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UE5 NINDS Research Education Program

Our department is a recipient of the UE5 NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) grant for research education programs for residents, an award that allows interested and qualified trainees to start research training during the last year of residency. The selected trainee receives six to nine months of protected research time during the last two years of residency training in conjunction with mentorship by an experienced faculty member in submitting a K junior investigator grant. The research track can comprise either clinical or bench work. The grant also provides funding for post-residency research fellowship training. (Formerly R25)

Current R25 Grant Recipients

Sheng Tang, MD, PhD

Tang_Sheng_cropped.pngSheng Tang is a current Northwestern neurology resident who was awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project entitled Investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of novel non-coding variants in SCN1A. He will be working with mentors Dr. Gemma Carvill and Dr. Elizabeth Gerard. He will complete neurology residency in 2024 and will pursue a fellowship in Epilepsy following his R25 research year.

Sarah Brooker, MD, PhD

SarahBrookerSarah Brooker is a former Northwestern neurology resident who was awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for her project entitled Role of LRRK2 mutation in mediating pro-inflammatory mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease. She is working in Dr. Dimitri Krainc’s lab utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells to elucidate neuroinflammatory mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis. She completed her neurology residency in 2022 and will pursue a fellowship in Movement Disorders following her R25 research year.

Former R25 Grant Recipients

Scott Adney, MD, PhD

adney-150.jpgScott Adney is a former Northwestern McGaw senior resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project entitled Function and Pharmacology of SCN2A Mutations Associated with Epileptic Encephalopathies. His research mentor is Alfred George, MD. Scott is pursuing fellowship training in the Northwestern McGaw Epilepsy Fellowship. His research focuses on elucidating biophysical properties of pathogenic mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels affected in monogenic epilepsy. He is investigating the function of neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to determine how alterations in channel function lead to epileptogenic neuronal properties.

Neil Nadkarni, MD

nadkarni-150.jpgNeil Nadkarni is a former McGaw resident and neurocritical care fellow who was awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project entitled Protection from the Clinical and Pathologic Consequences of Stroke by Targeting Leukocyte Transendothelial Migration. His mentor was William A Muller, MD, PhD.

Jonathan Brent, MD, PhD

brent-150.jpgDr. Brent earned his MD and PhD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2013. He completed his neurology residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 2017. Dr. Brent received the prestigious NIH-R25 training award and has been investigating the molecular mechanisms of ALS in the laboratory of Dr. Vladimir Gelfand. He completed a McGaw fellowship in Neuromuscular Medicine with the long-term goal of pursuing a career as a physician scientist.

Rafal Sobota, MD, PhD

Rafal SobotaRafal Sobota is a former Academic Chief Resident who was been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project entitled Host Genetic Predisposition to Cerebral Malaria. He was supported by an interdisciplinary mentorship team from multiple institutions, including Dr. John Kessler in Neurology, Dr. Babafemi Taiwo in Infectious Disease, and Dr. Scott Williams in Human and Population Genetics. Utilizing genomics and transcriptomics, he used both hypothesis-driven and agnostic approaches to help elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underly the development of debilitating, severe cerebral symptoms of Plasmodium falciparum infection. This project allowed him to expand his interests in genetics, global health and neurocritical care.​

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