizing Changes in Functional Connectivity After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Using Bedside Diffuse Optical Tomography


Justin Zihan Wang, MD, BSc, University of Toronto

Award: 2021-22 NREF & Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation (SBTF) Research Fellowship Grant on behalf of the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors

Sponsor: Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FAANS, FRCSC

Project Title: Establishing the utility of plasma-based liquid biopsies in meningiomas using cell-free methylated DNA immunoprecipitation with deep sequencing


Jacob Stewart Young, MD, University of California, San Francisco

Award: 2021-22 NREF & StacheStrong Research Fellowship Grant on behalf of the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors

Sponsor: Manish K. Aghi, MD, PhD, FAANS

Project Title: In Vivo Gene Screening and Transcriptome Editing with Retroviral-Delivered CRISPR-Cas for the Treatment of Glioblastoma

For more information about the NREF Research Fellowship Grants and Young Clinician Investigator Awards or other grant and fellowship programs, contact the NREF at 847.378.0500 or info@nref.org.

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