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Resident Research

Hernandez Research symposiumSince its founding in 1921, the University of Rochester Medical Center has been leader in biomedical research with a wide range of high impact accomplishment.  Neuroscience has been a particular strength of the research portfolio over the past several decades. From fundamental research on mechanisms of nervous system function and disease, to therapy development and translation from bench to bedside, to implementation science and translation from bedside to community, the impact of our research has been broad and deep.

Over the past two decades, the University of Rochester has made substantial investments in research infrastructure to provide state-of-the-art research facilities for all phases of research on the translational spectrum.  The University of Rochester is home to one of the inaugural Clinical Translational Science Awards from NCATS and to one of the inaugural NeuroNEXT sites.  Together, these support new and more efficient means for translating discoveries in translational neuroscience into meaningful therapies for patients with neurological disorders.

In addition to having eight faculty receive the Nobel Prize, the URMC has been the home for a number of transformative medical discoveries including the medical use of surfactant, the discovery of Cox-2, and the development of vaccines for HiB and HPV.  In 2018, NIH research support totaled $22.9 million for both Clinical Neurology and the Neurosciences combined, and was ranked 14th in total NIH funding for Neurology among medical schools. Additional sources of funding include various foundations and industry sponsors.

Research Highlights  Colleen Tomcik

  • The University of Rochester Department of Neurology has a strong tradition of both basic and clinical research
  • The Neurology faculty includes many nationally and internationally recognized clinician-researchers with active research programs.
  • The UR Department of Neurology consistently ranks as one of the top neurology departments in the United States for extramural research funding from the National Institutes of Health.  
  • The Department has grown to over 140 faculty (107 with primary appointments, and 35 with secondary or adjunct appointments  from other departments and around the world) who share in the vision of education and training.
  • There is a broad range of research activities being carried out across the 14 divisions and centers associated with the Department of Neurology.  The research that is conducted is highly interdisciplinary and diverse, as reflected by a large group of investigators
  • Members of the Neurology Department work closely with faculty members in the Departments of Neuroscience, Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Psychiatry, and others.

Resident Research   Shubh Ahden

The philosophy of the Department of Neurology is that research should be part of each resident's educational experience. Accordingly, each resident is encouraged to develop a research project during his or her four years of residency. In their first year, residents are paired with a faculty mentor with expertise in an area of interest declared by the trainee. 

We have implemented a seminar series geared to help trainees explore career options in clinical neuroscience that covers topics such as writing and reviewing paper and grants, creating and delivering an effective presentation, issues pertaining to managing a clinical practice, as well as navigating issues related to work-life balance.  Trainees will also hear chalk talks by departmental faculty to enhance their knowledge regarding cutting edge research for a variety of neurological conditions and to provide opportunities for flash mentoring and hopefully stimulate future collaboration.

Residents participate annually in the Steven R. Schwid Neurology/Neurosurgery Research Symposium. In the later years of training it is expected that the resident’s scholarly activity will culminate in a Neurology Grand Rounds presentation, abstract submission to the American Academy of Neurology or the American Neurological Association annual meetings and/or submission of a manuscript for publication in keeping with the ACGME program requirements.

Long view of poster session
poster session

In prior years, residents have participated in bench research, ongoing clinical trials, studies involving outcomes and health care utilization, and education research, as well as writing case reports and comprehensive literature reviews for publication. A wide range of basic and clinical URMC Neurology Research opportunities are available through faculty working in departmental units, affiliated research centers and laboratories located on the University Medical Center and the River Campus.