2011 AANS Annual Report - page 14

Medical Student Summer
Research Fellowship
Launched in 2007, the Medical Student Summer Research
Fellowship Program’s goal is to expand neurosurgical curriculum
to first- and second-year medical students in the United States
and Canada, thereby inspiring them to choose neurosurgery when
they make a decision about residency training. Those applying for
the Fellowship must also and wish to spend a summer working
in a neurosurgical laboratory, mentored by a neurosurgical
investigator who is an AANS member and will serve as sponsor
to the student. In 2012, the AANS will increase its number of
$2,500 summer fellowships from 15 to 20. Applications for the
2012 awards are due by Feb. 1, 2012. The 2011 awardees include:
Arjun Pendharkar
— Stanford University
Robert Mitchell
— University of Toronto
David Kurland
— University of Maryland
Mark Attiah
— University of Pennsylvania
Jason Mandell
— The Pennsylvania State University
Ranjith Babu
— Duke University
Kunal Raygor
Matthew Amarante
Jessica Swienckowski
— Dartmouth College
Ryan Alter
— Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Al-Wala Awad
— Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Andrew Duren
— Columbia University
David Paul
— University of Rochester
David Altshuler
— University of Michigan
Jacob Greenberg
— Washington University School of Medicine
Marko Spasic
William Van Wagenen Fellowship
Awarded annually since 1968, the Van Wagenen Fellowship
provides post-resident study in a foreign country for a period of
six to 12 months. In 2008, the award stipend was increased from
$60,000 to $120,000, with an additional $15,000 award to the
host university, lab or program for the 12-month fellowship. There
were two Van Wagenen Fellowship recipients in 2011: Nicholas F.
Marko, MD, who completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic
in Cleveland in June 2011; and Ben Waldau, MD, who completed
his neurosurgical residency in June 2010 at Duke University
in Durham, N.C., followed by an endovascular fellowship at the
University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.
Dr. Marko will travel to the United Kingdom to study with Professor
Raymond Goldstein at the University of Cambridge, Department
of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP); in
addition, he will be mentored by Professor Simon Tavare at the
UK Cancer Research Institute (CRI) and DAMTP. Dr. Waldau will
travel to Germany to study with Professor Gerd Kempermann at
the University of Dresden (Center for Regenerative Therapies).
The fellowships commenced on July 1, 2011, and will be completed
within the 12-month period of the grant.
Van Wagenen Road Show
The Van Wagenen Road Show, brainchild of 2003 Van Wagenen
Fellow Odette A. Harris, MD, MPH, FAANS, is leading the efforts
to further increase awareness of and interest in the Van Wagenen
Fellowship. This outreach program commenced at the beginning
of the 2010 academic year. The goal of the initiative is to have
direct contact and exposure with the resident staff to discuss the
fellowship, share firsthand experiences, and discuss the career
rewards and benefits generated by this truly unique Fellowship.
Dr. Harris has coordinated the traveling “road show” with other
past Van Wagenen Fellows by using cross-referenced lists of past
Fellows, academic neurosurgery programs and Department Chairs,
and has established 10-15 institutions and awardees to visit each
year in order to promote the Fellowship. A budget for this project
was established and approved by the Van Wagenen Fellowship
Committee and the Rochester Area Community Foundation prior to
commencement of the program.
Under Dr. Harris’ plan, the country is divided up into four national
regions. To include those beyond the U.S. border, an international
region also exists. Former Van Wagenen Fellows will be asked to
volunteer as speakers and visit various institutions each year until
all residency programs are covered across a three-year period.
Past Fellows have been matched with appropriate institutions in
close proximity to where they
reside and or may be traveling
as a visiting professor.
Program Directors initially
were contacted by e-mail,
followed by a personal phone
call from Dr. Harris. Past
Fellows have begun contacting
Program Directors to schedule
their visits. The past Fellows
believe that direct interaction
with today’s best and brightest
is an essential factor in
exposing current residents
to the benefits of the Van
Wagenen Fellowship. This will
allow a deeper understanding
of the awards available and the
opportunities they afford.
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