Department of  Neurosurgery
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Research


Washington University School of Medicine has one of the most comprehensive research programs dedicated to the neurosciences in the country. The Department of Neurosurgery is consistently ranked among the Top 10 for neurosurgical research funding from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Washington University has the largest medical scientist training program in the United States.

Washington University’s assets and resources come together to provide neurosurgery residents with unparalleled and abundant opportunities for research.

Neurosurgery residents have up to two years of protected research time to focus on projects in the neurosciences. This time is meant to serve as a foundation for those who seek careers as academic neurosurgeons with an active role in basic science research. 

Residents can choose from a broad range of neuroscience topics researched in labs throughout Washington University. In addition to research labs in the Department of Neurosurgery, there are approximately 20 other departments that each have multiple neuroscience labs, including neurology, neuroradiology, neuro-oncology and neuropathology. 

In our department, the neurosurgery labs focus on various areas including tumor biology and bone morphogenic proteins and their role in spinal fusion and cerebrovascular disease. 

Clinical faculty help guide all residents to the labs that best fit their research interests. Because of Washington University’s broad strength in research and the ongoing success of many labs, most have the resources necessary to support neurosurgery residents during their research time. Some research projects may overlap disciplines or laboratories, fostering collaboration between departments and labs. This common multidisciplinary approach here facilitates research progress and promotes success.

State-of-the-art facilities and strong research support services allow researchers to focus less on the process and more on being a neuroscientist. Washington University boasts leading facilities for nearly every facet of basic science research. These include a 12-Tesla small-animal MRI, advanced breeding facilities, complete small and large animal microneurosurgery capabilities, and outstanding support for all molecular biology procedures. The University also has undertaken an ambitious research initiative, called BioMed 21, designed to rapidly translate basic research findings into advances in medical treatment. Construction of an 11-story research building housing laboratories and support facilities for BioMed 21 was completed in December 2009.

Residents are expected to publish two papers a year. Recent papers by first-time-author residents were published in The Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Spine, Surgical Neurology, Cell Calcium, Experimental Neurology, The Journal of Neural Engineering, The Journal of Neuro-oncology, The Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroscience.

NIH R25

As part of the Neurosurgery or Neurology Residency Program, residents have the opportunity to participate in the Neurosurgery Department’s R25 Resident Research Education Program Grant.

Applications must be vetted by the Neurosurgery Research Mentorship Group (NRMG) prior to submission and are due to the NIH by October 31 every year.

Prospective applicants should contact Sophie Church (churchs@wudosis.wustl.edu) regarding the application process.

Past awardees include:
Ananth Vellimana: July 2016-June 2017
Jarod Roland: January 2016-July 2017
Tom Beaumont: July 2015-December 2015

Annual Research Symposium

Scholarly activity is a valued and integral part of the Department of Neurosurgery. The Neurosurgery Research Symposium was established in 2007 to provide residents, fellows and faculty of the department a forum to present and discuss their research.  Awards are given to the residents with the best clinical and best basic science presentations. Each year, a nationally-renowned neurosurgeon is invited to give the keynote address at the symposium and help judge the presentations.

Research Symposium Keynote Speakers

2017
Bob S. Carter, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Diego

2016 James T. Rutka, M.D., Ph.D.2017

Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

2015

John H. Sampson, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Neurosurgery, Duke University

2014

Matthew Howard, III, M.D.
Professor and Chair, University of Iowa

2013

B. Gregory Thompson, M.D.
Professor, University of Michigan

2012

Nicholas Barbaro, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Indiana University

2011

Murat Gunel, M.D.
Professor, Yale University

2010

Nelson Oyesiku, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Emory University

2009

Mitchel Berger, M.D.
Chair, University of California San Francisco

2008

William Couldwell, M.D.
Professor and Chair, University of Utah

2007

Chris Wallace, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Queen’s University

Neurosurgery Research Symposium Resident Award Winners


 

 

Basic Science

 

Clinical

2017   Ananth Vellimana, M.D.
 
  Jacob Greenberg, M.D.
 
2016
 

Zohny Zohny, M.D.

 

Jacob Greenberg, M.D.

2015

 

Thomas Beaumont, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Bradley Stephens, M.D.

2014

 

Ammar Hawasli, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Thomas Beaumont, M.D., Ph.D.

2013

 

Matthew Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Chad Washington, M.D.

2012

 

Devon Haydon, M.D.

 

Chad Washington, M.D.

2011

 

Jon Willie, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Chad Washington, M.D.

2010

 

Wilson Ray, M.D.

 

Chad Washington, M.D.

2009

 

Jon Willie, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Manish Shah, M.D.

2008

 

James Johnston, M.D.

 

Eriks Lusis, M.D.

2007

 

David Limbrick, M.D., Ph.D.
& Jon Willie, M.D., Ph.D.

 

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Highlights

Top 10 in NIH Funding for Neurosurgical Research

Largest Medical Scientist Training Program in United States