Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology
The Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology Fellowship at the Department of Neurology of Northwestern University and Feinberg School of Medicine is a one-year subspecialty clinical program. The program is designed to train a PGY5 fellow in the comprehensive care of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), related demyelinating and inflammatory diseases, and other relevant immune- and infection-mediated disorders of the central nervous system. The program also provides training in the care of patients with pediatric MS, rehabilitation of MS and elective training with experts in autoimmune epilepsy, neuro-ophthalmology and neuro-otology. The training plan is designed in accordance with the requirements of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) for its one-year clinical fellowship, the Fellowship Core Curriculum Recommendations by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) MS Section and the Northwestern University employment policies as well as with the particular career's plan of the fellow. The Multiple sclerosis/Neuroimmunology Fellowship participates with the San Francisco (SF) Match and requires all the candidates to be registered with this program.
Didactic activities of the fellowship are structured based on the recommendations of the Fellowship Core Curriculum of AAN MS Section 2021 and will take place on a weekly basis (typically one hour every Thursday). Formal didactic teaching will include topic seminars by our faculty or guest speakers on a broad range of MS topics, including disease etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and related inflammatory, and demyelinating diseases. The fellow will be scheduled to lead presentations of clinical cases of significant educational value, important publications, and updates from MS scientific meetings at the departmental and section journal clubs. The fellow also will be encouraged to independently participate in the monthly lecture series organized by the NMSS, AAN and Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS). The program allows for one day (or two half days) per week free of other activities to allow for independent studies and research as well as four-week elective time to pursue training in specific areas of interest related or career goals. The fellow will have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars available through the departments of Neurology, Radiology, Rheumatology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and Pathology during the course of their fellowship.
The fellow will be encouraged to participate in clinical research and will be expected to complete an independent research project by the end of the training, with the goal of presentation at a national meeting. The fellow will be mentored in planning and conducting research, encouraged and assisted in preparing presentations, posters, and publications and other scientific activities. In addition, the fellow can participate in clinical trials or translational research performed by the teaching faculty of the program. Northwestern University and the Department of Neurology also provide classes, courses and lectures in scientific methodology, medical statistics and epidemiology, which provide learning opportunities in clinical trial design and implementation.
The major focus of the one-year fellowship training is on developing skills in expert clinical patient care. The fellow will be seeing patients in the Neurology Department Outpatient Facility MS/Neuroimmunology specialty clinics under the supervision of Drs. Roumen Balabanov, Bruce Cohen, Carolyn Bevan, Elena Grebenciucova and Edith Graham. These activities will allow for independent supervised assessment of new and follow-up patients. The fellow will also be involved in the neuroimmunology consult service at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. This combination of activities will prepare the fellow to treat acute and chronic multiple sclerosis as well as other neuro-immunologic disorders with a full range of therapeutic modalities.
The MS/Neuroimmunology Fellowship is a comprehensive multidisciplinary training program. The fellow will have the opportunity to work at the specialized MS Rehabilitative Clinic at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab with Dr. James Sliwa, as well as at the pediatric MS and Demyelinating diseases clinic at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital with Dr. Jennifer Rubin and Dr. Kavita Thakkar. In addition, the fellow will work with Dr. Igor Koralnik in the Department of Neurology's outpatient clinical facility seeing patients in his Neuroinfectious Disease Clinic. This activity will provide a unique opportunity to be exposed to neuroinfectious diseases, with expert emphasis on progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and neurological complications of COVID-19. The training experience will further include rotations in the neuro-ophthalmology clinic with Dr. Neena Cherayil, the neuro-otology clinic with Dr. Nicholas Hac and the autoimmune epilepsy clinic with Dr. VanHaerents.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine seeks to attract inquisitive, motivated fellows and is committed to providing them with every opportunity for success. We encourage a diverse and inclusive work environment that allows each trainee to achieve their personal goals.
For more information on Northwestern’s commitment to diversity, please see the Northwestern McGaw Underrepresented Residents & Fellows Forum and Feinberg School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
The Neurosciences Health, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (HEDI) Committee was developed to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion in the Neurosciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Learn more about our work.
Candidates must have completed residency program in neurology accredited in the United States or Canada.
Residents are selected for the MS fellowship from eligible applicants based upon their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills and personal qualities. No discrimination is made based upon sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability or veteran status. Approximately half of the eligible applicants are invited for personal interviews.
We participate in the electronic San Francisco Match (SF Match), and all candidates must register with the SF Match in order to submit a rank list. Applications are now being accepted for positions beginning July of 2025. Applications will be reviewed beginning December 1, 2023 and interviews are held between January to February 2024.
Applications should include the following:
- Personal statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- A copy of current temporary medical license
- Copies of USMLE scores
Please direct questions to email@example.com.
Housestaff training through McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University provides diverse and challenging clinical experiences and world-class education located in the heart of the beautiful city of Chicago. Learn more via the links to the McGaw website below.
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Gina Perez-Giraldo, Class of 2023
"This program has given me extensive academic training, our weekly Neuroimmunology conferences have made me knowledgeable, and the exposure to patient care is abundant and diverse, which has allowed me to feel comfortable with complex Neuroimmunology cases."
Edith Graham, Class of 2021
"At Northwestern, I have a sense of being a part of something great. The opportunity for personal and career growth here is immense. I love being able to collaborate with multiple departments and drop into various clinics. All of the attendings are super welcoming. As a fellow, I get to take part in clinical trials for MS treatments and discuss interesting cases every week at our neuroimmunology conference."
Natalia Gonzalez, Class of 2023
"I'm forever thankful for my MS & Neuroimmunology fellowship at Northwestern. In this year, I was exposed to a wide variety of cases, and I gained a solid foundation in MS care and other less common neuroimmunological diseases. The dedicated faculty provided insightful daily discussions, shaping my knowledge and experience for a successful career as a neuroimmunologist. Furthermore, they fostered a welcoming environment, demonstrated genuine care for my growth, and were highly supportive of research. I will carry this invaluable knowledge with me, enriching my ongoing journey in the field."
Meet our Current Fellows
Roumen Balabanov, MD
Fellowship Program Director, Neurommunology/Multiple Sclerosis
epilepsy-neurophysiology, ms-neuro-immunology, neuromuscular-disease, neuro-oncology, sleep-medicine
Physician-Scientist Training & Resources
We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and formal training programs to help our residents and fellows excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.VISIT THE STARZL ACADEMY SITE