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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
The Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology
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R25 NINDS Research Education Program

Our department is a recipient of the R25 NINDS grant for research education programs for the residents, which allows interested and qualified trainees to start research training during the last year of residency. The selected trainee gets six to nine months protected research time during the last two years of residency training being mentored by the experienced faculty member and prepared to submit a K junior investigator grant. The research track can be either clinical or bench work. The grant also provides funding for post-residency research fellowship training.

Current 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 current Neurocritical Care fellow who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project: Protection from the Clinical and Pathologic Consequences of Stroke by Targeting Leukocyte Transendothelial Migration. His mentor is William A Muller, MD PhD.

Jonathan Brent, MD, PhD


Dr. Brent earned his M.D., Ph.D. 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 is completing a McGaw fellowship in Neuromuscular Medicine with the long-term goal of pursuing a career as a physician scientist.

Rafal Sobota, MD, PhD

Rafal Sobota Rafal Sobota is the current Academic Chief Resident who has been awarded an NIH Research Education R25 grant for his project: “Host genetic predisposition to cerebral malaria”. He will be 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 will use 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 will allow him to continue expand his interests in genetics, global health, and neurocritical care.​
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